Data Book


2.11 Character size and Spacing

There are two basic elements for character layout for text. One is character size and the other is line spacing.

rem-1: Spacing between characters is not as significant as line spacing or character size.

2.11.1 Character size (CHARACTER SIZE)

There are three measurement systems available for font size.

Didot point (European size) (D)

Pica point (English-American type) (P)

Local Size (ex. in Japan) (L)

Also, in some countries, there are popular range of character size. 9-12 Pica points are usually considered as normal sizes because of their popularity (in US). A review was done to see if there are any specific preferences other than 9-12.

Measurement system Popular size
China CNA P, L note-1 no specificrequirement
Hong Kong HKG P no specific requirement
India IND P no specific requirement
Indonesia INA D no specific requirement
Japan JPN P, L no specific requirement
Korea KOR P, L no specific requirement
Malaysia MAS no specific requirement
Philippines PHI D no specific requirement
Singapore SIN P 12 point
Thailand THI P no specific requirement


note-1: Chinese unit: Size 1 号 =44K, 2 号 =32K, 4 号 =38K, 5 号 =35K
rem-1: 10 Pica point = 9.35 Didot point= 3.514 mm = 0,1383 inch
10 Didot point = 10.699 Pica point = 3,759 mm = 0.1480 inch
rem-2: See annex E for point size conversion
rem-3: Related standard: JIS Z 8305, KS A 0201
rem-4: IEC " Guidance for Conveners of Working Group and Project Leaders " specifies Helvetica 8,10 and 12 points for IEC standards. (but, ISO/IEC directives part-3 not specifis any)

Clause hedders: Helvetica Bold 10/12 point, Sub-clause hedders: Helvetica 12/10 point, Normal paragraphs: Helvetica 10/12 point, Note and footnote: Helvetica 8/10 point.

2.11.2 Line spacing (CHARACTER SIZE)

Requirements for line spacing depends on the writing system. Usually, there are no special requirements other than using the US origin standard spacing. But some script(s), such as Thai, needs special consideration on line spacing.

China CNA no special requirement
Hong Kong HKG no special requirement
India IND no special requirement
Indonesia INA no special requirement
Japan JPN no special requirement
Korea KOR no special requirement
Malaysia MAS no special requirement
Philippines PHI no special requirement
Singapore SIN no special requirement
Thailand THI Line spacing of Thai documents need to be larger than other scripts. Usually, itis 1.5 lines or double spaced. Single-space is not so popular because a Thai line is being used by four horizontal levels of characters.

rem-1: Related standard: ISO 4882


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