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On 11/07/2020 13:13, Francisco Olarte wrote:

On Sat, Jul 11, 2020 at 12:50 PM Lorenzo Donati
<> wrote:
Moreover, correctly typeset PDF documents are easier to read and they
are less eye-straining.

This depends a bit on fonts and hardware. While (good) HTML pages
typically use screen-optimized fonts and layouts PDFs sometimes use
paper optimized ones. Fine if you have a medium-big HiDPI monitor, a
PiTA (i.e., the one IO'm using now, 31.5", 4K, that should be...
3840/(31.5*16/sqrt(16^2+9^2)) = 139.867 dpi
and change, and a full page fits nicely in vertical, but the other one
I  use, 24" 1920*1280, is
1920/(24*16/sqrt(16^2+10^2)) = 94.339 dpi
if my math is right. As I'm getting old, and even having glasses
especifically made for working with the computer ( a little farther
than reading glasses ), in many PDF documents I have to choose between
cutting the page OR  having eye strain due to small printer fonts.

Francisco Olarte.

The big problem here is not just the fonts. Web pages which are carefully designed for optimum reading usually don't contain a lot of text (i.e compared to an average scientific paper, technical review or let alone a book).

Whereas, most text-filled web pages are not a creation of a good web designer, but a text-dump with a few formatting. There's usually little layout and CSS is rarely used to constrain it for optimum viewing.

So, in my experience, documents that in PDF format would take several pages (let's say more than 4 pages, A4 format, about 70 rows per page, 10pt to 12pt font, one or two columns), tend to be much more readable when in PDF form. I rarely see such documents rendered as a good, readable web-page.

I'm also not so young (50yo) and my sight's not really the best, but I enjoy reading PDFs both on PC screens and on tablets. On these latter devices, most text-crammed web pages tend to look ugly and poorly designed.

I think the main issue is that usually people that bother to write long documents tend to create a well laid-out PDFs, whereas not the same care is given to analogous text-filled web pages.

Moreover, nowadays PDFs are often laid-out in a format that is suitable for on-screen reading (and still looks good if printed).

I guess making a good looking text-filled web page that gives the same high-quality user-experience regardless of the user hardware/software setup requires quite a lot of CSS wizardry.

OTOH, maybe, technical writers are more accustomed to create good layouts using WYSYWIG word processors or maybe TeX/LaTeX.

But these are only guesses, as I said, to explain what's my long experience with technical documents in electronic form.


-- Lorenzo