I asked a similar question in TeX.SE and I am not 100% happy with the answers. I find it strange that there's no standard formula that yields the "right" font size given the page's size. Therefore, I'm going one level above --- leaving the practical TeX world --- and try to find a general answer. I know that it is desired to have 65 +/- 15 characters per line. Is the only way to achieve this is to iteratively improve the document?

I hope that my question makes sense...

  • There is no standard formula, if there were youd have much more luck on TeX.SE than GD.SE. Wellcome anyway. This isnt mathematics.
    – joojaa
    Jan 10, 2015 at 21:59
  • Fonts are different, that's why there is no exact rule.
    – p2or
    Jan 10, 2015 at 22:00
  • 1
    Why would you need iterations to achieve approximately 65 characters per line? The average width of a character for a given font and fontsize is known, so you just need to set your text area to 65 times that width.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jan 10, 2015 at 22:25
  • 1
    Answers at Tex.se seem valid to me. Especially the one marked correct. Cross-posting will likely not result in better answers.
    – Scott
    Jan 10, 2015 at 23:20

1 Answer 1


It depends on a lot of variables including the context in which the text is being used and with the message that one wants to communicate which also ties into which typeface/font is selected. Generally most body text falls between 10 to 14 pt. Ultimately though there is no "perfect" font size for a given page - as Robert Bringhurst notes in his seminal book, "The Elements of Typographic Style", "Principle 1.1.1: Typography exists to honor the content." Therefore the font choice, size, leading, and lineheight choices should be based on the content and the desired impression/message you wish to communicate.

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