Recommended font for technical documentation

2019-04-19 Speaking No comment

"As the saying goes, the type is a beautiful set of letters, not a set of beautiful letters." – Matthew Carter. I happened to agree with Carter because we didn't choose a font for each letter, we chose the font for all the letters. Choosing a font is the most important part of the formatting and design technical documentation. In my opinion, the font shows your understanding and understanding of the documentation presented by the reader. For technical documentation, the font should show you a sober, healthy, and neat personality. Bradley, Ravie, Harrington and other fonts show your fun and are not suitable for technical documentation.

Recommended font:

The most suitable font for technical documentation is the SANS SERIF and SERIF groups. SANS SERIF fonts include Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma and Verdana. SERIF fonts include Times Roman, Times New Roman, Georgia, and Bookman.


The technical definition of the SERIF term is "a font with a small stroke at the end of each character's main stroke." In simple languages, SERIF fonts have feet at the end of each letter. According to some researchers, it makes reading easier.

Like SANS SERIF, SANS means NO or NON in French. Because the foot is recognized by the SERIF font, SANS SERIF means no font for the foot. It is technically defined as "a font without serifs [small strokes at the end of each character's main stroke]."


The most important benefit of using these fonts is that they are readable. SERIFS is believed to improve the reader's reading experience and readers' readability [Arditi, Cho 2005]. Because of their feet, the reader can distinguish the end of the set of letters. The industry uses SERIFS as a user manual, online help, because even small sizes are readable. Although NON SERIFS was supposed to be used for online content and publishing a few years ago, it is now agreed that both are ideal for online reading and printing. Bernard [2003] compared SERIFS and SANS SERIFS with Times New Roman and Arial in his research. The result is different in font size, but both are readable.

This is also the usual practice of writers, they format and design their files, we keep Arial font 12 and Times New Roman 10, both of which are readable. Technical documentation contains code, definitions, descriptions, diagrams, etc., so writing text in SERIFS and SANS SERIFS can improve reading speed and better track text. According to www.unc.edu, in a recent study, Arditi and Cho evaluated the use of SERIFS and SANS SERIFS in terms of speed, letter recognition and continuous reading. There are negligible differences between the two in these areas.

A large percentage of users use Microsoft Windows as their operating system. The fonts provided by Microsoft Office are fonts that are automatically installed with the OS. Therefore, when writing in Microsoft Office documents or even using Adobe printers for PDF conversion; use SERIFS and SANS SERIFS. When we write technical documentation, it is likely to be converted in PDF format or published as a web page/document.

Recommended styles for SERIFS and SANS SERIFS

  1. Use SANS SERIFS as the title and chapter
  2. Use SERIFS for content, titles and text
  3. Select a font with spaces between letters
  4. Chicago handmade style
  5. MLA style
  6. APA style
  7. They work best in italics because they retain outstanding functionality and are still readable. We need to use italics in technical documentation, such as functions, functions, tabs or web pages.
  8. Use 2-3 fonts in one document, my favorite is Times New Roman, Arial and Verdana
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