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Chapter 7. Space Inside Boxes > Using the Line-Height Property

Using the Line-Height Property

The line height has a large effect on the character and the readability of text. Specifying a line height is often not just a matter of plugging in a standard value. Many factors go into deciding how large or small a line height should be for a given situation. These factors include the font’s size, its appearance (e.g., fancy versus plain), its x-height, the lengths of its ascenders and descenders, and the length of the line of text.

For example, large line heights are sometimes used in advertisements, where a profoundly modern look is called for, even if the result reduces readability. In comparison, titles, which are typically a larger font and usually short in length, often look better with a smaller line height. A font with relatively long ascenders and a small x-height introduces a lot of visual space between lines, so you can use a smaller line height. In contrast, relatively short ascenders and large x-height can seem to reduce the visual space between lines. Thus, you can use a larger line height.


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