"Why Do the Templates Look Like This?"

Word processors are designed primarily for a business environment, and they are set to produce variable line spacing so that word-processed material will look attractive and professional. The conventions of college writing, on the other hand, are determined primarily by the editors of scholarly books and journals. What editors want is not an attractive page layout, but a perfectly consistent and readable one with a predictable number of words per page. Non-proportional "typewriter" fonts such as Courier and Courier New, in addition to being highly readable, allow precise control over such details as spacing, alignment, and indentation. In contrast, with a proportional font, it is often impossible to tell whether the interval between two words contains an extra space. The precise formatting of bibliography entries can also be defeated by proportional fonts. Along the same lines, untrained typists often insert five manual spaces for paragraph indentations, and such indentations translate into tiny, incorrect indentations in some proportional fonts. Finally, the uniformity of a non-proportional font allows an editor to "cast off text" accurately--that is, to determine how many typed pages it will take to make up a printed page.

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