Many white papers these days are presented in a two-column format.
What benefits does the two-column format have over a single line of text?
In short, it’s all about how your brain scans and processes information.
Research shows that the optimal amount of text for printed materials is just 60 characters per column.
More than 60 characters per column and the brain starts to have difficulty in scanning through the text easily. It’s the same principle as needing to take a visual break by adding some white space between paragraphs.
Long lines of text, just like long sentences can be harder to read. For technical and medical papers, a two-column layout also allows graphs, tables and other graphics to be clearly presented without taking up too much page space. That said many companies do prefer the clean and simple lines of a single column layout. That can work very well too, just as long as the page has wide margins and the text runs to no more than 90 characters per line.
It’s all about helping the reader to understand your message as easily as possible.
I'm Anne Watkins, a freelance medical writer here to help you use medical white papers to boost your sales.