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White Space: Writers Can't Live Without It

We writers don’t get enough respect. At least that’s what I thought when I wrote articles for newspapers and periodicals. The editors kept yammering on about white space this, white space that. Worse, they cut my precious prose to add it! I called it the tyranny of the editors. You can’t have an article without words, I said.

Then, they set me straight:

Words are more readable when bathed in white space. Think of it as oxygen for readers’ eyes. Why? Because too much text crammed onto a page creates unappetizing clutter. They clog the visual field and can deter readers. Not what you want! It sounds paradoxical, but white space invites readers into your text.

Here are some suggestions to make your document look fresh, airy, and readable:

  • Keep paragraphs short.

  • Use bullet points. These make information easier to scan and remember.

  • Consider doubling your margins. Studies show this alone increases comprehension by 20%.

  • Double-space between paragraphs and even increase the space between lines.

  • Emphasize an important point by putting it on a separate line.

  • Use subheads to break up the text.

  • Consider putting space between letter s like this. Or use color. Or highlight. These tricks can help get your message through.

And here you thought writing was only about words. Learn more about how we can help you create very readable documents. We love questions! Please call 425.485.3221 with yours.


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