Uneven space between words

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Woman Writer

I'm a beginner using Scribus, but I've gotten a pretty good handle on it, thanks from watching tutorials on youtube. From what I've read, using full justification is problematic because it causes a lot of gaps/white space between words. I've figured out how to minimize these gaps by slightly changing the kearning, tracking, and glyphs.

What is bothering me, though, is that when I tweak it to get rid of the big gaps, the length of the spaces between the words of modified text vary from the length of spaces between the words of unmodified text. So even though it's a small difference, there are uneven spaces between words throughout each page.

I'm trying to make everything look consistent, because this is a novel that I'm formatting. Are there any tips or tricks that I could try to ensure that all the white spaces between the words are the same length? Or do I have to play around tweaking things and simply rely on eyesight?


not bad but you're missing one crucial necessary tweak for justified text: hyphenation.

if needed, i can give more details, but i'm pretty sure that you will find tutorials on that too : - )

Woman Writer

Is hyphenation my only other option?


as far as i can tell, for justified texts, hyphenation is not an option but a duty...

of course, you should hyphenate as little as possible and as much as needed...

but, naturally,  as a virtuoso, you can find substitutions for words -- long or short? -- and obtain in this way an optimal flow... as did that author with his book without glyphs from d to f...
so, sky is your limit!


I have unresolved issues with Scribus's justification process. I see books printed with beautiful perfect right margins, but I have been unable to achieve that, and I get two unacceptable-to-me results instead: some lines get all scrunched together with the glyphs narrowed, and others have great big spaces or even spread the letters of words. I have seen this kind of result often in newspapers and magazines with narrow columns.

So I have settled for settings which leave the right margin a little bit raggedy looking, but don't distort the text so much.
I have indeed experimented with the settings, although I probably could put some more time into this.

The automatic hyphenation function in 1.4.6 - in "Extras", by which I can select a block of text in a text frame and hyphenate it to help with justification, usually helps quite a bit, but doesn't make it perfect (sometimes it even makes it worse), and sometimes I am unhappy with the hyphenation. I have played with the settings here, too.

I conclude that it may be possible that the justification engine needs more work in Scribus; but also that I myself might need to work more on understanding typography. It also appears to me that different results appear with different fonts (controlled experiment needed).

It would be interesting to know who is achieving perfectly justified right margins, and what their settings are, and what fonts they are using.


A picture is worth 1000 words...

Please post screenshot of bad text flows, with the matching .sla files (or at least the original text as text) so that we can try it out and we will see if somebody can improve that (and how).

this having been said, the TeX algorithm is indeed much better than what scribus uses (since it's not wysiwyg, it can afford to consider the whole context around a line (that is: a full page or even more) when optimizing the the flow. in multiple passes.)
as far as i know, indesign does use an algorithm that includes some of the ideas from TeX and it might indeed be that it gets better results.

in the past there were plans for improving the algorithm used by scribus, but i don't think that they ever lead to working code.


Re the 1000-word-value picture: I will get to this, not today. thanks, ALE.