Suggestions for on-screen fonts ins small sizes

Suggestions for on-screen fonts ins small sizes

Post by John Dan » Thu, 04 Apr 2002 17:17:08



Don't know whether anyone would care to comment on a font issue that I
currently have:

We need to present some graphs on-screen in as small a size as is
practicable and readable. The graphs need to be titled, the axes and
tick-marks labelled and so on. This would be in a Windows application
and only on-screen appearance (ie not printed)  is of any consequence.

The question is about the best font to use for the labelling. The two
priorities are compactness and legibility at relatively small point
sizes. Obviously there are lots of candidates but my main question is
to whether there is any point looking beyond the simple standard
options like MS Sans Serif or Arial etc

TIA
John Dann

 
 
 

Suggestions for on-screen fonts ins small sizes

Post by Dick Marguli » Thu, 04 Apr 2002 20:57:39


I'd look at the built-in Windows pixel fonts and stay entirely away from
  TrueType for this application. Try smallfonts (smalle.fon).

> Don't know whether anyone would care to comment on a font issue that I
> currently have:

> We need to present some graphs on-screen in as small a size as is
> practicable and readable. The graphs need to be titled, the axes and
> tick-marks labelled and so on. This would be in a Windows application
> and only on-screen appearance (ie not printed)  is of any consequence.

> The question is about the best font to use for the labelling. The two
> priorities are compactness and legibility at relatively small point
> sizes. Obviously there are lots of candidates but my main question is
> to whether there is any point looking beyond the simple standard
> options like MS Sans Serif or Arial etc

> TIA
> John Dann


 
 
 

Suggestions for on-screen fonts ins small sizes

Post by Damon Kell » Thu, 04 Apr 2002 21:01:01


John,

It's pretty hard to go past the Microsoft "system" TT fonts such as
Tahoma, Georgia, and the already mentioned Arial.
These fonts are very well hinted for screen use at small point sizes (in
fact they were designed for that).
Arial is perhaps a bit more compact than Tahoma or Georgia, but doesn't
seem as legible at really small sizes.
I would suggest Tahoma (for a sans-serif) or Georgia (serif) - a
personal favourite.

--
Remove the x y z for reply, please.

Damon Kelly


> Don't know whether anyone would care to comment on a font issue that I
> currently have:

> We need to present some graphs on-screen in as small a size as is
> practicable and readable. The graphs need to be titled, the axes and
> tick-marks labelled and so on. This would be in a Windows application
> and only on-screen appearance (ie not printed)  is of any consequence.

> The question is about the best font to use for the labelling. The two
> priorities are compactness and legibility at relatively small point
> sizes. Obviously there are lots of candidates but my main question is
> to whether there is any point looking beyond the simple standard
> options like MS Sans Serif or Arial etc

> TIA
> John Dann

 
 
 

Suggestions for on-screen fonts ins small sizes

Post by Richard J » Fri, 05 Apr 2002 00:39:12



Quote:> Don't know whether anyone would care to comment on a font issue that I
> currently have:

> We need to present some graphs on-screen in as small a size as is
> practicable and readable. The graphs need to be titled, the axes and
> tick-marks labelled and so on. This would be in a Windows application
> and only on-screen appearance (ie not printed)  is of any consequence.

> The question is about the best font to use for the labelling. The two
> priorities are compactness and legibility at relatively small point
> sizes. Obviously there are lots of candidates but my main question is
> to whether there is any point looking beyond the simple standard
> options like MS Sans Serif or Arial etc

Arial is hard to beat at small sizes.  MS Sans Serif is equally good, but
because it is not TrueType your choice of font sizes is more limited.  I
have also used Franklin Gothic (it was my company's standard font at one
time) which is slightly more compact and elegant than Arial, but I've no
experience of commercially-available TTF variants of it.

I don't like Tahoma as at certain small sizes the "i" and lower-case "L" are
so close together that they make reading difficult.  If you want to use
Tahoma, check whether words like "million" are easily readable at the size
you want.

--
Richard J.
(To e-mail me, swap uk and yon in address)

 
 
 

Suggestions for on-screen fonts ins small sizes

Post by David Glenn [MS » Fri, 05 Apr 2002 03:04:46


Hi John,

Your easiest bet is to use some of the fonts that Microsoft ships with
Windows. You'll need to try a few different fonts to see what works in your
setting. I'm not sure what application you will use or if you plan to paste
a chart from one application into another. PowerPoint does't layout text
quite the same as Excel nor do either of these do the same thing (exactly)
as Word.

Verdana and Georgia were made to show how good onscreen reading fonts could
be. We did this in 1996 and since then not too many fonts have come close to
these in quality. However, one of the things that makes them readable is
their tall x-height and the characters are wide. You may find them readable
but too wide for your use...maybe not though, you should try them and see.

Tahoma was made to be an onscreen UI font, so it may work for you for labels
of your charts. It wasn't made for printing or long runs of text, so check
it out and see what you think.

MS Sans is a bitmap font. Microsoft Sans Serif is a TrueType (scalable)
version of this font. It has the same metrics and should look a bit better
onscreen due to the fact that hinting and ClearType work on it but not on
bitmap fonts. Also, most fonts have hinting turned off when the font is
rotated at increments other than 90 degrees -- it's a lot of work to hint
fonts for random angles and it's not as common as baselines in increments of
90 degrees. If you rotate the fonts at other than 90 degrees then the
quality of the outline and the design of the font itself will be the
determining factors in how good it looks.

Also, check out other fonts you like. You may be surprised at what you find.
I'm guessing the hinting we've done to our fonts to make them legible at
small sizes will lend themselves to your need.

Good luck,

-dave

--
David Glenn, Microsoft Typography
http://www.microsoft.com/typography

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.


Quote:> Don't know whether anyone would care to comment on a font issue that I
> currently have:

> We need to present some graphs on-screen in as small a size as is
> practicable and readable. The graphs need to be titled, the axes and
> tick-marks labelled and so on. This would be in a Windows application
> and only on-screen appearance (ie not printed)  is of any consequence.

> The question is about the best font to use for the labelling. The two
> priorities are compactness and legibility at relatively small point
> sizes. Obviously there are lots of candidates but my main question is
> to whether there is any point looking beyond the simple standard
> options like MS Sans Serif or Arial etc

> TIA
> John Dann

 
 
 

Suggestions for on-screen fonts ins small sizes

Post by _surprise » Fri, 05 Apr 2002 22:36:10



> We need to present some graphs on-screen in as small a size as is
> practicable and readable. The graphs need to be titled, the axes and
> tick-marks labelled and so on. This would be in a Windows application
> and only on-screen appearance (ie not printed)  is of any consequence.

Try the bitmap fonts at:
http://www.dafont.com/bitmap.php
Some of them are very small and still readable.

HTH, werner

 
 
 

Suggestions for on-screen fonts ins small sizes

Post by Lauri Raittil » Sat, 06 Apr 2002 02:55:02


On Wed, 03 Apr 2002 09:17:08 +0100, John Dann


>Don't know whether anyone would care to comment on a font issue that I
>currently have:

>We need to present some graphs on-screen in as small a size as is
>practicable and readable. The graphs need to be titled, the axes and
>tick-marks labelled and so on. This would be in a Windows application
>and only on-screen appearance (ie not printed)  is of any consequence.

>The question is about the best font to use for the labelling. The two
>priorities are compactness and legibility at relatively small point
>sizes. Obviously there are lots of candidates but my main question is
>to whether there is any point looking beyond the simple standard
>options like MS Sans Serif or Arial etc

(MS)SmallFonts for under 7px (Not the version that ships with some
NTs). BSU Kermit or MS Sans Serif for bigger sizes. Kermit has
clearer numbers IMHO, but since it's monospaced text is not as
readable.

--

http://www.iki.fi/zwak/fonts/ - fontsite with
Finnish, Swedish and German language support.

 
 
 

Suggestions for on-screen fonts ins small sizes

Post by Iain Halla » Tue, 16 Apr 2002 08:06:53


Quote:> (MS)SmallFonts for under 7px (Not the version that ships with some
> NTs). BSU Kermit or MS Sans Serif for bigger sizes. Kermit has
> clearer numbers IMHO, but since it's monospaced text is not as
> readable.

Where could I get hold of Kermit?
 
 
 

Suggestions for on-screen fonts ins small sizes

Post by Lauri Raittil » Thu, 18 Apr 2002 00:37:24


On Mon, 15 Apr 2002 00:06:53 +0100, Iain Hallam


>> (MS)SmallFonts for under 7px (Not the version that ships with some
>> NTs). BSU Kermit or MS Sans Serif for bigger sizes. Kermit has
>> clearer numbers IMHO, but since it's monospaced text is not as
>> readable.

>Where could I get hold of Kermit?

I think I found it here:
http://nova.bsuvc.bsu.edu/prn/monofont/

--

http://www.iki.fi/zwak/fonts/ - fontsite with
Finnish, Swedish and German language support.

 
 
 

1. On-screen readability: tip and question

Hi,

I read a lot of material on the web, and I would like to use the most
readable font for this purpose. At the moment - that's the "tip" part - I am
using Adobe Minion Multiple Master at an optical size of 6, which is quite
good already (also for 300 dpi printing).

Sometimes the character spacing seems to be a little off - characters
slightly stick together -, so I am trying to find an alternative in Adobe
Type1 format (I like anti-aliased type better, and prefer the Adobe Type
Manager implementation over TrueType). Excellent hinting would also be
required.

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