Do you have a favourite font for on-screen work? Or do certain fonts hurt your eyes the minute you open the file?
I’ve been working on a short translation project consisting of two interview transcripts of about 600 words each. Both of the source texts were in Arial 12-point, justified, without a single paragraph break. It made me feel dizzy just to look at them. The first thing I did, before even thinking about paragraph breaks, was to change them to Verdana, my preferred font for on-screen work.
We had a Twitter conversation about this. Times New Roman got a definite thumbs-down and Arial more nays than yays, while views on Verdana were about equally balanced. Tahoma also got a good review. Here’s a comparison (all 12-point):
A proofreading tip
Karen Tkaczyk (aka @ChemXlator) offered a useful tip: if you change the font for proofreading, you’ll pick up different aspects of your text that you wouldn’t otherwise have noticed. She says it works both on-screen and, her preferred method, on paper.
My own proofreading method is to print out the text and read it on paper, but for times when you don’t have access to a printer changing the font sounds like a good idea. And I’ll definitely try changing the font next time I proofread on paper.
Gillian Hargreaves (@ghargreaves) also prints out for the final check. She uses a CAT tool (memoQ, default font Tahoma) on-screen and prints out in the source text font – so again, a change of font for the final read-through.
What about you? What are your favourite/least favourite fonts for on-screen work? Or do you have any proofreading tips to share?
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By Marian Dougan