Re. research on justified vs. ragged right

Subject: Re. research on justified vs. ragged right
From: "Geoff Hart" <geoff_hart -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 17:06:41 EST

Holly Turner is <<...looking for research regarding the use of justification and ragged paragraphs in printed documentation.>>

Don't trust any research you find on this subject that provides blanket recommendations. Although there are theoretical advantages and disadvantages to both forms of justification, neither choice is so inherently superior that it can overcome problems with word spacing, hyphenation, line spacing, font choice, etc. etc. (Put a bit differently: you can easily produce highly legible text with either approach, and you can also produce illegible text with either approach. A little experimentation will prove this beyond any shadow of a doubt.) The correct answer to you question is that neither approach is superior, but that both must be applied using appropriate typography to make them legible. And ideally, you should find out what your own unique audience finds most appropriate for their needs; it's highly unlikely any one study related to an audience identical to yours.

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