Teachers: Please Use This Font For Your Docs, Slides, and Visuals

Wood typesetting blocks.

Both distance learning and teaching students with 1:1 devices require teachers to create digital products for student consumption. Think of students who have to read and process all those documents, slideshows, and visuals. Do they look visually appealing? Are they easy to read and process?

All this screen reading can be hard on students, especially distance learners. What if adjusting the font can change make the experience easier for the reader?

What is Lexend?

Meet Lexend, a family of fonts developed to improve reading speeds. Looking at the seven Lexend varieties, you may notice two aspects of their design: expansion of character spacing and outline shapes.

To learn more about Lexend fonts and how they help readers, please watch this video.

For more information on Lexend, please go to:

Use Lexend in Google Docs, Drawings, Sheets, and Slides

Google has made Lexend fonts available in Google Docs, Drawings, Sheets, and Slides. Compare the seven varieties by looking at them on Google’s fonts page.

The Google Fonts website. "Lexend" is in the search bar. Results include Lexend Deca, Lexend Tera, Lexend Exa, Lexend Giga, Lexend Mega, and Lexend Zetta are shown. Each font is displayed with the sentence, "Almost before we knew it, we had left the ground."
Six varieties of Lexend see on fonts.google.com. Not pictured: Lexend Peta.

To install Lexend fonts in these G Suite apps, find the font in the toolbar and click “More fonts.”

The Google Docs toolbar. The font is clicked to show "More fonts."
Click “More fonts.”

Search for “Lexend.” Notice the varieties that appear.

The Fonts dialogue box in Google Docs. Lexend fonts are shown.
Find and install Lexend fonts.

Notice how each Lexend variety is slightly different. Check out Lexend Zetta. Those characters are social distancing. They are at least 6 pixels apart.* Does Lexend Deca look familiar? It is eerily similar to the Google font.

Lexend Deca is spaced more than the Google font. Lexend does not skew the “e” at an angle. Besides those two differences, the two fonts are somewhat similar.

For more information on installing Lexend fonts in Docs, Drawings, Sheets, and Slides, please watch this video.

Use Lexend in Canva

Canva is a useful website for creating visuals. I use it for YouTube thumbnails and have long been a fan. Canva has now added the Lexend fonts. Simply click a text’s font and search for “Lexend.”

To learn more about using Lexend fonts in Canva, please watch this video.

Use Helperbird to Apply Lexend Fonts to Websites

Helperbird is a Google Chrome extension that allows users to customize the appearance of websites. The free version has many accessibility tools, including changing website font. The Lexend fonts are now in Helperbird. To learn more about using Lexend fonts in Helperbird, please watch this video.

Lexend Suggestions for Teachers

  • If your students use Open Dyslexic font with success, do not change that.
  • For struggling readers, measure performance across different Lexend varieties to see which is most effective.
  • Use different varieties of Lexend fonts in your first few digital products. Get student feedback. Use that to determine which is the most liked but also show students they can change a file’s font to their liking.

What do you think? Will you use Lexend fonts in your digital creations? Please comment below or tweet me, @TomEMullaney.

Does your school need remote professional development to keep teachers sharp during this time away from school? Have a look at some of my offerings and connect with me on Twitter.

Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash.

* = I have no idea if the Lexend Zetta font spaces its characters 6 pixels apart.

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