from what I read 75-80 characters per line should be the optimal for the human eye to scan. Leslie Lamport makes a mention about this: https://haroldpboas.gitlab.io/courses/math696/LaTeX-customizing-page-layout.html

I'm currently using the Charis SIL font at 11pt and 1.5" left and right margins. A4 paper.

Page 1:

enter image description here

Page 2:

enter image description here

I'm not sure how tall should be my top and bottom margins. Is there any rule to follow on how many lines per page should be optimal? At the moment I use 1" top and bottom margins, but as you can notice there are many lines on the second page.

  • Please show the tex code you used to create the screenshots ...
    – Mensch
    Sep 4, 2022 at 12:44
  • Since you seem to know how to set the spaces, this is not really a TeX question. Anyways, this document by P. Wilson is a nice read on the subject of laying out the page.
    – mickep
    Sep 4, 2022 at 13:05
  • Thank you. The author seems to use quite large headers and footers in his PDF. Sep 4, 2022 at 14:11
  • 1
    The answer will probably be: "comfortable", like shoes. It will depend. I usually zoom (standard 14pt) and minimize scrolling.
    – Cicada
    Sep 4, 2022 at 16:26
  • @mickep Do you have any idea what font the author uses in his book? It looks very nice. Sep 4, 2022 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


I don't think that there are any rules regarding the optimal number of lines per page. One suggestion (from Mitchell & Wightman "Book Typgography" ISBN 0 948021 66 7) is between 32 and 38 lines. However the actual page size, the size of the font, the readership, etc., will all have an effect. A book for young children will have fewer lines per page than one describing scientific theories.

Go with what you thinks looks good for your publication.

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