Although it is traditional
to have pages of small text in reports which stretches from
margin to margin, long lines are not ideal and handouts and
instructions will be a lot clearer if the line length is restricted
to about 4 inches. This is the width that the human eye can
read easily with minimal movement and you should certainly
minimise the head movement needed when reading your paragraphs.
Too narrow lines of text will tend to make text jerky and
longer words will demand new lines which can leave odd spacing.
Increasing font size can
permit slightly longer lines as the text can be read from
further away but most people tend not to move much!
One simple solution for
text to be printed is to increase the margins in Word. It’s
very simple. Just use File|Page Setup and select the Margins
tab. In there change the default settings. For an A4 page
that is about 21cm or 8” wide, left and right margins
of 5cm or 2” will work nicely.
Another method is to use columns.
Existing text can be put into columns by selecting it all
and using Format|Columns and clicking on the 2-column picture
(and tick the equal width box if necessary). Columns can be
a bit awkward to control sometimes and this method won’t
change the way text is displayed on a web version of your
document. It can be a quick and effective solution however,
especially with well positioned images in the text.