UPPERCASE vs. Title Case Readability

On the Boards Uppercase wastes a ton of room and is very hard for patients to read!

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Title Case
Special Needs (Necesitades Especiales):

Sentence case
Special eeds (Necesitades speciales):


in word click Format then Change Case

toggle Uppercase to Title Case to Sentence case

Below are some studies talking about READABILTY
Schriver, Karen in Dynamics in Document Design, page 274: 
"When text is set in all capital letters, reading speed is slowed about 13 to 20 percent. Reading speed is optimal when  uppercase and lowercase letters are used. When extra emphasis is needed, bold has been found to be a better cue than uppercase."

Uppercase vs Lowercase

Wheildon gives statistical analysis that supports readers' preference for lowercase headlines over those which use uppercase for every letter. Since readers recognize letters by their tops, uppercase heads are more difficult to read (62.) We used lowercase headlines but capitalized the first letter of each word, but even this is considered outmoded by some. Roger Parker and Jan V. White recommend that you only capitalize the only the first letter in the first word of a headline and use lower case for the rest.

New York City has started to make changes to its street signs to comply with new federal regulations.

The Federal Highway Administration says switching from uppercase letters to a combination of upper and lower will improve safety. It says studies show motorists find it easier to read lower case signs.

The city has 250,000 street signs and the cost to replace each is about $110. Overall, the project will cost about $27.5 million. The city Department of Transportation says it will have 11,000 changed by the end of this fiscal year. It says the city already replaces about 8,000 signs a year due to wear.

Municipalities across the country have until 2018 to make the changes.

The federal regulations also require a change in street sign's font to a specially designed typeface called Clearview.


Studies have been conducted on the readability and legibility of all caps text. Some 20th century scientific testing indicates that all caps text is less legible and less readable than lower case text. Colin Wheildon stated that there is an "apparent consensus" that lower case text is more legible


ē Use of upper and lower case

You may have noticed that major road signs use upper and lower case for cities and towns, whereas on minor roads the older signposts still show directions in upper case only.
Upper and lower case is easier to read (for all of us) than upper case only. The shape of the
word is an aid to the reading of the name of the town (e.g. The North, Sheffield, Leeds and Nottingham, as opposed to
The same is true for reading texts: the overuse of upper case, for example to convey emphasis, is counter-productive. It is less likely that the text will be read, not more likely. Far better to use
bold type, or boxing , to show the importance of a part of the text
article on type and readability

Readability is more than reading

Individual letters will combine to form words. That is how we read. Words all have a distinctive shape and we look for that shape when we read. That shape is formed by a recognition of the pattern of letter shapes that form the word. Once we understand that pattern we can understand the word. Play with that shape, and again, you interfere with access to understanding.

In this example an upper case treatment of the word provides very few visual clues.

Visual clues aid legibility

Image 3 - Uppercase vs. lowercase. The visual clues are evident in the lowercase version

Words set in all upper case letters are the least legible and the most difficult to read. This has always struck me as a bit odd in newsgroups and so on because all uppercase words are perceived to be someone "shouting" and "gaining attention." In fact, they are the hardest words to read, let alone understand.

The other aspect of using all uppercase is quite noticeable. Both versions of "Community MX" have been set using a 48-point Garamond. The upper case version takes up a significantly greater amount of space than its lower case counter part. In fact setting a line of type in all upper case can require up to 35 percent more space on your page than were it set in lower case.


When is it okay to use all caps? All caps are fine in contexts that donít involve reading, such as logos and acronyms. But when your message involves reading, donít force users to read it with bad shape contrast. The caps lock key is a key that designers should rarely use. In emails, using all caps is a sign of bad manners. In design, using all caps is a sign of bad readability.

In typography, all caps (short for "all capitals" or "all capitalized") refers to text or a font in which all letters are capital letters. All caps is usually used for emphasis. It is commonly seen in the titles on book covers, in advertisements and in newspaper headlines. Short strings of words in capital letters appear bolder and "louder" than mixed case, and this is sometimes referred to as "shouting".[1] All caps can also be used to indicate that a given word is an acronym.

study at http://www.laurenscharff.com/courseinfo/SL03/email_study.htm
Text Format (all capitals (AC), mixed case (MC),capital letter emphasis (CE), and spacing emphasis (SE)
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3 Question 4


Format Most Preferred

(Easiest to read)

Format Least Preferred

(Hardest to read)

Format Easiest to find Important Information Format Hardest to find Important Information
AC 4 46 5 46
MC 7 6 4 5
CE 22 2 27 1
SE 23 2 20 4