Re: Left vs Full Justification

Subject: Re: Left vs Full Justification
From: David Jones/KSBEISD <David_Jones/KSBEISD -dot- KSBEISD -at- DATAHUB -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 17 May 1996 09:39:39 HST

> Several posters have pointed out the conventional reasons for
preferring left justification to full justification.
However, I think a distinction has to be made between methods of full
justification. If full justification is achieved by adjusting space between
words (as it is in most word processors), then the result is frequently as bad
as convention says. But if full justification is achieved by automatically
adjusting spaces between letters (a somewhat less common technique), then the re
sult is much easier to read--and tends to eliminate hyphenation, which also
affects readability.<
Now you've done it! You've got me curious about what justification method is
used by Word, WPWIN, WordPro, PageMaker, et al. WPWIN offers separate
adjustable settings for Word and Letter spacing, but I don't know how (or if)
those affect WPWIN's decision about where to add space when justifying text.
Hmm, let me try something here ... Well, just from a printout, it looks like
both WP and Word put extra space between the words. BTW, Word put more space
between words than WP did, so the lines broke differently.
I don't have WordPro on this machine. PageMaker5's output shows no sign of
additional spacing between words. It must use microjustification?
Microjustification is what it's called, I believe, when character spacing is
adjusted when justifying text. I used to have a text-only wordprocessor (on the
lowly Commodore 64, of all things!) that did beautiful microjustification on my
old Brother daisywheel printer. Kind of sad that today's powerhouses seem to
have dropped this in favor of the inferior method. Or maybe it's an optional
setting somewhere in Word/WP/WordPro?
Anyway, enough talking about screwdrivers! I've heard that left justified
text is easier to read because the ragged right helps the eye find it's place
easier. But nearly every modern paperback (text heavy things, set in small
type) uses full justification. Anyone know of any readability studies we could
refer to?

David Jones, Technical Writer
David_Jones/KSBEISD -dot- KSBEISD -at- Datahub -dot- com
Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate

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