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cvk
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Justified text looks so nice because it flows smoothly around images and other floating elements in pages, but is it evil? Just about all newspapers use justified text in their columns, but do they do it to add readability (which is my goal) or just to make their grids look tighter?

It seems to me that justified text, although pretty, has too flat a right edge. With left-aligned text there is a nice jagged edge on the right side of every paragraph that your eye can use as a reference point for moving from one line to the next. Since justified text lacks that jagged edge is it less readable since the eye may flounder occasionally when it loses the next line? If so, then isn't it bad to use it?

I've noticed that Zeldman and ALA don't use justified text. I've been careful to lighten the color of my text a bit and to give it prodigious leading just as those two sites have. (Of course, I've also provided a link to darken and enlarge the text.) Should I follow their left-justified lead as well?

c v k @ z y b x . c o m

Tony
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Is justified text evil?

Hi cvk,
Just because other don't use it doesn't mean any thing is wrong with it.
Justify isn't supported well by older browsers that may be a reason why it's not used so often.
Most newer browsers support it, so use it if you like and if the browser can't handle it text will be left justified.

Hope that helps.

moody
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Is justified text evil?

Rue the justified text not, for it falls on hard times to vindicate our lives at times. Dare I say, there is a place and there is a time for text to be justified? But beware the fonts that haunt the format of text for “Evil hath no wrath like a usability and accessibility scorned!”

That aside, what’s the purpose of the text? What is being conveyed, style or content? Maybe Zeldman and ALA forgot to consider {text-align: justify;} in their (just a joke, dude!) few lines of code and they’re ill-informed and don’t know what they’re doing wrong by breaking so many rules! Or, maybe not!

I’m sorry. I can’t stop myself it’s early and lots of caffeine going through my gre/ay matter.

I’m not knowledge-d enough on why and where to use justified or left aligned text. But me thinks that, yes, it looks “nice”, yet so many people (me’s included) have their opinions. So I’m taking a big leap and exhaling less hot air when I says “consider the audience” and good shall conquer all irregardless of evil or my 2 ¢â€˜s.

good luck.

cvk
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Is justified text evil?

I've decided for now to go with left-aligned text. Justified text looks classic and neat, but I've been reading a few typography sites and many frown on justified text for its reduced readability on a low-resolution medium like modern displays where only word spacing and not kerning is adjusted.

I think my justified text looks just fine when it's at about 11px with a 17px line-height, but when the visitor switches to my high-visiblity style (black text at 13px/19px) the word spacing becomes very odd in the narrow gaps around images. Sometimes only two or three words fit in the gaps around floated images that are very wide and those gaps run for up to a few hundred pixels. The result is hard to read even for someone with good eyesight.

I thought about keeping justified text for the default small-text style and switching to left-aligned text for the high-visibility style, but I think the readability is a bit easier even on the small text. A point made on one typography site made up my mind: I don't want the visitor to be hung up on the look of the text. Instead, I want the visitor to be hung up on what's in the text. Since left-aligned text will never break up in weird ways that will distract the user, I'm going to use it...at least for now.

Thanks for all the good advice.

c v k @ z y b x . c o m