MS Word .. want same distances between characters in r/l justified block

Posted on 2015-01-21
Last Modified: 2015-02-18
Garamond 13.5
I have a block paragraph i.e.

As you can see, the spacing is not consistent. I'm wondering if there is any possible way to make it distance between the words is the same.
Question by:RaiderNationDelegate
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Assisted Solution

by:Paul Sauvé
Paul Sauvé earned 50 total points
ID: 40563068
The text alignment of your block paragraph is 'Justified', i.e. stretched to the left and right of the length of the line. This causes uneven spacing between the words.

If you use 'Left' alignment for the paragraph, then the lines of the paragraph will NOT extend to the RHS of the line, but the spacing will be equal between each word.

You can improve this slightly by using Page Layout tab ―> Page Setup options ―> Hyphenation...
LVL 18

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Simon earned 50 total points
ID: 40563102
The short answer is only approximately with manual trial and error.

If the text is left OR right justified you can have a standard sized space between words, but if justified it would have to change the spacing of letters WITHIN words to achieve equal spaces BETWEEN words.
You can format individual text selections (e,g, words) to increase or decrease the character spacing, but there isn't an option to prioritise equal space between words. I think if you try altering character spacing within words to balance the space sizes, you'll find that it looks worse than having unequal spaces.

The way to minimise the differences in spaces between words are to use hyphenation (as paulsauve suggested) or to use wider paragrphs or smaller font size so that you get more words per line to balance the spaces between them.

You can also check the 'kerning for fonts' option in Format/Font/Advanced, but Word doesn't have the advanced kerning controls that you'd find in a DTP (desktop publishing) package.

Assisted Solution

by:Let's Go
Let's Go earned 50 total points
ID: 40563342
I'm not sure that this does exactly what you want, but there is a simple way of greatly improving the word spacing in justified text in Word.

At the bottom of the File/Options/Advanced settings is a section for Layout Options (click on the + sign next to Layout Options to get the list of options).

Select "Do full justification the way WordPerfect 6.x for Windows does".

That's it.
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Accepted Solution

EricFletcher earned 300 total points
ID: 40564388
Using lowercase letters would also help. Text in all caps is harder to read because it lacks the subtle shape differences in lowercase letters. I also find that the “blockier” shapes of uppercase letters also makes space width variations appear to be more obvious.

Here’s three screen shots of the same content in UC vs. UC/LC set in Adobe Garamond 13.5pt. The first uses Word 2010’s default settings; then Let's Go’s suggestion re layout options; and finally using the default layout but with kerning turned on. The differences are subtle, but noticeable — and none are as sophisticated as you would be able to achieve with a good layout program.
Justified copy using Word 2010 default layout optionsJustified copy using Word 2010 with justify like Wordperfect layout optionJustified copy using Word 2010 default layout options   kerning
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:Rob Henson
Rob Henson earned 50 total points
ID: 40564397
I wouldn't agree with going with the Hyphenation option. The placing of hyphens is very arbitrary and you could end up with a hyphen in the middle of a word that really shouldn't be hyphenated.

If the hyphenation in MS Word works the same as in MS Publisher, you could end up with hyphens in the middle of a word in the middle of a sentence when amendments are made.

Rob H

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40618271
Thank you, Everyone. I hope the point distribution is equitable.

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