What Does the Switch to Cambria & Calibri Mean to Technical Writers?

Sep 27, 12 • technical writingNo CommentsRead More »

In business, people usually use Microsoft Word to create their documents. In the past, the typeface of choice was Arial for headings and Times New Roman for the body of the text. However, I’ve noticed that it’s now Cambria for headings and Calibri for the body. Why the switch?


I did some digging and found out that typography experts say that Cambria and Calibri optimize screen readability. If you haven’t noticed, the screen resolutions are getting tinier and tinier. For older people, this has been an issue. You can switch to a bigger resolution if you want, but just making the case for the switch in typeface. Therefore, the Cambria/Calibri does make sense. The typefaces are wider, rounder, and have bigger character spacing.

What does that mean for Technical Writers

If you are creating a document that will mainly be read on screen, then stick with Cambria and Calibri. As I said above, the typefaces are easier to read online. However, if it’s going to be a printed document, then you might want to switch to Arial/Times New Roman. The typefaces are more condensed so you are conversing paper. You will save money in the long run.

What do you usually use? Arial/Times New Roman or Cambria/Calibri?

If you are a typography lover, check out this really cool infographic on western typefaces:


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