Justified or Left-Aligned

On a writing forum I sometimes post on, there’s often on-going talk of how left-aligned ebooks (with a ragged right edge) are sloppy, amateurish, and remind readers of high school essays.  A professional uses justified text (with a straight right edge).

I’m not a fan of justified ebooks.

I often read on my iPhone and, given it’s small size, sometimes only a few words will fit on a line of text.  If the text is justified and the line is a little short, it gets spaced out to spread across the line.  In a printed book with a full-sized page, this spacing is often unnoticeable.  On a tiny iPhone screen, it can sometimes be incredibly obvious and, in my mind, looks completely unprofessional.

When I get around to putting together a print book, it will have justified text.  Like I said, it looks great on a printed page.

But as long as I know people will be reading my stories on small screens where justification can do wonky things, I’ll keep them left-aligned.

What about you?  Do you have a preference (as a reader or a writer)?  Does left-alignment remind you of high school essays?

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2 Comments

Filed under Editing, Publishing, Writing, Writing Tips

2 responses to “Justified or Left-Aligned

  1. Interesting question. I’m sensitive to font size and the spacing between characters and can be distracted by fully justified text. I haven’t given thought to it on an e-reader. I’ll have to pay attention next time. I don’t see enough printed examples of left-aligned text to have much of an opinion, but having it looking tidy and professional is of no concern to me as a reader. I don’t self-publish, so the publishers make the decision for my work.

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