I often have very restricted space when developing reports and dashboards because that users. I usually use Arial, or Arial Narrow, however UI isn"t mine area the expertise, for this reason I want to know, just how do you determine an optimal font for fitting the most readable message in the the smallest space?

Here is an example: keep in mental this is just an example, together there are many times that room is limited, such as when you need to squeeze a million columns into a report, etc.

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It really counts on a many of factors such together what is the frequency of details characters the you expect and also what fonts are accessible to you.

I go a rudimentary by producing a program that iterated through all of the obtainable fonts I had actually installed ~ above my home windows box at the time and also printed a heat containing every printable ascii personality on come the display screen in each of these font"s. I repetitive the test too with different font sizes.

The outcomes as i recall lock were that Segoe UI and Tahoma to be the best with respect to room utilization and readability because that UI purposes at 10pt and also 9pt sizes. In the quick term we worked out on Tahoma because Segoe UI isn"t freely accessible for operating systems listed below Windows Vista. If you don"t have to support windows XP or older an windows OS or other a non home windows OS then ns would absolutely go through Segoe UI otherwise I would go through Tahoma if it"s available and if all else fails try Verdana. Check out this list for a lineup of obtainable Windows fonts and information about the best of usage of each.

Keep in mind also that starting with windows Vista ns believe, Microsoft now recommends making use of a 9pt font instead of a 10pt font for UI aspects since the Sego UI font displays much clearer than other fonts at low resolutions specifically on level panel displays.

Depending on what platform you are occurring for, friend may likewise want come look at editing and enhancing font metrics if possible. In .NET through WPF ns recall there being rather a little of means to modify how the text is rendered to allow for condensing the room between characters and also to make the separation, personal, instance characters more narrow. Using this form of method you can stick with everything font girlfriend like and also just tweak it"s rendering to gain the outcomes you need.

With regard come your specific example graph the you provided: for this details graph I would recommend pivoting it so the text most likely to be check out is horizontal for an ext natural reading. Ns would also place the number so the it is inside the every bar that the bar graph once it will certainly fit v a shade that stands out against whatever background shade is there hence increasing the space for various other things such as the labels. Laying out the bar graph as rows would certainly make it simpler to check out and additionally to print on multiple pages if necessary. If a row layout is not feasible then creating a separate crucial for every item in the graph would most likely be reasonable and also that way each bar can be location closer together as well to conserve space. The vital would permit each bar to be labeled such as A, B, C... Or 01, 02, 03... For example and the an essential (layed out in rows what else) would certainly give an ext detailed information around each.

Remember, a chart or diagram is mainly valuable for getting quick visual information. If it i do not care too much of a burden to the user/reader her probably ideal off simplifying it, consolidating several of the details that the chart, or just provide an ext raw data in a much more tabular form.

Here is a straightforward listing showing Arial, Segoe UI, and also Tahoma fonts at assorted sizes. An alert that the relative an are taken increase by every font is different at different point sizes.

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Update: I"ve added another comparison below which shows a much more complete listing of common characters including capital and also lower situation letters in each of the aforementioned fonts with the enhancement of Verdana and MS Sans Serif (default UI font in Windows prior to Windows 2000). Unfortunately and in an answer to bobsoap"s referral for using Verdana, that is pretty clear the Verdana is around the worst contrasted to the other fonts in ~ 9pt although keep in mind that this may not host true for other allude sizes. Additionally size isn"t necessarily constantly the most important detail, periodically it"s more important the a font is readable at tiny sizes 보다 whether the is an ext compact family member to another font.