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Document Fonts – The Complete Guide

Download the PDFPeople looking over document fonts

The fonts you use play a big part in structuring communication. They can trigger action, attract attention, encourage a person to read more, etc. Successful brands pay a lot of attention to their fonts because they realize the impact it has on the brand. No wonder, enterprises need to choose the right document fonts to ensure effective communication.

Fonts in Documents

Most firms may not give much thought to the fonts they use in a document, but that is a mistake that can be compared to a singer not caring what instrument is used as they sing. Fonts add tone to a document and make communication clearer and more appealing. The fonts in documents can be compared to handwriting. You probably know someone whose handwriting is always a joy to read while another person’s handwriting can instantly put you off reading.

When choosing document fonts, we are mindful of the purpose of the communication. A children’s storybook will have fonts that trigger excitement while a business proposal would need to be easy to read.

Best Fonts for Documents

There are various types of documents and we cannot choose a single type as the best font for documents. Even documents as simple as letters may have various fonts for different types of letters. It is necessary that you always take into consideration what the document intends to achieve and then choose a font accordingly. At the same time, take note of the most commonly accepted font for such documents.

Let us consider some of the different uses of fonts:

Font for Legal Documents

It is not uncommon for legal practitioners to be more concerned about the content of their legal documents than the font they are using. This is why many of them will just leave Times New Roman as the default. According to a Thomson Reuters article, an experienced lawyer suggested that is the font judges are used to so they just leave it at that.

Well, that’s not exactly the best advice according to font specialists.

Your contracts and other legal documents need a better font for legal documents. This is because Times New Roman has a feel of apathy about it. You need a font that is professional and yet show some kind of authoritative feeling, which is what the next paras deal with.

Best Font for Legal Documents

The legal profession is a highly regulated industry, so there is no surprise that the American Supreme Court has guidelines on font. The Century family is the most favored style and 12 point type is almost mandatory. But not all documents are going to be submitted to the Supreme Court, so the best font for legal documents would be a professional style that is easy to read. Arial, Helvetica, and Century Schoolbook can serve the purpose best.

Best Font for Contracts

It is important that a contract is read in entirety, this means the best font for contracts has to be one that is easy to read continuously. At the same time, the font should be professional, portraying the seriousness of the content. San Serif fonts are recommended as the best choice. You can also borrow from the font used for legal documents since contracts are legal documents.

Contract Font Size Legal

It is also important to consider the size especially if the contract is to be read by someone with eye defects. Between 12 and 14 may do just fine according to professionals. You may notice a variation in the font size for legal documents but the best option would be to go with 14 which is easily read and will not seem too big either.

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Bold and regular fonts

Standard Font Size for Documents

Given that most fonts have varying appearance, you will realize that one font may be comfortably readable in a particular size while in another it may appear too small. The standard therefore can vary slightly. 12 is the most common standard but some documents fonts may require 14.

Best Font for Technical Documents

Reading technical documents may need more concentration than a contract. It is important therefore that the reader doesn’t have to worry about figuring out if that is an I or L. Experts recommend a mix of Serif and non-Serif fonts. For the headings, non-serif fonts like Arial and Helvetic are recommended and for the body, Serif fonts like Roman, Georgia, and New Times Roman can be used. For words or sections that need to be emphasized, italics will help make them stand out.

Best Font for Professional Documents

Large bodies of text that make up most professional documents need to be easy to scan as well as present a more structured document. Serif fonts fit the bill in this case. Business proposals, reports, and professional letters can use Serif fonts like Times New Roman and Garamond. Some users who want to be a bit different from the prime fonts for professional documents choose Baskerville.

The size of the fonts takes into consideration readability as well as space. If a document may be printed, the size maybe 12 while digital documents need to be not more than 14. The best font size for professional documents allows readers to read with ease and doesn’t give the impression of a raised tone.

Best Font for Official Documents

Whether you’re a job applicant writing a resume of an administrator drafting a memo to all staff, official documents need to conform to certain guidelines. Among these is choosing the right font for official documents. Calibri is a common font that makes it a big contender for the best font for official documents. Most offices use it because it is the default on their computer, but it is also recommended for official use.

Other official fonts include Times New Roman, Cambria, Georgia, Garamond, and Didot which are all Sans serif or Serif fonts.

Best Font for Word Document

For a long time, the default font for Word was Times New Roman but that has since been replaced by Calibri. This has a modern look to it and still maintains the readability that is important for most documents. You can however change your font setting to a font that suits the kind of documents you create often. It is advisable to choose from standard font for documents which include Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana.

Best Font for Business Letters

The recipient of the business letter may determine whether you use Times New Roman or Arial. More formal recipients would expect Times New Roman font with the standard font size for letters as 12, however, a modern business with a relaxed outlook would still consider your letter appropriately styled with Arial font.

Some other options that can be the best fonts for business letters are Calibri, Helvetica, and Verdana. Sometimes you may consider the business you are writing to when you choose the font. A letter to a legal firm may be best styled with what would be considered the official font for legal documents.

Font Used in Bank Statements

The font used in bank statement is not one you will find in Microsoft Word. It is a slightly edited typewriter font called AOE. You may notice how unique the fonts are and some people say the sight of it triggers the thought of finances. Bank Statement AOE can be purchased online if the software you purchase doesn’t come with it.

Person signing a document

Best Font for Printed Documents

As much as the paperless movement has gathered steam, it is still necessary to print certain documents. Flyers, brochures as well as contracts may need to be printed. To ensure that the print job doesn’t end up being a waste of paper, the font needs to be legible. Three fonts are common for printed documents and these are: Verdana, Century Gothic, and Helvetica. When choosing the best font for printed documents, you can choose from any of the above.

While you choose the font for your documents, you should also consider your brand. Many organizations choose to take up a unique font that will identify all their documents. However, be sure that the font you choose is available to all computers or always send the documents as PDF to preserve the formatting.

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Tags Start & End

Tags Can Start & End Anywhere

Appendix B

.NET code for multi-page image output

Appendix A

Java code for multi-page image output

Data Bin Search

The Data Bin can now be searched to find a table, column, node or other piece of data without scrolling through it all.

Shrink to Fit

This will shrink the contents of a cell until it fits the defined cell size.

Time Zone Conversion

A new Windward macro has been added to help with converting dates and times from UTC time to the local time zone.

Image Output Format

New image output formats added.

PostScript Output Format

PostScript, commonly used with printers and printing companies, has been added as an additional output format.

New and Improved Datasets (Designer, Java Engine, .NET Engine)

Datasets have been re-written from scratch to be more powerful and easier to use.

Stored Procedure Wizard (Designer)

This works for all tag types that are connected to a SQL-based data source (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or DB2).

Boolean Conditional Wizard (Designer)

Before, conditional statements could only be written manually. Now they can also be built using our intuitive Wizard interface.

Reorganized Ribbon

The ribbon menus have been re-organized and consolidated to improve the report design workflow.

XPath 2.0 as Data Source

Adds various capabilities such as inequalities,descending sort, joins, and other functions.

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SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

  • The look and feel was improved
  • Stored Procedure Wizard
  • Improved Exceptions pane

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Tag Editor/Tag Selector

Added a Query tab as a field for typing or pasting in a select statement

  • Color Coding of Keywords
  • TypeAhead
  • Evaluate is now "Preview"

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Rename a Datasource

All tags using that Data source will be automatically updated with that name.

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Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

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Tag Tree

Displays of all the tags in the template, structured as they are placed in the template. This provides a simple & intuitive way to see the structure of your template. Also provides the capability to go to any tag and/or see the properties of any tag.

Added Javelin into the RESTful Engine

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Support for Google Application Engine Integration

The ability to integrate the Windward Engine into Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications dubbed Google Applications Engine (GAE).

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Additional Refinement for HTML Output

  • Improved indentation for ordered and unordered lists
  • Better handling of template header and footer images
  • Better handling for background images and colors

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Redesigned PDF Output Support

This new  integration will allow for processing of complex scripts and bi-directional  text such as Arabic.  Your PDF output  will be much tighter and more closely match your template, and we’ll be able  to respond rapidly to PDF requests and fixes.

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PowerPoint Support

Includes support for new ForEach and slide break handling, table header row repeat across slide breaks, and native Microsoft support for charts and images.

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Tags are Color Coded

Tags are color coded in the template by type, making it easy to visually identify them.

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Increased Performance

Version 13’s core code has been reworked and optimized to offer a reduced memory footprint, faster PDF generation and full documentation of supported features and limitations in the specifications for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

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Advanced Image Properties

Documents can include advanced Word image properties such as shadows, borders, and styles.

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Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

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Version 13 New Data Sources

Windward now works with a slew of new datasources: MongoDB, JSON, Cassandra, OData, Salesforce.com

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Generate Code

The Generate Code tool in the designer allows you to open an existing template and, with a click of a button, automatically create a window with the code needed to run your current template with all data sources and variables. Simply copy this code and paste into your application's code in the appropriate place. You now have Windward integrated into your application.

You only need to do this once. You do not do this for each template. Instead, where it has explicit files for the template and output, change that to parameters you pass to this code. Same for the parameters passed to Windward. This example uses explicit values to show you what to substitute in where.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

Any pivot tables in an XLSX template are carried over to the XLSX output. The ranges in the pivot ranges are adjusted to match the generated output. So your final XLSX will have pivot tables set as expected in the generated file.

This makes creating an XLSX workbook with pivot tables trivial.

Imported Template Can be Set to Match the Parent Styles

In an imported sub-template, if its properties for a style (ex. Normal) differ from the parent template's properties for the style, the use in the sub-template can be set to either use the properties in the sub-template, or the properties in the parent.

You set to retain when you don't want the child template's styling to change when imported. You set to use the parent when you want the styling of the imported template to match the styling in the parent.

Any explicit styling is always retained. This only impacts styling set by styles.

Tags can be Placed in Text Boxes

Tags can be placed in text boxes. Including linked text boxes. This gives you the ability to set the text in a textbox from your data.

Tags can be Placed in Shapes & Smart Art

Tags can be placed in shapes & smart art. This gives you the ability to set the text in a shape from your data.

HTML Output Supports Embedded Images

When generating HTML output, the engine can either write bitmaps as distinct files the generate HTML references, or it can embed the images in the HTML providing a single file for the output.

Footnotes & Endnotes can Have Tags

You can place tags in pretty much any part of a template, including in footnotes & endnotes.

Document Locking Supported in DOCX & XLSX

Any parts of a DOCX or XLSX (PowerPoint does not support this) file that are locked in the template, will be locked the same in the output.

Specify Font Substitution

If a font used in the template does not exist on the server generating a report, the font to substitute can be specified.
In addition, if a glyph to be rendered does not exist in the font specified, you can specify the replacement font. This can be set distinctly for European, Bi-Directional, and Far East fonts.

Process Multiple Datasources Simultaneously

If you need this - it's essential. And if you don't need it, it's irrelevant.

Windward enables you to build a document by applying multiple datasources to the template simultaneously. When Windward is merging the data into a template, it processes the template by handling each tag in order, and each tag pulls from different datasources. (As opposed to processing all of one datasource, then processing the next.)

This allows the select tag to use data from another datasource in its select. For example, if you are pulling customer information from one data source, you can then pull data from the sales datasource using the customer ID of the customer presently processing to pull the sales information for that customer. If you're interested in patching together your data from multiple datasources, read this post on our blog.

Genesis Abel

Written by:_
Genesis Abel

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