May 2003
Volume 44, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2003
Font Effect on Reading is Explained by Not Only Character Width but also Stroke Width
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Y. Kuroda
    Communication, Tokyo Womans Christian Univ, Suginami-Ku, Japan
  • K. Oda
    Communication, Tokyo Womans Christian Univ, Suginami-Ku, Japan
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Y. Kuroda, None; K. Oda, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  Japanese Min. HLW Grant H13-SO-005
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2003, Vol.44, 1287. doi:
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      Y. Kuroda, K. Oda; Font Effect on Reading is Explained by Not Only Character Width but also Stroke Width . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):1287.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract: : Purpose: Previous studies of font effects are mainly discussed in the context of character width, e.g., fixed width font such as Courier is more legible for low vision subjects than proportional width font such as Times Roman. In Japanese text, all font styles have fixed width, however fixed stroke font such as Gothic is said to be more legible for low vision readers. Here we investigate this stroke width effect with systematic reading measurement. Methods:MNREAD-Jk reading charts were used as stimuli and prepared in three different fonts, one with variable stroke width called Mincho, Gothic font with fixed stroke width, and a newly developed ForeFinger M font which has mixed characteristic in stroke width. Eighteen normally sighted subjects participated and were asked to read sets of random words aloud from the largest print size to the smallest as fast and precisely as possible. Reading time and errors were recorded. In addition to normal vision condition, subjects wore Ryser's occlusion foils to simulate low vision reading and visual acuity were controlled to 0.7 and 1 logMAR. Maximum reading speed(MRS), critical print size(CPS), and reading acuity(RA) were calculated and compared among font and acuity conditions. Results: MRS showed that subjects read significantly faster with Gothic and ForeFingerM font when acuity was reduced to 1logMAR, but otherwise not different. CPS was also smaller (better) with Gothic and ForeFingerM in simulated low vision conditions but not in normal condition. RA was generally smaller(better) for Gothic and ForeFingerM in all conditions. Conclusions:Results replicated the previously reported font effects in reading but without character width variability in fonts. This font effects should be attributed to the stroke width.

Keywords: low vision • reading • visual acuity 

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