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5 Ways to Develop a Readable Page Design

written by: Camesha White•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 3/2/2010

It doesn’t take any special training to create an easy-to-read, professional looking document. Here are 5 simple tips to help your document reach its full potential.

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    Creating a readable page design isn’t as difficult as one may think. The secret to achieving a readable page design is simplicity. Ever heard of the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method? Well this term can be applied directly to page design. In other words, the least amount of text and graphics you include on the page, the better. Here are a few small adjustments and changes to incorporate into the creation process and get you started on the right track to achieving a readable page design.

    Widen Margins. Wider margins give you more space, help to make the page seem larger, and therefore make the document easier to read. If creating a document with pre-determined margins it’s best to set the margins according to the style specified.

    Incorporate Text Effects. Although other formatting options such as italics and underline have an effect, bold is the most effective of the three. Simply put, bolding a title is perfect because it draws attention to the word, signifies importance, organizes chunks of text, and allows the reader to find information more easily.

    Don’t Go Overboard with Fonts. Don’t go overboard, choose a font that is easy on the eyes. Some of the most popular fonts used with word processing projects are Times New Roman, Arial, and Verdana. Times New Roman is the more classic font and has been around since forever, but for a more readable page design trying Arial or Verdana. These two fonts are sans-serif, meaning they don’t have serifs or extensions on the endpoints of letters.

    As far as multiple fonts are concerned, there are cases when it is okay, but it’s best to stick with one or two. To keep it simple, use one font throughout the entire document and use bold and italics to add expression.

    NEVER USE ALL CAPS. Not only is it overwhelming, but when readers see these letters, it can sometimes turn them off. Although acceptable sometimes, for instance with headers and titles, to be on the safe side it best to not use the all-caps feature.

    Don’t Tamper with Alignment. Never right-align or justify the text within a word processing document. The majority of documents are and should be left-justified. Centering is standard for titles, and occasionally works well with headers. If centering headers, be consistent and center all of the following headers as well.

    Creating a document with a readable page design is vital to its overall delivery. A document that is unattractive or difficult to understand is a waste of your time, as well as the reader’s. With only a few clicks of the mouse, the tips above can easily be applied and transform what was once clutter into an attractive, easy to read document.

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    Examples of Good and Bad Page Design

    Good ExampleBad Example