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The Best Font for a Report

by Margaret Kay, Demand Media

    Each different type font contains a different personality. In choosing an appropriate type font for a report, you must consider the readability of the font and the formality of the project in which it is used. The two basic type fonts, serif and sans-serif, can both be used depending on the nature of the report.

    Informal Report

    If your report is informal, you can simply use the fonts that look the best. According to the Microsoft Office website, a sans-serif font is considered less formal than serif fonts and are perhaps more appropriate for more casual situations. However, if any part of your report contains large blocks of text, a serif font such as Times New Roman may be more readable. Use a sans-serif font such as Helvetica or a more artistic font such as Comic Sans MS for titles, headlines, and bullet points.

    Formal Report

    Use a serif font if your report is formal. One of the most common fonts used for formal reports in academic, scientific, and media fields alike is Time New Roman. If you're conducting a report as a part of an academic assignment, check with your instructor to see if there is a particular font requirement. It is often the case that professors and tutors require students to use a Times font in their reports. Other serif fonts that work well for formal reports are Georgia and Century.

    Written Report

    Use a serif font for a written report. Serif fonts have small lines sometimes called "strokes," "feet" or "hooks" on the end of each letter. According to the Microsoft Office website, serif fonts are considered easier to read for large blocks of text. Serif fonts are used for most newspapers and books as each contain a large amount of small text. Some commonly used serif fonts include Times New Roman, Georgia, Palintino and Century.

    Visual Presentation Report

    Use sans-serif fonts if your report takes the form of a visual presentation, such as a PowerPoint slide show or a poster board display. Sans-serif fonts do not have the little "feet" on the ends of letters and are often considered to look less formal or serious than serif fonts. Sans-serif fonts are commonly used for headlines and titles, with serif fonts used underneath to make up the "body" of the text. If your report does not use large blocks of texts, but merely headlines, titles, and bullet points, sans-serif may be the better option. Some sans-serif fonts include Veranda, Helvetica and Ariel.

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    About the Author

    Margaret Kay has worked as a freelance writer since 2009. She has worked as a contributor to "The Gonzaga Bulletin." Kay has recently completed her Master of Theology in media ethics at the University of Edinburgh.

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