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words per line OT?

P: n/a
It seems that there can be too many words on a line. This is a problem
with pages that are not fixed width.

There seems to be a few problems.

1) Finding where the next line starts after finishing a long line.

2) The pages just look too wordy and it is tiring to read.

I would think that there are already "formulas" for word count, lineheight
and column width and font size.

Illumination?

Jeff


Jul 20 '05 #1
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4 Replies


P: n/a
Jeff Thies wrote:
It seems that there can be too many words on a line. This is a problem
with pages that are not fixed width

There seems to be a few problems.
The short answer is that the css spec will be useful reading.

xposted to ciwa-stylesheets, f'ups set (please set followups when
xposting)
I would think that there are already "formulas" for word count,
No, but there is the css max-width property, e.g.,

p {max-width: 35em;} /* set to taste, but always use em */

http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/visudet.h...pdef-max-width
lineheight
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/visudet.h...ef-line-height
and column width
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/visudet.html#propdef-width

http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/tables.html#q4
and font size.


http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/fonts.html#propdef-font-size
HTH.

--
Brian (follow directions in my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/

Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
Jeff Thies schrieb:

It seems that there can be too many words on a line. This is a problem
with pages that are not fixed width.
It's really a problem of the ideal relationship of font size/family and
viewport width. Since most 'windowing' systems allow the user to adjust
the viewport width, it's no problem at all.

I would think that there are already "formulas" for word count, lineheight
and column width and font size.


Yes, and they're all available through google :-). But there's more to
it than simple formulas; the subject matter and nature of your
publication matters, too. For example, books and newspapers have
different line length, and both line lengths are ideal for their
purpose. One size doesn't fit all.
Matthias
Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
On Sat, 24 Jan 2004 21:06:22 GMT, "Jeff Thies" <no****@nospam.net>
wrote:
It seems that there can be too many words on a line. This is a problem
with pages that are not fixed width.
Not really, when you consider what the fundamental concepts of a
windowing user interface are:
1. the user being able to see the interface to more than one program at
the same time;
2. the user being able to adjust the window to the size he/she wants.

If the user just applies 2, then the problem goes away.

As has already been mentioned, the CSS 'max-width' property may also
help.
There seems to be a few problems.

1) Finding where the next line starts after finishing a long line.

2) The pages just look too wordy and it is tiring to read.
If one leaves the lines very long, yes.
I would think that there are already "formulas" for word count, lineheight
and column width and font size.


Well, up to a point. When I spent some time on this a year or so back, I
discovered recommended line lengths, based on research, that differed by
30% or so. Personal preference plays a role - I don't think you can pin
down the "ideal" line length very accurately.

--
Stephen Poley

http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/
Jul 20 '05 #4

P: n/a
Tim
On Sat, 24 Jan 2004 21:06:22 GMT,
"Jeff Thies" <no****@nospam.net> wrote:
It seems that there can be too many words on a line. This is a problem
with pages that are not fixed width.

There seems to be a few problems.

1) Finding where the next line starts after finishing a long line.

2) The pages just look too wordy and it is tiring to read.

I would think that there are already "formulas" for word count, lineheight
and column width and font size.


The first one depends on the distance traversed by the eye, the second
is aesthetics.

For the average A4 piece of paper, about 60 characters across was the
usual way to type; because it looked okay and was easy to read. The
auto-cues used by television airheads typically use about 30 to 35
characters across, because it's easy to read quickly without too much
eye movement (which makes them look shifty, or nervous; especially in
close-up shots).

So there you have two suggested values with a 2:1 difference. Then
there's others: Usenet always suggested around 70 characters, as that'd
fit into the text mode screen displays, and isn't too hard to read.
Magazine columns tend to be somewhere around 40 characters across.

You'll have to think about all of that (that's there's no one good
answer) and consider what problems you might cause by setting any
particular value, as well as how it might help. Remember just about all
browsers are resizeable. I'll resize mine if it helps to read the page,
so long as it's not annoying.

Messing with line height can cause some weird browser behaviour. I find
most browsers have the lines too close together for fast reading, but
making style sheets to increase the spacing causes other problems
(generally, spacing between different elements, and different text line
spacing within different elements), and I had to set up a lot of
interrelated rules. Just adjusting paragraphs ignored text in other
elements, fiddling with everything made lots of things looked bad.
Trying to think of all the elements that might have text (e.g. li, td,
p, div, etc.), meant a lot of rules, and new problems to be discovered.
Some don't use a text in a fashion that looks good if you change the
line height.

--
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may be only temporary. Reply to usenet postings in the same place as
you read the message you're replying to.

This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.
Jul 20 '05 #5

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