Effects of line length, line spacing, and line number on proofreading performance and scrolling of Chinese text

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

13 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-534
Journal / PublicationHuman Factors
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


Objective: The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effects and interactions of line length, line number, and line spacing on Chinese screen-based proofreading performance and amount of scrolling. Background: Proofreading is an important process, and much of it is now done on screen. The Chinese language is increasingly important, but very little work has been done on the factors that affect proofreading performance for Chinese passages. Method: Three display factors related to screen size, namely line length, line number, and line spacing, were selected to be investigated in an experiment to determine their effects on proofreading performance and amount of scrolling. Correlations between proofreading performance in time and accuracy and scrolling amount were also analyzed. Results: The results showed that line number and line spacing had significant main and interaction effects on both proofreading time and detection rate. Line length and line number influenced scrolling amount significantly, but there was no interaction effect for scrolling. Scrolling amount was negatively correlated with proofreading time and typo detection rate such that more scrolling movement was associated with faster proofreading, but lower detection rate. There was a trade-off between time and accuracy. Conclusion: For balancing time and detection rate and improving performance for on-screen Chinese proofreading, the display setting of medium line length (36 characters per line) with four lines and 1.5 line spacing should be used. Application: The findings provide information and recommendations for display factors and the screen design that should prove useful for improving proofreading time and accuracy. Copyright © 2013, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Research Area(s)

  • Chinese, proofreading, screen design, scrolling