Learn about the units of measurement used with type.
- [Instructor] Whatever measurement you use in your day to day life, and work, when you're working with text, you're likely to be using its measurement system of points. You'll sometimes see it written in full, like so, but it's much more common to see that abbreviated down to a lower case P and T for points. There are 72 points in one inch, and it might surprise you to know that that didn't become a standardized measurement until the beginning of the desktop publishing revolution in the 1980s, despite it being around for hundreds of years since.
And just as we have collective words for groups of things, we have some for type as well. The most common of which is the pica, in which there are 12 points. And you'll see pica abbreviated also down to P. So if that's made of 12 points, you could say that there are six picas in one inch, and you see it saves a little bit of writing. You haven't got to write 72pt, you can just write 6p.
And occasionally you will see measurements expressed in that shorthand way. 27 points, for example, 27pt, is equal to two pica three, that means two picas, 24 points in total, plus three points on the end to make the 27. And you don't need to write the PT after that, in the same way that if someone asked you how tall you were and you said I'm five foot 10, very rarely do people say I'm five foot 10 inches, because you know what the next smallest unit of measurement is.
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