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Subject:Re: Justified and Unjustified Text From:"PROF. JAMES LENZE, LENZE -at- LTU -dot- EDU, (810) 204-3658" <LENZE -at- LTU -dot- EDU> Date:Fri, 15 Sep 1995 08:57:43 -0400
T> Does anyone have strong preferences one way or another. Can anyone cite
T> definitive information showing why one might be prefereble? Does anyone
T> prefer one style while operating under a style guide that uses the other?
Most studies show no significant difference in
relation to search time and comprehension of information between justified and
unjustified text. Some research indicates that poor readers have difficulty
reading justified text. As with all technical writing, consider your audience
first! If your publication is informal in nature and geared toward an audience
with poor reading skills, you should probably consider using unjustified text.
If you publication needs a more polished look and is geared toward an audience
with mature reading skills, consider using justified text. If you don't mind
the look of hyphens, they can be used in justified text to give the lines,
words, and letters more consistent spacing.
My articles on the subject are published in the annual readings of the
International Visual Literacy Association. The best work on the subject has
been done by Tinker, M.A. (1963). Legibility of Print; and Pettersson, R.
(1989). Visuals for Information.