Monday, December 6, 2010

Writing Tip : How wide should my margins be?

How wide should my margins be?


This article provides a guideline for setting the width of a column of text.
Imagine if this article was printed on a page that was a metre wide. Reading it would be a bit like watching a tennis match. Your head would constantly be scanning left-to-right as you read each line. It wouldn't be an easy read, would it?
Conversely, what if each
line was very narrow,
like this? This isn't
much fun either.
So just how wide should a line of text be for optimum viewing?
Well, there are all sorts of opinions floating around, but I'll provide you with an easy rule of thumb. Choose the font and font size that you're going to use. Now write the alphabet in lower-case letters twice on a single line, like this:

All things being equal, that's not a bad length for a line of text. If your document is much wider than this, consider using two or three columns or changing the margin settings. (Look at your word processor's online help for instructions on how to do this.)

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