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Title says it all, should I have my text using a variable width font, or fixed width. I didn't know if it is easier to read if its aligned on a grid?

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Probably a better question for the User Experience or Chinese Language and Usage stack exchange sites. –  Byte56 Dec 11 '12 at 23:50
    
Aren't Chinese fonts always inherently monospaced? –  Kevin Reid Dec 12 '12 at 2:19
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@Kevin Chinese fonts have half-width spaces. Japanese even has full-width (カタカナ) and half-width (カタカナ) versions of the some of the same characters. –  Anko Dec 12 '12 at 10:53

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you want to do it the old-fashioned way, then yes, you can use it in a grid. But if you want to use any kind of variable or half-width characters, like writing 5 instead of 5, then you'll need to get off the grid. The characters are all the same width anyway so if you're not using any non-Asian characters then it should align by itself. I don't think having it not on a grid would make any difference in readability.

As a demonstration:

你好,我是中国人123|

12345678你好!|

Versus:

你好,我是中国人123|

12345678你好!|

The question of whether it should be in a grid is really up to you. If you're dealing with presenting data, like a statistics screen, then using a fixed width for all characters could make things easier. If you're just printing lines of text, on the other hand, it makes much less of a difference and you can choose freely, as you can find both ways in use.

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Can you read Chinese? –  Philipp Dec 12 '12 at 12:27
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I can read Japanese which has a fair bit of Chinese in it and some Chinese. –  ssb Dec 12 '12 at 12:34
    
I have a block of text with numbers in it, all of the Asian characters are aligned, then where there are numbers mixed in it throws the rest of the alignment off for the row. –  Rasterman Dec 12 '12 at 15:38
    
If you're concerned about maintaining the alignment then just use the full width characters, so instead of 12345 use 12345 –  ssb Dec 12 '12 at 15:50

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