In website I am implementing I found that the maximum number of characters that I can display in a certain sidebar div is 17
M (uppercase M) plus the elipses. So that is the maximum I setup the code to produce ... if the text is longer than 17 characters it will be truncated and an elipses will be attached to the end.
That string for reference is a "Project Name". Practically users will not be calling their project "MMMMMMMMM...17 times" and hence when placed in the real world seemingly short project names that would essentially fit are being truncated.
A designer I know uses "00000..." to measure the width of a box. Is there a systematic/statistical approach to this?