Document layout best practices
The short version
Here’s the short version of what I usually recommend for professional documents:
- Left align all headings and body text
- Create visual hierarchy with the size of headings and text
The long version
Left align text
Centered text can be hard to read, especially when used multiple lines in a row.
In English, we read from left to right, so aligning all the text to the left gives the reader a reliable place for their eyes to look everytime they start reading a new line.
Create a visual hierarchy
Use text size, weight, and emphasis to create a visual hierarchy.
This means that the highest-level heading on any document should be the largest, and size should progressively decrease until the last heading. Body text should be a “neutral” size, in the 10-12 point range.