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View Poll Results: What is your preferred justification
Left Justify 70 40.46%
Justified 83 47.98%
Don't care 20 11.56%
Voters: 173. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-30-2010, 01:02 PM   #31
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It appears I cannot justify my statements, therefore I ......
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:03 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by GeoffC View Post
It appears I cannot justify my statements, therefore I ......
Prefer to leave your statements un-justified?
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:05 PM   #33
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:40 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I suspect that newspapers probably use left justification because full justification doesn't work very well with narrow columns. That's just a guess, though.
Probably done to prevent the rivers that justification would create in a small column?
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:59 PM   #35
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I like justified but not at all cost. Excessive space between words is distracting. I can accept a little right-jaggedness to avoid this. You need another option on your poll: almost fully justified.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:00 PM   #36
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:04 PM   #37
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Left justified. At least until somebody tries to make program used to render the books that at least tries to make it look good.

For explanation I will just quote my rant from one of many threads where we were beating this [dead?] horse.
------------------------------------
I prefer left justified e-books.
The right edge of fully justified text looks good, but you have to have line of reasonable length (not in distance, but in number of words) in order for text, and especially spaces between words, to look good as well.
If the line contains too few characters (words), the inter-word spaces width can vary wildly. This leads to typographical rivers - where spaces between words are visually joined and create "rivers" or even "lakes". Such pages also tend to have very uneven "typographical grey". Typographical grey is perceived evenness of distribution of ink on page. You look at the page from distance, with half closed eyes, so you do not see individual characters, but only grey color.

Printed books do use full justification, because a typical line in a printed book has more characters (words) than a typical line in an ebook, so statistics works in your favor. Also, printed books are [supposed to be] edited by a human being - a trained typographer that can make adjustments, so the text looks nice and evenly distributed. If you do not have trained typographer checking the complete layout, you should at least use advanced algorithms for balancing spaces, such as those used by TeX packages, or inDesign. Software in e-book readers does not have this level of sophistication yet. And frankly, many, many people simply do not care.

Newspapers use full justification, because the text is often in narrow columns, and it would be impossible for you to follow the text without clearly defined right edge.

I do not have a formal typographical education, but I have worked in field and I had to learn many things "on the job". Also, once you are trained to see typographical flaws, you find them distracting ;-)
I am also curious, so I looked up lots of typographical information.
I was wondering why are people so keen on fully justified text. Several influential typographers said (and have proven) that left justified text is easier to comprehend. I made a little research and I was quite startled to discover that THE very first book ever printed with the use of movable type - yes, I mean the Gutenberg Bible - had fully justified text. THE Bible was printed in two columns and we assume that the full justification was indicating the right edge of the text so it is easy to follow. The Gutenberg typographers went so far, that they have put the hyphens outside the right margin, because when you put the hyphen inside the right edge you get something that looks like a notch in a straight edge. I was very surprised to learn that the most of typographical rules were discovered, very, very early. The early typographers and type cutters/designers have very strong influence. Just look up typography history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...ern_typography


And besides, it is *my* reader and I set it up to display the books the way that *I* like. Period. I have been experimenting a lot. Fully justified books in PocketBook look definitely better than they did on Sony Reader, because the [third party] fbreader has relatively fine control over hyphenation. I keep returning to the left justified setup.
------------------------------------
[/rant]

By the way, can't you make two versions?
Not that I care, because I use PocketBook 360 e-book reader and FBReader throws away formatting from epubs and other formats and replaces it with my preferred formatting.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:09 PM   #38
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this is just me, but i don't really like the right-jaggedness. i find it really distracting and for some reason i can't get over it being unfinished formatting.
i'll put up with the few rare rivers for the sake of a nicely formatted document so justified for me
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:24 AM   #39
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I prefer having the ability to decide myself.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:34 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
Left justified. At least until somebody tries to make program used to render the books that at least tries to make it look good.

For explanation I will just quote my rant from one of many threads where we were beating this [dead?] horse.

By the way, can't you make two versions?
Not that I care, because I use PocketBook 360 e-book reader and FBReader throws away formatting from epubs and other formats and replaces it with my preferred formatting.
Kacir - all due respect but given the number of replies and views in a short time it doesn't seem that this topic is dead.

It is very difficult to make two versions in the marketplace. If it were only a d/l from "my store" that wouldn't be a problem, however when putting into the commercial space it becomes difficult.

I think as many of you have pointed out that this issue of formatting will go away in time as many of the ereaders will (and do) simply format according to the user's taste.

Thanks for replying.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:43 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by simonroyle View Post
Kacir - all due respect but given the number of replies and views in a short time it doesn't seem that this topic is dead.
This is why I put the word "dead" in a square bracket, followed by a question mark.
I do remember writing similar rant many times.
In one of my previous rants I have linked to pictures of very early cars, that looked *exactly* like a horse carriage without the horse. This is how I feel many people treat e-books. Why should an e-book on a 6 inch display have 15 millimeters wide margins (like many of the books from the Sony Bookstore had at the time)? 15 millimeters wide margin in a 6 inch device means you have wasted exactly 50% of space available for text.
The vast majority of text we read on computers is left justified. Nobody complains that all the articles here on Mobileread are left justified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonroyle View Post
It is very difficult to make two versions in the marketplace. If it were only a d/l from "my store" that wouldn't be a problem, however when putting into the commercial space it becomes difficult.
If you sell the book as a DRM free book, for example using Smashwords, then the more technically savvy users that DO care about formating can change the formating themselves.
You might also consider putting something like this into the text (where permitted by publisher):
If you would like to have left justified version of this book, contact me at www.Example.com
Quote:
Originally Posted by simonroyle View Post
I think as many of you have pointed out that this issue of formatting will go away in time as many of the ereaders will (and do) simply format according to the user's taste.
Which is the reason so many people like PocketBook that lets you choose format for non-DRMed books.

You will most probably end up doing fully justified version, because this is what the majority of people require according to the poll and many similar previous discussions, but you do get extra points for thinking about it and asking and making effort. The Tag has just been placed on the first place in my ToBeRead queue ;-)

Thank you.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:57 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post

You will most probably end up doing fully justified version, because this is what the majority of people require according to the poll and many similar previous discussions, but you do get extra points for thinking about it and asking and making effort. The Tag has just been placed on the first place in my ToBeRead queue ;-)

Thank you.
...Thinking about it... I've started having nightmares about it :-) Joking aside I want to put out the best "product" possible. Frankly it is *almost* useless talking to publishers about this because they just don't know. And as I am sure you are aware there are hundreds of people willing to take my money but when I look at their product - I think I can do better. Hence me coming here to MR; which is just a GREAT place.

I've learnt more here in a few days than in weeks of reading other blogs and "Easy As Pie" suggestions. You in fact were the first in your ever so lovable way to say RTFM (and fair 'nuff too); which I did.

With regards to DRM. My strategy is to publish directly to Amazon and Smashwords. Smashwords doesn't give me anything on the Kindle that DTP doesn't already offer, but I get teh DRM problem and Smashwords is the solution for that (not to mention broadening the distribution channel).

Great that you're going to read the book and thanks for your thoughtful comments as always.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:06 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffC View Post
It appears I cannot justify my statements, therefore I ......
The margin for error in this space,
Makes one wonder about the human race,
Text to the left,
or text to the right,
Either way you'll probably fright.
And when you've sung the final song,
There will be those who'll say you were wrong,
And justified though your statements may be,
The answer lies in being DRM free.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:49 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonroyle View Post
Joking aside I want to put out the best "product" possible.
There is one thing that is very often overlooked and is, IMHO, even more important in an e-book than full versus left justification, or how to separate paragraphs, or how wide the margins should be or even serif versus sanserif versus slabserif font discussion.
It is separation of sections.

In normal book sections - jumps in narrative within chapter - are often marked by a wider space between paragraphs or perhaps by a small graphical mark. Many book reading programs reformat the book to a certain degree, so such formatting might be lost and then the book is much less readable.
The best practice is to separate paragraphs by something like *** on a separate line - just like you did in Tag ;-)
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:02 AM   #45
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Question: does "justify" mean forced line-breaks at certain points, no matter what? (i.e. Layout, instead of flowing Text - if that is the right term?)

I suppose it's also a matter of device, as several said their eBooks could rearrange the justification themselves.
But if the device can't, I suppose it'll look like a PDF does on my EB600 - forced line
breaks at posi-
tions where they only an-noy and serve no purpose
at all.

In that case I think ragged egdes would be preferable, if it also meant the text could freely flow around to fill up the space instead of being forced to adhere to a structure it might not even be able to fill.
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