RE: ISO follies (justifying text)

Subject: RE: ISO follies (justifying text)
From: "Steve Hudson" <cruddy -at- optushome -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 2002 23:54:17 +1100

Indeed. My casual effort to give him an argument to work on has spawned a
number of very interesting offlist threads. Dick Marguilis in particular
said almost the same things as you in some detail.

We ended up agreeing it was more through ease of use than anything else. To
do nice full j's you need to soft-hyphenate, insert spacing blocks, play
with kerning and point sizes and so on. It's far easier to do nice looking
ragged right than this.

So perhaps that is the better argument - it takes less time and effort. For
departments with who are not ahead of schedule (99% of all real world ones)
this is a major point. Indeed, to take it one step further as you suggest,
the skills required for it are rapidly vanishing and so are simply not
available to some departments.

My paperbacks are indeed full J, hard-covers full J, the free district paper
(Courier) varies - (listen to this!) it's full J for everything except the section (damn online hackers that we are!). Classifieds split
between centered and full-J. Self-laid-out ad's tended be ragged right.
(Monday March 4, 200 Inner Western Suburbs Courier).

Now, in the two biggest paid-for newspapers here, the Sunday edition of the
Sydney Morning Telegraph and The Herald, we have a much high incidence of
ragged right. The Herald uses lots of it. The Tele uses less, and also had
some poor examples of full J as well. So it's almost the case in point -
rushing to do the extra work for full J they muffed it with quick n easy
work-arounds whereas the Herald used a lot of easy-set ragged right, and
their full-J stuff was nice. This was across a 6 month random sampling from
the second half of 2001, 3 of each paper.

Technical manuals - including cookbooks, software manuals, hardware manuals,
atlas, encyclopedia and reference manuals, all ragged right.

Magazines - very limited selection - Sci American only :-) Interesting, all
main articles are full J, all sidebars, inserts etc are ragged outside edge.

So I was way wrong on some counts, but at least we have some decent
discussion now on the actual subject at hand <grins>

Steve Hudson - Word Heretic, Sydney, Australia
For Questions regarding MS-Word please use the MS news servers or a mailing
list in preference to heretic -at- tdfa -dot- com -dot- Ideally, post to and send me an email to go answer it.

-----Original Message-----
From: Katie Henry

Steve Hudson wrote:
> Finally (what you originally asked for and no-one has provided yet), a
> reasonable argument against full justification goes like this:


Maybe things are different in Australia, but text is fully justified in most
mass-market publications in the US. I just spent an hour digging through my
bookshelves to prove this point.


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Re: ISO follies (justifying text): From: Katie Henry

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