Improve the Appearance of Justified Type


Q. When I upgraded to Word 2000, I thought I could produce better looking printouts of justified text. But that wasn’t the case. I still get some lines that are quite densely packed, while others have large, ugly gaps between the words. Oh, for the good old days when I used WordPerfect, which produced excellent justified text.

A. Well, friend, you’re in luck; you can get the WordPerfect justification in Word. I recently came across a tip at that describes how to improve the appearance of justified text.

It turns out that it’s possible to get Word to emulate WordPerfect and reduce the space between words instead of adding space. Thus, if a long word won’t quite fit the line, the program tries to make room for it by moving the existing words closer together—not farther apart. The result: interword spacing becomes noticeably more even and less patchy.

To get Word 2000 to emulate that WordPerfect function, just click on Tools, Options , select the Compatibility tab and check the box beside Do full justification like WordPerfect 6.x for Windows .

Now if you type text with justification, you’ll see the letters shuffle as you come to the end of the line as the program tries to fit the word into the current line instead of prematurely wrapping.

Caveat: Don’t be disappointed when the text on the screen looks uneven: Microsoft has not implemented the WordPerfect feature to show on the screen. But when you print the page, it will look evenly spaced.


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