Fifty-seven and two and Persia Walker

Well, I found someone else on the net, and that is Persia Walker.  She is “government”.  But she is also a crime fiction author, who has authored a few books.

Not too long ago, someone hacked into Persia’s website, and it sounds like the hacker might have messed things up on her website.  One thing I noticed when I visited her website was that I had to use the horizontal scroll to read all of a sentence. The sentence went off the webpage so to speak. That is annoying to a reader, as the visitor has to use the mouse and scroll from left to right to read each sentence.

So this brings us to the subject of 57 and 2.  What do I mean by 57?  Well, one day I was surfing the net and reading up on the subject of typography.  I wanted to discover the “ideal width” for a line of text.  By “ideal width” I mean a line of text that is the most easiest for a reader to read.  Somewhere, in some book by some respected author, I found that the ideal width is 57 characters.  And that includes spaces between words.

So how do you get a line of text that is about 57 characters in length?  Well, I’m not a computer expert.  I’m not an HTML expert.  I don’t have an expert answer.

But I do have an answer for the width of a line of text here at my blog.  The answer is two.  I mean indent  two times. That’s right.  I write my post usually using Notepad, then I copy and paste it in WordPress, and finally I highlight the entire post and click the “indent icon” twice, which indents the left side in and towards the right.  The result is that I end up with lines of text throughout my post that are just about 57 characters in length.  The count includes spaces between words.

Now there are a couple of other things I want to talk about. The first one is that I like to leave two spaces from the end of a sentence period (dot) to the beginning of the next sentence.  I learned this little trick, if I remember correctly, from Donald Knuth. It makes it just a little easier for a reader to read. The disadvantage, for now at least, is that I have to manually put in that one extra space at the end of each sentence.  But I don’t mind.  Everything is for you, the reader.

The next thing I want to talk about is font.  So what is the easiest computer font to read?  There is a general consensus that “Trebechet MS” takes first place.  Following that is Verdana and then Arial. The font for the text you are reading now is Arial. This is the default text that comes with my new WordPress theme, Skeptical.

I hope this post is helpful.  I know that for me personally, if I visit a website that is hard to follow along or read, I tend to leave it immediately.

Edited to add: I just changed my theme again, and this time I changed it to Quentin. I’m still experimenting and trying to find the best one.

Published in: on Mar 5, 2012 at 7:13 PM  Leave a Comment  

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