Fonts: How to Choose Between Them

Written by Tim North

Choosing a font is something that most of us give little thought to. After all, most fonts are more or lessrepparttar same, right? Let's face it, most writing is presented in a stock-standard font like Times New Roman or Arial.

Why isrepparttar 129349 choice of font important? ------------------------------------ There are many differences between fonts: some obvious, some subtle. As well as settingrepparttar 129350 mood of what we write, these differences can have significant effects on legibility.

In this article, we'll classify fonts in several different ways and comparerepparttar 129351 effects that these have on legibility. Let's start by comparing serif and sans-serif fonts.

Serif versus sans-serif fonts ----------------------------- Start up a word processor and type a letter "h". Change it to a large size (say 72 points) and use Times New Roman as your font. Noticerepparttar 129352 three small cross strokes atrepparttar 129353 ends ofrepparttar 129354 strokes. These are called serif. Fonts that provide these are said to be serif fonts. Fonts that do not are sans-serif fonts. ("Sans" isrepparttar 129355 French word for without.)

Now changerepparttar 129356 font to Arial, Helvetica or Verdana. These are all sans-serif fonts. Notice thatrepparttar 129357 three small cross strokes have disappeared.

Serif fonts, all things being equal, are easier to read.

This is becauserepparttar 129358 serif makesrepparttar 129359 individual letters more distinctive and thus easier for our brains to recognise quickly. Withoutrepparttar 129360 serif,repparttar 129361 brain has to spend longer identifying a letter because its shape is less distinct.

An important proviso must be made, however. Onrepparttar 129362 low resolution of a computer screen, very small serif text (say 10 points or less) might actually be harder to read than corresponding sans serif becauserepparttar 129363 more complex shapes of serif characters cannot be accurately drawn in sizes this small.

Deciding whether to use a serif or sans serif font is still a personal choice, however, and no hard-and-fast rules apply. Even though serif fonts are usually easier to read, you might prefer a sans-serif font for a particular document if you feel that it sets an appropriate mood. Sans-serif fonts are often thought to look more modern.

10 Tips for Better Writing

Written by Tim North

As a proofreader of business writing, I see many ofrepparttar same errors made again and again. Errors in your writing (be they in advertising copy, correspondence, or a web site) are more serious, I believe, than most people realize.

Why? Well,repparttar 129347 standard of your writing has always been important. Today, though, more than ever before, FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT. We are bombarded byrepparttar 129348 written word in its many forms -- books, pamphlets, magazines, signs, e-mail, web sites and many other media.

We are all suffering from information overload and are forced to find ways of screening out as much as we can. We thus tend to make quick decisions on what to read and what not to. First impressions increasingly determine what we read and what we don't, and poor writing leads to a poor first impression.

The following list of tips should help you to avoid some ofrepparttar 129349 most common slip-ups.

1. Capitals: Avoidrepparttar 129350 temptation to capitalize words inrepparttar 129351 middle of a sentence Just To Provide Emphasis Like This. If you want to be more emphatic, consider using bold face, italics, color or larger text.

2. Commas: The most common use ofrepparttar 129352 comma is to join together short sentences to make a single longer sentence. We do this with one ofrepparttar 129353 following small joining words: and, or, but, yet, for, nor, or so. For example:

We have finishedrepparttar 129354 work, and we are looking forward torepparttar 129355 weekend.

Notice thatrepparttar 129356 two halves of this sentence could each be sentences in their own right. They thus need to be separated with a comma and joining word. Inrepparttar 129357 next example, though, we don't need a comma:

We have finishedrepparttar 129358 work and are looking forward torepparttar 129359 weekend.

The halves of that sentence could not stand alone, so no comma was used.

3. Ellipsis: The ellipsis is a series of three -- and ONLY THREE -- full stops used to mark missing words, an uncertain pause, or an abrupt interruption. Avoidrepparttar 129360 temptation to use six or seven dots -- it looks amateurish. For example, we write:

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