The physical format of the dictionary should be compatible with efficient use. Size, binding, paper, print and appearance should be examined carefully while evaluating a particular dictionary.
The size of a dictionary depends upon the coverage and the number of entries. A single compact volume is preferable to multi volume set. A tall, thin volume is handy to use rather than a short, fat book.
As dictionaries are used often by many users, it is advisable for the librarians and the individuals both to purchase hardcover editions.
Opaque and thin paper should be used for dictionaries. The thickness of the paper adds to the weight and physical bulk of the dictionary.
One should consider relevant technical and mechanical points while evaluating print of a dictionary such as the print-size, spacing between words, use of bold face type, clarity in print, adequate margins on both sides, enough space at the columns if the page is divided, thumb indexes for every alphabet; guide keys, plenty of this devices and tables, natural illustrations in proportionate size and so on.
While taking the above criteria for the functional appeal and efficient use, the over-all appearance of the dictionary should be pleasing and appealing.