Is there a reason other then the possibly historical accidental convention that we use lower-case everywhere instead of the much better UPPERCASE which increases READABILITY and uses the same amount of space on the screen? Seriously it is much easier to read. I can see no drawbacks.

  • 1
    Because it looks like you are SHOUTING.
    – Lg102
    Jun 1 '13 at 8:24
  • This isnt a duplicate, the other question asks about titles only, I am talking about ALL TEXT EVERYWHERE.
    Jun 1 '13 at 19:12
  • Your question makes a contention that is false and then asks for reasons to support your assertion. Please correct that and ask an open ended question. For reference, uppercase does not increase readability, it simply draws more attention to text.
    – JohnGB
    Jun 2 '13 at 5:31
  • @JohnGB "uppercase does not increase readability" Where did you get this idea? The first answer is wrong as noted in the comments.
    Jun 2 '13 at 12:06
  • @LOWERCASE There are lots of studies on this topic, just do a search (I feel lazy right now). For a demonstration, time yourself reading a short story all in uppercase, and then another equal length and complexity one in mixed case.
    – JohnGB
    Jun 2 '13 at 14:44

We normally do not read every single letter. Instead, our brain is very good in recognizing words by their outer shape, which is much faster than reading letter by letter. But this can only work for words with distinctive shapes. In lowercase words, the occurrence of letters like d, h, d and g, p, j lead to characteristic shapes.

word shapes in uppercase and lowercase

Image Source: http://www.personal.psu.edu/drs18/postershow/

For uppercase words the shape is always a rectangle without characteristic highs and lows. Therefore it is much slower to read. Moreover, its harder for the reader to hold his position in the text, since at first view every word looks the same. Personally I think that this would become a big issue for whole paragraphs written in uppercase.

There is a good article about this called The Science of Word Recognition and published by Microsoft as a guideline for designing interfaces.

Update: As mentioned in the comments, the word shape theory is controversial. A research at Cambridge University showed that the order or letters in a word, except the first and the last one, doesn't matter at all. Read the quote below to know what I mean.

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

This experiment shows that the static shape of a word isn't the important feature. Maybe it is the number of highs and lows in a word, who knows.

  • 1
    Actually, the outer shape theory has pretty much been disproved. See this article for a decent starting point. Current research suggests that we recognize the letters, and from that, the word. I think your point still stands since lower case letters themselves also have more contrasting features than their upper case counterparts.
    – Peter
    Jun 1 '13 at 13:18
  • @Peter I got your point. Some years ago an experiment was run, where in a text for each word the position of inner letters was mixed up. Only the first and the last letters were at their correct position. And this text was easily readable. Though without the first and the last letter at their positions, it became very hard. I guess how we recognize words is something in between the shape and the letters regardless of their order.
    – danijar
    Jun 1 '13 at 13:26
  • That sounds plausible.
    – Peter
    Jun 1 '13 at 13:31
  • Good answer. I'd also add that if everything is uppercase, confusion can result - it's no longer possible to distinguish proper nouns from other words, for instance.
    – Peter
    Jun 1 '13 at 14:17

Yes the readability increases. But writing in all caps on a paper (or anything, with a pen/pencil) is slower. Using small letters is much faster. So, the computers and all other similar electronic equipment usually use it.
Moreover, how will the user know about proper nouns or names. Finding were one sentence ends and the other starts is also difficult. It is also difficult to differentiate between acronyms and usual words when in all caps.
Also, using small can also add more style in some fonts. :)

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.