I have a manual here, designed in Arial font. Arial has to be changed to a serif font. At this moment I've chosen Garamond. But now the number of pages increases. Of course it isn't possible to stop that. But I like to minimize that.

So my question is: Which serif font do you tip me? I've heard the hint for the Times (... but also with Times the number of pages increase). I'm curious if there are other, nicer fonts.

  • 1
    Welcome! As this question stands it's a bit broad and answers would be entirely opinion-based. Not really on-topic. My opinion--- I prefer Stone Informal or Doric for large amounts of text (any humanist serif is good). I hate Times for any use. It's overused and unfriendly -- but again, just my opinion. :)
    – Scott
    May 14, 2014 at 20:06
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    This is called "text reflow" and you are looking to minimize it. The best thing for you to do is to put several paragraphs of text in a text box, duplicate it, and then try different typefaces in one copy of the box until you find the font which changes the size of the text the least.
    – horatio
    May 14, 2014 at 20:14
  • I've edited this a little so that it's less opinion based and more focused on the parts that are factual May 15, 2014 at 10:15
  • What kind of manual is this?
    – thebodzio
    May 16, 2014 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


The best font depends on your output. If the manual is being printed you may have some restrictions. If a serif is too small it has the potential to bleed, especially depending on the paper it's printed on, which will influence your choice. You may need a font that has designed ink traps (take a look at Matthew Carter's TED talk, he discusses ink traps around 6:30)

If it's a digital manual you have more options. If you like the look of Garamond, you may want to try adjusting the size of the type to more match the height of Arial. For example: the company I work for uses a serif and non-serif, and our non-serif standard is 0.5 pt smaller than it's serif counterpart to achieve the same heights.

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