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FHWA Standard Alphabets
Highway Sign Word Length Calculator

This Web tool incorporates the spacing criteria of the FHWA Standard Alphabets as detailed in the Standard Highway Signs publication. Now, you can quickly and easily determine word lengths and estimate sign sizes based on the results. The tool can also be used to verify the output of sign design software programs.

Useful features allow you to vary between letter series, height, and reduced or increased letter spacing:

  • Use the Letter Series drop-down to specify and switch between the FHWA Standard Alphabet letter series—B, C, D, E, E (mod), and F.
  • Use Letter Height function to specify the initially upper-case letter height. The loop height of the following lower-case letters for mixed-case legends is automatically calculated in accordance with MUTCD criteria.
  • The Spacing Ratio function allows the spacing between characters can be reduced or expanded. For example, a spacing ratio of 120% increases the letter spacing 20%. A spacing ratio of 80% reduces the letter spacing 20%.
  • There is no need to re-enter the sign legend if one of the parameters is changed—simply change the entry and click the Calculate button to generate the new result.

FHWA Standard Alphabets
Highway Sign Word Length Calculator

All fields are required.
Word: (25 characters max.)
Letter Series:
Upper-Case Letter Height: inches
Spacing Ratio: %