All caps are the old, typewriter way of doing titles. It is used to
make text stand out.
It is harder to read than regular text, so use it only in short
phrases. IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF IT, IT BECOMES HARD TO READ. CERTAIN
FONTS MAKE ALL CAPS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO READ.
Use all caps when you want to keep the tops and/or bottoms of the
text even. All caps looks like a rectangle. Lower case text rises
All caps looks more formal than lowercase.
To make all caps more readable, try one of the following:
Make the first letters of the words in all caps larger.
Ex: JEMEZ VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL vs. JEMEZ VALLEY
Increase the space between the letters. The space between the
letters is technically called the kerning, but it may also be
referred to as character spacing. In word processing, you can
change this in your font control panel. Web pages cannot adjust
the kerning, so you don't see and example here.
Bold is now the most common and simplest way to make text stand out.
It is easy to read and makes the text stand out better than all caps.
Tip: if you use it too much, it looses its effectiveness.
Italics are another old typewriter way of making text different. It
has lost most of its use with word processing, but still has its purpose.
Use italics when you want words to have different emphasis, but
not to stand out. Ex: The wind blew against the trailer crash,
Of course use it properly with citations, or the librarians will
Use script fonts instead of italics to make things cursive or fancy,
they look better.
If you want text and especially titles to stand out make the text size
Use it in combination with bold to really make text stand out.
Make the most important things in a document largest, the least
important things smallest.
Be consistent across your document or web pages. Make all the titles
of the same importance across a document the same size.
As with bold, if you overuse it, it looses its importance and can
make things harder to read.
Web pages can only change size in a limited way.
Another useful way to make text stand out is to change the font.
Choose a font that matches the mood or meaning of the words.
Use a font change to signify that the meaning of text has changed.Newspapers
do this well. News all has one font, classifieds another, advertisements
another, editorials another.
As with size, keep all the titles of the same importance and significance
across a document the same font.
Rule of thumb: don't use more than 4 fonts on a page. The text may
become hard to read if you keep changing the font.
All caps, with the first letter larger, are a good way to make text
Use a script font instead of italics to make text fancy.
Web pages handle fonts differently. The font I use on my computer
may not be the same on another computer. Thus, fonts often change
on web pages. Use font changes sparingly.
Underlining and Lines
Underlining is another typewriter technique that has lost much of its
purpose in word processing. It ,too, was used to make text stand out,
but other techniques in word processing are better
Use underlining, possibly in combination with other techniques,
to signify deadlines or urgency. Ex: The paper is due May 23rd.
I use underlining and the underlining key (shift-dash) as a quick
and dirty way to give lines for signatures, etc. Ex: Write your name:
Use underlining to underline text, don't use it for section breaks.
Use lines to signify section breaks. In word processing, lines are
easy to use and have much more flexibility than underlines. I can
change the color, thickness, dash, arrowhead, direction and placement
of lines much easier than underlines.
Again, be consistent with lines for section breaks. Use the same
lines, in the same way, in the same locations (especially in newspapers)
across all pages.
Lines in web pages are limited. The line just gets put across the
whole page and you cannot modify it. They are still useful for section
Use text color similar to using bold and font changes. Use it to make
text stand out or to signify changes in meaning.
Text color can also really enhance the look of a document.
Use text color more for titles than for regular text.
Some colors are very hard to read on a white background, especially
Color change is worthless if you are printing to a black and white
printer. It may even mess your document up because it will change
the colored text to shades of gray.
If you are printing the document, make sure to print proof the document
first. The colors on the screen often do not match exactly to the
color from the printer. How the colors read on the screen is often
different than how they will read on paper.
If you are looking for high quality color matching and color printing
quality, you need to use professional printing. It is really expensive,
much more than we can afford here at school. Be consistent across
your document with color changes.
Use it sparingly. Too much color changing on a page can make things
difficult to read and looses its emphasis.
Be careful when changing text color to white. It will disappear
on a white background or a white sheet of paper.
Since fonts don't work that well in web pages, color changes are
used more often in web pages.
Highlighting is another way to get text to stand out. It is a new thing
to word processing.
Use the highlighting tool in the formatting toolbar to do it.
Use it like a regular pen highlighter, sparingly. If you highlight
half the page, what's the point in highlighting?
Make sure the text is still readable within the highlight.
Avoid using different color text and highlighting. The techniques
White text in a gray highlight may be easier to read than black
text in a gray highlight.
Be careful when printing. If printing to a black and white printer,
only use gray highlights. Color highlights will get converted to gray
and may make your highlights unreadable. When color printing, proof
the document to make sure the highlights are readable.