Here are some quick facts on paragraph readability for websites or screen displays: The ideal length for a paragraph is about 12 words (between 10 and 15 words) or 66 characters (between 45 and 65 characters) which in CSS code would be something around 25-35em. The ideal line height is between 1.33em and 1.66em wider the lines are, specially if over 30em, the more line height you need to apply to keep the text as legible as possible.
For multiple column to work, the average length of lines should be decreased to about 40 to 50 characters.
Find below a list of 50 word paragraphs that test the Web CSS typography and legibility through different variations. You can edit the CSS yourself if you have a modern browser that can support “contenteditable” HTML5 feature.
Normal sized sans-serif in wide spaced paragraphs
Trebuchet MS 14px, 30em width, 1.66em line height
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Big sized sans-serif
Myriad Pro 16px, 25em width, 1.66em line height
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Serif text with less line height
Georgia 15px, 25em width, 1.5em line height
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Small sans-serif with spaced tracking
Microsoft Sans Serif 12px, 28em width, 1.66em line height, 1px tracking and yellowish background
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Big sans-serif with narrow lines, shorter line heights and closer letters
Arial 17px, 20em width, 1.33em line height, text indent of 1em and tracking of -1px
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