Some Typographic Rules to Remember
adapted from The Mac Is Not a Typewriter by Robin Williams
One space between sentences.
Use only one space after periods, colons, exclamation points, question marks—any punctuation that separates two sentences.
“Curly” quotes and apostrophes.
Use real quotation marks and apostrophes—never those grotesque generic marks that actually symbolize inch or foot marks: use “and” — not “and”. Typewriter quotation marks are the single most visible sign of unprofessional type.
Never use two hyphens instead of a dash. Use hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes appropriately.
Hyphen: – En dash: – Em dash —
Don’t underline. Underlining is for typewriters; italic is for professional text.
Very rarely (almost never) use all capital letters. Text set in all caps is much harder to read.
Adjust the space between letters according to your sensitive visual perception— optical kerning.
Tabs & Indents.
Use those tabs and first-line indents regularly. NEVER use the space bar to align text.
Either indent the first line of paragraphs or add extra space between them—not both.
Widows & Orphans.
Never leave widows and orphans bereft on the page.
Widow: when a paragraph ends and leaves fewer than seven characters (not words) on the last line.
Orphan: when the last line of a paragraph won’t fit at the bottom of a column and must end itself at the top of the next column.
Hyphenations & line breaks.
Avoid more than two hyphenations in a row.
Avoid too many hyphenations in any paragraph.
Avoid stupid hyphenations.
Never hyphenate a heading.
Break lines sensibly.
Leading, or linespacing.
Keep the linespacing consistent.
Justify text only if the line is long enough to prevent awkward and inconsistent
Serif & sans serif.
Serif type is more readable and is best for text; sans serif type is more legible and is best used for headlines.
Unless you have a background in design and typography, never combine more than two typefaces on the same page. Never combine two serif fonts on the same page, and never combine two sans serif fonts on the same page.