Well, for the good of mankind (we're talking about nuclear safety here :o) ), I 
close this topic.
Thank you all for the valuable piece of information you provided me with!
Cheers,
Mathieu.

Subject: RE: Standard font for technical documentation
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 10:44:59 -0400
From: rg...@interactivesupercomputing.com
To: art.campbell at gmail.com; bobitch at hotmail.com
CC: framers at lists.frameusers.com



Re: Standard font for technical documentation




For printed books the prevailing wisdom and studies show that serif font is 
easier to read.  On the other hand, for display devices (electronic viewing) 
the prevailing studies and wisdom say that non-serif font is easier for humans 
to decode.  Look at the books on your shelf.  Check how many of these books 
have arial or helvetica font for the body text.  The number should be few or 
zero.  Now look at your copy machine user interface or your cell phone --these 
devices normally do use helvetica, arial, or verdana (san-serif font). 

Most tech docs tend to favor the printed media wisdom (serif font for body 
text) and use non serif for headings because they stand out.  Aside from 
following the the prevailing wisdom, this combination has always looked good to 
me. 

There have been numerous studies in Human Computer Interaction (long before 
Google or Microsoft ever existed) they reveal that:
- Non serif fonts are easier read on display devices
- Using more than five typefaces (where color, weight, and italics all count as 
a new typeface) for a particular display increases human processing time.


Art is right.  This topic can create a fair amount of pointless and lively 
"bike-shed-phenomenon-like" discussion.  So, be prepared for it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Avoid_Parkinson's_Bicycle_Shed_Effect

Reid





From: framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com on behalf of Art Campbell
Sent: Mon 7/20/2009 8:22 AM
To: mathieu jacquet
Cc: framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: Re: Standard font for technical documentation



I think it depends on the application, how the documents are
delivered, and what the company's stanard fonts (part of the corporate
"look," or branding, are).

The other thing you should know is that for some reason, picking fonts
amounts to a religious war with odd fervor among the participants. So
you're unlikely to get one good answer.

If I were you, I'd start with Adobe's Type Primer
http://www.adobe.com/education/pdf/type_primer.pdf

For material that will be printed or delivered via PDF and likely to
be printed by the customer, I usually use a serif body font and serif
heads. The one I'm working in now uses Palatino and Avant Garde. If
the material will only be on-screen and/or web, I'd go with serif
fonts for both body and heads, and I'd pick one that was designed for
on-screen display -- very few are, or were. Verdana is one of them.
Arial is not.... Most type foundries today will have a few.

If you want more detail, on why, Google "font readability research"

Cheers,
Art

Art Campbell
               art.campbell at gmail.com
  "... In my opinion, there's nothing in this world beats a '52
Vincent and a redheaded girl." -- Richard Thompson
                                                      No disclaimers apply.
                                                               DoD 358



On Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 2:57 AM, mathieu jacquet<bobitch at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Dear all,
> is there any "standard font" for writing Getting Started guides, User Manuals 
> and other technical documents? Which one do you personnally use? Do you find 
> that some fonts offer a better "reading quality" than others?
> Thank you very much in anticipation.
> Yours sincerely,
> Mathieu.
>
>
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