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What font to use in ebook for easier reading

other tips to making it more easy to read?

     
8:57 am on Mar 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi!

I'm in the process of writing a free ebook on a particular and I'd appreciate some tips on how to organise the content so that it's easier to read. I'd start by asking what font I should use (I've got Adobe Fontfolio to choose from) and whether I should organise pages in columns rather than the traditional way. Should I increase line height?

Any other things an ebook should contain? Also, I'm interested to know whether most people read ebooks on their screen or print them out?

Thank you

2:55 pm on Mar 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hey bluecorr

I'd recommend Verdana. If you can stomach Micro$oft, you may want to look into ClearType [grc.com].

Don't take this negatively, but have you researched this topic online or at a library? There are a lot of resources available to help answer questions in this area. I'd start with a Google on something like publishing an ebook [google.com] and then try adding terms like design or layout. Two authors I often hear referenced are Shelley Lowery and Iain Doherty.

Of course, don't forget the essential step of engaging a first-class editor. ;^)

4:20 pm on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Bluecorr, will this e-book be in PDF or some other format?
6:06 pm on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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PDF. It's still in the making but I thought I'd start gathering info. Thanks.
6:22 pm on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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PDF is good because it gives you more control.

The font is not as important as the column width and the size of the type. Just don't do anything tricky with the font. If it's a US audience, use a serf on the font (New York Times does a good job here--Times New Roman, or Schoolbook, I believe.)

You want to have a comfortable column width so the eye can easily and, most important, quickly track back and forth across the screen/page. There are formula's for this, but look at some of the better newspaper sites for some ideas.

Avoid colored type, background tints, and other nonsense. Flush right, or justified? Your call.

Good luck.

8:13 pm on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I believe Verdana was developed for easy on-screen reading, and it's the one we use.

Generally I think sans serif is easier on-screen, serif for print.

Cy

8:28 pm on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'd agree with CY - the catch is that some people will read your PDF on their PC, while others will print it out for offline reading and reference.

I recommend going with a legible font (either serif or non) in a medium size. Try viewing the document with different resolutions, as well as printing it out. You should be able to find a font that works fairly well across the board.