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However, if like many companies today, you rely on Docs for your everyday operations, then you might run into a situation from time to time. The standard fonts available with Google aren't always easy to read - particularly if you're viewing your documents from a smaller screen. If you're worried about the clarity of your documents for your remote workers, then you're in for a treat.
For some time now, Google has offered G-Suite users the option to change their font and upgrade their Docs readability. There's even a unique add-on available that gives you access to more than 1200 fonts from the Google text collection. However, more recently, in 2019, Google has started to recommend switching to a specific font if you have trouble with document clarity.
Introducing the Lexend Font
Google has always been a big believer in using small changes to make a big difference. That's why the company recently rolled out new auto-correction features for your Gmail and G-Suite experience, along with advanced spell-check options. It's also why Google is working on making it easier to share and manage shortcuts to your crucial work within a cloud-based team.
In the middle of August 2019, Google also decided to introduce a brand new range of fonts specifically designed to make reading on the web easier. The texts have been carefully chosen based on characteristics like spacing and size, to support people who have trouble viewing traditional fonts on their computers, tablets, or smartphones.
Though this little change might not seem like a big deal at first, it's often details like this that make technology so appealing to a beginner. The smallest changes can make it easier to use services like Docs, Google Slides, Sheets, and Forms every day. The more comfortable you feel using these tools, the easier it is to switch to a cloud-based workflow.
For the time being, these 'Lexend' fonts aren't enabled on Google G-Suite as standard. You'll need to go and turn them on for yourself, provided that you have G-Suite admin controls.
Turning on Lexend Fonts
The Lexend fonts now available from Google work on Sheets, Slides, and Google Docs. According to the Google Cloud Team, they're an excellent choice for anyone who spends a lot of time reading from screens, as these fonts help to reduce eye strain. The Lexend founts (seven in total) were designed by Thomas Jockin and Bonne Shaver-Troup. They used in-depth research to identify the various typographic factors that affect reading fluency, which include:
- Noise: Sans serif fonts are easier than serif fonts
- Shape: Expanded font outlines and shapes are clearer
- Spacing: Hyper-expanded character spacing allows for easier reading
Each of the 7 Lexend fonts comes with various widths and spacings to choose from. This means that you can enable each member of your team, or each group in your business to choose the font that they find easiest to use. For beginners, the spacing and width of each font change according to its name. The further along in the alphabet the title is, the wider the width of the font. For instance, Lexend Deca is much narrower in width than Lexend Peta.
Lexend is clearer and easier to read than several other fonts designed specifically for clarity, including Calibri, Verdana, and Arial. If you use Docs, Slides, and Sheets, you can apply the fonts like this:
- Open a Google Doc in Chrome on your laptop or desktop
- Select the font menu
- Select the 'More Fonts' option
- Enter 'Lexend' into the search bar
- Tap on the fonts you want to make available
- Select 'Ok' when done
You and users on your G-Suite team should now be able to use the Lexend font whenever they open a new project with a Google G-Suite tool. The Lexend fonts will be listed in the 'fonts' section for all tools. Once you enable the option in Docs, it's automatically available on Slides and Sheets too.