How to Copyfit

In The Designer’s Guide to Text Type, Jean Callan King and Tony Esposito define: “Copyfitting determines the amount of space that typewritten copy will occupy when it is typeset.”


  1. Determine the total number of characters in your copy. To do this multiply the number of characters per line in your typewritten copy by the total number of lines. This will give you the total number of characters. Note that each letter, punctuation mark, and space between words must be counted as a character.
  2. Select a typeface.
  3. Determine the width in picas to which the copy will be set.
  4. Determine the number of typeset characters per pica by placing a pica (12-point) gauge on the first line showing of the chosen typeface and size. Begin measuring at the first word on the left, noting the last character where your pica width ends on the right.
  5. Divide your total character count (from step 1) by the number of typeset characters per line (step 4). This will give you the total number of typeset lines.
  6. Determine the depth you want your typeset copy to be. You may need to decrease or increase point size or amount of planned leading at this point to make your copy fit a predetermined layout.