I have a confession to make: I love the look of fully-justified text. It’s just so darn … neat. It’s got those nice, straight margins on both sides, not that ragged right margin that looks like it could have been typed on a Selectric. It makes a document looks so much more polished.
Except when this happens:
When I first saw this in my draft, I just thought I’d made a typo — inserted a space in the middle of the word “and.” But when I went back to the document, it looked like this on the screen:
“Well, that’s weird,” I thought. “What on earth could be causing that?”
Here’s another area where WordPerfect got it right (and, strangely enough, Microsoft agrees): The scheme by which Word inserts extra space within and between words to achieve the “full justification” is different than the one WordPerfect has used, and (whaddya know) WordPerfect does it better.
But the good news is, you can get WordPerfect’s justification scheme in your Word 2007-2010 document. Here’s how:
- In Word 2007, click the Office Button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and click the Word Options button at the bottom of the menu.
- In Word 2010, go to the File tab (in the upper left-hand corner, just to the left of the Home tab) and click Options.
- Click on Advanced, then scroll all the way down until you see Compatibility Options. Click the plus sign (+) next to Layout Options to expand it. You will get a huge list of options with check boxes next to them. Find the one that says “Do full justification the way WordPerfect 6.x for Windows does,” then check the box next to that option.
- Click the OK button to save the change.
Your text will shift somewhat (so check your pagination), but the character spacing should be much improved.
This will change the full justification scheme for the current document only. If you want to change this for all future new documents, go to the drop-down at the top of Compatibility Options and choose All New Documents.
In all the years I’ve been using Word, I think this is the first time I’ve seen this crop up. Have you? Let me hear about it in the comments below.