Express Printing and Graphics
  1205 Alderwood Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

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How Computer Typography Differs From Typewriters

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Terry Doland, Owner
Terry Doland, Owner

How Computer Typography Differs From Typewriters


There are two holdovers from the days of typewriters that negatively affect the appearance of type in documents and on the web – the practice of putting two spaces after a period, and the use of underlining.

The use of two spaces after a period is due to typewriter fonts being monospaced. In a monospaced font, every letter takes up the same amount of space as every other. Putting two spaces after a period creates extra space and helps signal the reader that the sentence has ended. In contrast, a proportional font varies the space assigned to each letter, making words easier to read because the letters are closer together and making extra space after a period unnecessary. In fact, putting two spaces after a period in a proportional font can create a gap that is visually unappealing.

With typewriters, underlining was one of the few ways to create emphasis. Computer type has italics, bold or a different point size available to create emphasis. Also, avoid double emphasis – combining bold, italics or a larger point size with underlining – as it compromises the effect of the emphasis.












This information provided to you by Silicon Valley's Express Printing & Graphics, Inc.
located at 1205 Alderwood Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089

 

 

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