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Is This the Smallest Legible Font? Try Reading It

If you're like me and stare at a computer screen for at least 10 hours of the day, a small font is something of a pet peeve. Why have the lettering so tiny when bigger and clearer is so much easier on tired eyes?

Still, though I hate small typeface, I am intrigued by what's supposedly the smallest legible font. Designed by NYU computer science professor Ken Perlin, the tiny type enables you to fit an entire page onto a QVGA (320×240) display.

"I wanted to design the smallest screen font that would actually be readable. My design assumes that screen pixels are horizontal striped as RGBRGB, as are most LCD screens these days," said Perlin, adding that he's noticed Microsoft's smallest screen fonts are unreadable, whereas their smallest readable screen fonts are way bigger than necessary."

The image below shows the first 500 words of the American Declaration of Independence. Can you read it?

Source: Perlin (NYU) via MAKE

  • compton
    Yes I can. Why anyone would want to is another matter.

    Yay progress.

    Reply
  • beznet
    It hurts my head using this crt, Im sure it would be easier on the eyes with an LCD.
    Reply
  • Pyroflea
    It hurts my eyes, but it's doable. To think, this is what our scholars are spending their time doing. *Sigh*.
    Reply
  • JasonAkkerman
    Yes I can.... Windows Key + U > Start Magnifier

    Even then it's hard to read.
    Reply
  • onzfeat
    ctrl+scroll no problem
    Reply
  • Coming soon to a EULA near you... lol
    Reply
  • calmstateofmind
    onzfeatctrl+scroll no problem

    Was just about to say the exact same thing. Lol.
    Reply
  • gweilo8888
    Just barely, with loads of discomfort, and I'm on a 24", 1,920 x 1,200 pixel, properly calibrated display and have good uncorrected eyesight.
    Reply
  • +++ with OPERA...
    Reply
  • scook9
    gweilo8888Just barely, with loads of discomfort, and I'm on a 24", 1,920 x 1,200 pixel, properly calibrated display and have good uncorrected eyesight.In the same boat as you, it is readable....but WHY!
    Reply