Re: Full Justification

Subject: Re: Full Justification
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 19 May 1996 21:14:31 PDT

Daniel Wise writes:

>The first study of justification and readability I read was over 30
>years ago. I don't think all that much has changed. We have gone from
>hot metal, in which interletter spacing was added manually, to
>phototype to computer type (laser or otherwise), but we still have the
>same fundamental problem of making the type stretch to fill the
>required space.

I'm pretty sure both Lintotype and Monotype had automatic justification
for their hot-metal systems around the turn of the century, using clever
mechanical systems with springs and wedges to separate all the words
by the same amount.

I'm always surprised at the lengths to which some magazines (say, TV
GUIDE) are willing to go to make their pages ugly. It's a simple
matter to put limits on the amount of inter-character spacing, to
p r e v e n t s t r e t c h i n g
beyond the bounds of reason. Instead, you put limits on the degree
t o w h i c h t h i n g s c a n s t r e t c h,
and use inter-word justification for the rest. It's still ugly when
done wrong, but so is ragged-right.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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