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Ideal column width for paragraphs online

We’ve always been told that lines of text should not be longer than 55 - 65 characters or thereabouts but I'm also finding studies saying longer lines of 90 characters or more is better on the web. Now I have no idea what to do. Is a long line of text really better on the web, or should I stick with a shorter line.

http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/72/LineLength.asp

marked as duplicate by dnbrv, JonW Jun 29 '12 at 16:56

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  • 55-75 characters is the width of the text. "Long text" refers to vertical size. – dnbrv Jun 29 '12 at 16:21
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    There is no absolute rule other than 'really long and really short' line lengths can be awkward. There's also lots of variables to consider (typeface, type size, leading, color, length of copy, margins, page layout, etc.) – DA01 Jun 29 '12 at 16:34
  • I'm not necessarily looking for a absolute rule, I'm trying to decide if one is generally better then the other for readying large blocks of body copy. – Jared Christensen Jun 29 '12 at 16:43
  • The idea is that people do not like to read or scan across a long horizontal line of text. That's why newspapers print their text in columns. As to how many characters, DA01 listed what to consider in his comment. – Gilbert Le Blanc Jul 2 '12 at 19:40

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