Summary of key rules
  1. Get the body text right be­fore you worry about the rest of the document.

  2. The four most im­por­tant ty­po­graphic con­sid­er­a­tions for body text are point size, line spac­ing, line length, and font (see font rec­om­men­da­tions).

  3. Point size should be 10–12 points in printed doc­u­ments.

  4. Line spac­ing should be 120–145% of the point size.

  5. The av­er­age line length should be 45–90 char­ac­ters.

  6. Page mar­gins should be larger than one inch on 8.5″ × 11″ paper.

  7. Avoid goofy fonts and mono­spaced fonts.

  8. Avoid sys­tem fonts if you can.

  9. Use curly quo­ta­tion marks, not straight ones (see straight and curly quotes).

  10. Use bold or italic as lit­tle as pos­si­ble, and not together.

  11. Never un­der­line.

  12. All caps are fine for less than one line of text.

  13. Use cen­tered text sparingly.

  14. Put only one space be­tween sen­tences.

  15. Don’t use mul­ti­ple word spaces or other white-space char­ac­ters in a row.

  16. Use 5–12% ex­tra let­terspac­ing with all caps and small caps.

  17. Kern­ing should al­ways be on.

  18. Use first-line in­dents that are one to four times the point size of the text, or use 4–10 points of space be­tween para­graphs. Don’t use both.

  19. Al­ways use hy­phen­ation with jus­ti­fied text.

  20. hy­phens and dashes are dif­fer­ent characters.

  21. Use proper trade­mark and copy­right sym­bols—not al­pha­betic approximations.

  22. Put a non­break­ing space af­ter para­graph and sec­tion marks.

  23. Use a se­quence of un­der­scores to make a sig­na­ture line.

  24. Apos­tro­phes point downward.

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