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Making the Text Fit the Column
(and vice versa)

This particular issue can be a thorny one, especially since readers can't alter the column widths and font sizes of PDFs you send them.

Acrobat Reader has three useful viewing modes: Fit Page (Figure 4), in which the entire page is sized to fit within the Reader window; Fit Width (Figure 5), in which the page is sized so that the width of the page fits snugly in the Reader window; and Fit Visible (Figure 6), in which only the visible portions of the page are fit into the width of the Reader window.

Figure 4  Fit Page view.

Figure 5  Fit Width view.

Figure 6  Fit Visible view.

All of these modes change the size of the page, but the readability of the text on the page depends on how much type there is per line. Generally, the less type per line, the more readable the text is. The trick is to hold the reader's attention and focus from one line to the next. If lines are too long, the reader may skip a line or read a line twice, causing him or her to pause and have to reread the lines in order to make sense of the text.

In addition, if you've set up articles in your document, a reader viewing those articles will see them expand to the full width of the Reader window; if the lines of text contain too many characters, it's quite easy to become disoriented.

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