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Old 09-25-2022, 02:31 AM   #46
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I do read ragged right, and I still call BS. "Every specific person" is a nonsense. Some people do read faster justified, while LOTS of people read scripts written from right-to-left, and some read scripts written vertically rather than horizontally. To insists that there is one absolute optimum that works without exception for every single literate person is a mountain of merde.
Nobody reads justified text more quickly, ceteris paribus. In the best case the individual difference will be very small. Hence the testing arrangement I described.
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Old 09-25-2022, 03:46 AM   #47
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Nobody reads justified text more quickly, ceteris paribus. In the best case the individual difference will be very small. Hence the testing arrangement I described.
Sadly, the studies I looked at did indeed have people who read justified text more rapidly. More people who read ragged right more rapidly but the results did not support a blanket "everyone reads faster when reading ragged right" statement.

And what exactly constitutes 13 words per line? Going by memory, the studies I looked at specified characters per line not words per line. For your suggestion using an average of 4.7 characters per word in English, this would be equivalent to a line that is 72 characters long (4.7x13 + 11 spaces = 72.1). Using the higher average of 5.1 I've seen as well would give a line that is 77 (more precisesly 77.3) characters long.

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Old 09-25-2022, 04:41 AM   #48
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Not at all. It depends on the publisher. For instance, Open Road books reliably have good formatting. Others, it just depends.
But Open Road still does the justify text in multiple places instead of just the body.
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Old 09-25-2022, 04:44 AM   #49
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I'm afraid you've misread. I said your mileage won't vary. The expression you may be familiar with is "your mileage will vary". I did not give an opinion. If you want to optimize for reading speed, use ragged right and disable hyphenation.

I'm afraid I do not have the appetite to summarize, synthesize and present the decades of research that have established this, except to point you to https://scholar.google.com/schhp.

Happy reading, however you choose to do so.
Instead of a link to Google, just post the link to where you read that left justified text without hyphenation is faster to read the fully justified text with hyphens.
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Old 09-25-2022, 06:44 AM   #50
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Nobody reads justified text more quickly, ceteris paribus. In the best case the individual difference will be very small. Hence the testing arrangement I described.
This is as pointless as serif vs sans argument. There are only opinions on both these issues. There are too many variables. There are no repeatable well designed studies on justified/ragged or sans/serif with clear results.

There is the annoyance factor too. Last night at Chapter 2 at 11.15 pm approx. I got up and reformatted the CSS on the ebook to remove extra space between paragraphs (it did have 1st line indent), no indent on first paragraph after chapter heading and Justified instead of flushed left(ragged right).

I don't need to read faster. I had to learn to read slower when proofing. I think people have a natural reading speed once they are competent readers, but like justified/ragged or sans/serif claims, that's just an opinion.

Some people like ragged right, or Sans. It doesn't make it best for everyone. What's great about DRM free ebooks using a known editable format is that you can adjust for your own preferences. I've a couple of books by authors I like (on paper) that I really can't read because the print quality is poor. I bought an ebook version of another paper book because the formatting of the paper version made it almost unreadable. Nearly half of it was typewriter style monospace to suggest a MSS, but at supposed time of fictional MSS the proportional Times with fully justified paragraphs had been the norm for years. Oddly and unusually for a main publisher the eBook didn't need edited, its formatting was more conventional.
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:10 AM   #51
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This is as pointless as serif vs sans argument. There are only opinions on both these issues. There are too many variables. There are no repeatable well designed studies on justified/ragged or sans/serif with clear results.
The only scientific result is that more people prefer reading with sans-serif.
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:56 AM   #52
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The only scientific result is that more people prefer reading with sans-serif.
Only certain groups and types of content. There is no proof that sans or serif is better or worse in general.

But again with paper you have no choice. With ebooks there is a choice. It's possible to "over-ride" web pages, but not worth the bother.

What is truly an issue is paler grey text on white or darker grey on black, but even grey is a terrible choice. Too many UI and websites are now driven by the designer's concept of pretty rather than real research.
Just recently: https://www.theregister.com/2022/09/...td=keepreading

An aside:
Underlining was invented for typewriters. A typesetter would then change it to bold or italic. Later *Some Text* and /Some Text/ were used to indicate bold and italic as it's less typing. So Underline was chosen for hyper Links as by 1989 it wasn't needed as almost all things supported Bold and many thing Italics.

Some people find large blocks of bold or italic more tiring to read which is why bold is mostly now for headings. The italics can mean many different things: Emphasis of various kinds, a title in body text rather than quotes, a foreign language (common before 1960s), thoughts, telepathy, a short in-line quotation etc.

In many Western languages we find ALL CAPS tiring to read now because we are used to the 4th to 8th C. innovation of lower case mixed with capitals (rules for capitalisation vary with language and context). Many languages don't have cases, bold, italic or even native quotation marks. So this gives an insight to the Ragged vs fully justified and sans vs serif arguments; we are most comfortable with the formatting and typological conventions we are most familiar with. That's not just an opinion because many studies agree. It's indeed the difficulty in studies of agged vs fully justified and sans vs serif or even columns, column width and full page width. Obviously broadsheet newspapers need columns, but what is ideal width?
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:33 AM   #53
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I'm afraid you've misread.
I did not misread your quote. I was noting that when asked for specifics and links to studies, you fell back to (mangled) aphorisms. Which tells me you lack the proof. Therefore, you only have an opinion.
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:34 AM   #54
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But Open Road still does the justify text in multiple places instead of just the body.
That is fine since, as mentioned already, there are times when certain text doesn't need to be justified.
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Old 09-25-2022, 12:51 PM   #55
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I did not misread your quote. I was noting that when asked for specifics and links to studies, you fell back to (mangled) aphorisms. Which tells me you lack the proof. Therefore, you only have an opinion.
I'm genuinely surprised by the reluctance to research, but readiness to argue. I'm afraid the only useful addition I can make to this thread is to repeat myself one more time, for the class.

I did not arrive at my understanding of how the human brain reads by reading a single study. I do not have the appetite to summarize, synthesize, and present research to you on this.

I do not care what do you.

However, ceteris paribus, for a human brain, if you enable hyphenation, and justification, you're as likely to meet a person able to maintain a higher reading speed as you are to meet someone able to more easily lift 2KG over their head than 1KG, ceteris paribus.

Happy reading.
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Old 09-25-2022, 02:05 PM   #56
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I'm genuinely surprised by the reluctance to research, but readiness to argue. I'm afraid the only useful addition I can make to this thread is to repeat myself one more time, for the class.

I did not arrive at my understanding of how the human brain reads by reading a single study. I do not have the appetite to summarize, synthesize, and present research to you on this.

I do not care what do you.

However, ceteris paribus, for a human brain, if you enable hyphenation, and justification, you're as likely to meet a person able to maintain a higher reading speed as you are to meet someone able to more easily lift 2KG over their head than 1KG, ceteris paribus.

Happy reading.
I'm genuinely surprised by the reluctance to present any evidence, but readiness to insist others research to prove you are correct. I'm afraid the only useful addition I can make to this thread is to repeat what I’m sure thousands if not millions of humans have said one more time, for the bad student.

I did not arrive at my understanding of how the human brain accepts an argument by reading a single forum post. I do not have the appetite to summarize, synthesize, and present research to you on this.

However ceteris paribus, making declarative statements and refusing to present any evidence is likely to get your point ignored by anyone you talk to about statements of fact.
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Old 09-25-2022, 02:36 PM   #57
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That is fine since, as mentioned already, there are times when certain text doesn't need to be justified.
You do the main justification in body and any overrides in the classes that need it (center, left, right)
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Old 09-25-2022, 02:38 PM   #58
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I did take a look and could not find any proper study that shows that left justified without hyphens allows one to read faster. I would be interested in reading such a study if anyone can link one. Thanks.
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Old 09-25-2022, 03:20 PM   #59
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I'm genuinely surprised by the reluctance to research, but readiness to argue.
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Old 09-25-2022, 03:26 PM   #60
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I did take a look and could not find any proper study that shows that left justified without hyphens allows one to read faster. I would be interested in reading such a study if anyone can link one. Thanks.
I did find several such studies when I was looking at this a while back. The problem is that the increase in reading speed using ragged right was not that great and the number of people who read faster reading justified text was not a negligible minority.

Like most such studies involving humans, the results are not usable to predict the individual person.

One study from 1986 ( Readability of Computer-Generated Fill-Justified Text ) had the following abstract:

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This paper describes two studies designed to explore the effects of reading fill-justified text on reading speed and comprehension. A common contemporary practice is to use the power of microcomputer-based processors to produce printed material that is fill justified(i.e., both left and right margins are straight). Fill justification is frequently accomplished by inserting varying numbers of extra spaces between words. Both studies compared the reading speed of two groups, one that read a fill-justified passage and the other that read the same passage printed with a ragged right margin. Comprehension was investigated in the one study by comparing performance on a test made up of recognition questions; in the other, performance was compared on recall questions. Results indicate significant increase in reading time (that is, slower reading speed) for groups reading fill-justified text. No differences in comprehension were detected.
This one stuck with me since it was in a rather small minority that described the reading speed increase as significant.

Looking at some of studies almost makes me regret that I no longer have the affiliation needed to access the full papers.

Last edited by DNSB; 09-25-2022 at 03:34 PM. Reason: Added link to study
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