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Text Alignment – Part 2: The left justified sentence

Whether in an invitation, a business card or in a magazine – the alignment of text is done in the software with one click. But when do you press which button and how can we optimize the alignment? In order to ensure that your text is always optimally readable, in the second part on text alignment, we will look at the left-aligned text, its use and its optimal settings. Part 1 of the sentence can be found here; Part 3 to the right-justified and centered sentence can be found here.

Flutter for a good reason

First of all, the obvious: In the left-justified sentence, the lines are aligned on a left-standing covenant and flutter like a flag to the right – this explains the way the term fluttering sentence. The flutter set is a common type of sentence, with the amount playing a minor role here.

The left-aligned text is suitable for almost any text type, and especially for larger volumes of text and narrow text columns, you clearly have the advantage, because the software does not have to bring the lines to a certain width and thus no unsightly interstices or letter spacing arise. But also for lyrics, invitations or short messages, the left-fluttering sentence is always a good choice. Depending on the flapping strength (see separation area in the following paragraph), the flutter set is lively and individual.

Flutter controlled

Whether it is separated at the end of the line or not or only sometimes, all this can be defined in the usual layout programs. Here, the user determines the hyphenation and the so-called separation area or flutter area, ie the zone that grows from the right edge to the left. The larger it is, the more the lines flutter, the greater the difference between the longest and the shortest line. If the separation area is very small, it creates a noise – here, the right edge appears only rough and usually not visually very nice.

The settings for hyphenation, using the example of InDesign, of course, influence the course of the text. The separation area defines the area within which separation takes place. If you move the slider all the way to the right to “less hyphens”, the separations are minimized.

Sliding the slider to the right results in more separations, possibly at the expense of the character and word spacing.

Optimized in three minutes: The specifications of InDesign

If you have more than a handful of lines of text you should take a close look at the default settings of your layout software. For example, InDesign has a feature where the software checks the entire paragraph and then decides whether and where to split. The Adobe paragraph setter thus produces a different, in InDesign eyes, more beautiful line case than the setting with a single-line composer.

Here is the Adobe paragraph setter active; the sentence gets rougher.

The Adobe one-line composer ensures fewer separations in this text.

Do not build stairs: Only as a staircase builder

With only a few lines of text, it is always advantageous if they are separated by hand. In this way one also prevents meaningful separations as well as an unsightly line case. Avoid stairs unless you design an advertisement for a stair builder.

If there are a few lines of text, you should pay attention to the line case and avoid stairs.

With a little attention and craftsmanship, it is easy to create a beautiful line.

In Part 3 on text alignment, we consider the right-justified and the centered sentence.

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Manuela Richter

Category: News

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