Ragged vs right-aligned justification

KeybounceKeybounce Posts: 338 ✭✭✭
edited March 22 in Community Forum Feedback #1 latest comment 26 March, 2020, 01:23 am.

Messages in this forum are forced into right-side justification.

For me, this makes it harder to read.

(And, from the studies I've read, it's harder for more than half the population.)

Please either make it jagged, or make it a user-selected option.

The offending CSS:

.Section-Discussion .Message {

    text-align: justify;




  • Magpie31Magpie31 Posts: 433 ✭✭✭✭
    #222 March, 2020, 05:01 am.

    There are two things here, Keybounce.

    First, is this a general forum issue or is it the browser you are using? On my phone, this forum always shows left-aligned, not right.

    Secondly, I think the team have limited control over the forum settings, as it is a reskin of existing forum software, not their own coding.

  • KeybounceKeybounce Posts: 338 ✭✭✭
    #322 March, 2020, 05:10 am.

    That is from the css file that comes with each page of messages.

  • DogoutlawDogoutlaw Posts: 1,754 ✭✭✭✭✭
    #422 March, 2020, 05:46 am.

    I'm surprised you're saying it's right-aligned. On my mobile and laptop, it's left-aligned. I've never seen it right-aligned.

  • Dewin99Dewin99 Posts: 462 ✭✭✭✭
    #522 March, 2020, 08:20 am.

    Same here. Left-aligned. Can you post a screenshot? @Keybounce

  • MtPolluxMtPollux Posts: 306 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 22 #622 March, 2020, 10:44 am.

    Edit: apologies. I included a screenshot of a post from this forum, and it kind of blends in and looks like its own separate post. Sorry if it looks confusing at all.

    I'm not sure if this is what @Keybounce meant, but the forum actually (for me, at least) aligns to both margins. Since the majority of paragraphs are 1 or 2 lines, it's not obvious until you come across a longer one. Even then, it sometimes does a good job of spacing out the words so the justification is not obvious. I definitely see it when a line has to be stretched awkwardly to fit the margins, as in the 2nd line of @Magpie31's final paragraph.

    It is visually irritating when a line has to stretched awkwardly, but in the end that's all it is. If there's not an easy fix, it's not really worth worrying much about it.

  • LucoireLucoire Posts: 762 ✭✭✭✭✭
    #722 March, 2020, 11:48 am.

    I've had a look at this and made a comparison of what the Forum currently does and what @Keybounce suggests / wants - with Red Boxes to show where the picture ends.

    Current State:
    Suggested State:

    My thoughts:

    Personally I like the "block text" more as my eyes and my brain is used to reading books with block-text. Whenever a line is not in block text my brain assumes that the line is a separate paragraph - just without a separating linefeed between them. And the "non-justify"-version confuses my brain.

  • Magpie31Magpie31 Posts: 433 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 23 #823 March, 2020, 12:38 pm.

    I now understand! So it is justified, not right aligned. For me, justified is generally nicer.

    For reference, this is right aligned, and why I was confused!

  • LucoireLucoire Posts: 762 ✭✭✭✭✭
    #923 March, 2020, 03:00 pm.

    Pretty much all books I own are written in a justified text-alignment:

  • Magpie31Magpie31 Posts: 433 ✭✭✭✭
    #1023 March, 2020, 03:32 pm.

    Also, I would be very interested to read the studies that suggest more than 50% of the population find justified harder to read. Because that has huge implications for my professional field.

  • KeybounceKeybounce Posts: 338 ✭✭✭
    #1124 March, 2020, 02:44 am.

    So I just did a google search on

    studies on the readability of justified vs ragged text

    There were more results talking about the studies, than actual studies. I did find this:

  • LucoireLucoire Posts: 762 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 24 #1224 March, 2020, 08:29 am.


    Both Styles have their place and purpose

    Justified is better for formal texts with long lines and paragraphs

    Ragged is better for informal texts or with short lines or narrow columns


  • KeybounceKeybounce Posts: 338 ✭✭✭
    #1524 March, 2020, 09:51 pm.

    I do not maintain a list of studies that I read over the years, sorry.

    The comments made do bring up some points. I do not know the sample sizes or error bars of what I've read or read about, and yes, sometimes I've only had summaries/abstracts instead of full.

    And yes, I have mild dislexia. My eyes get "lost" when I don't have markers.

    What I did find interesting, checking out more articles, is that the method of how the justification spacing is done matters significantly. And if I'm going off of older studies, that implies a lower-quality justification engine.

  • Magpie31Magpie31 Posts: 433 ✭✭✭✭
    #1625 March, 2020, 02:48 am.

    I understand what you are saying @Keybounce and I apologise if I came across a little too heavy handed. But my point is that, whilst it is normal to casually read articles and studies and forget where you saw them, if one is putting cross quite a passionate and vehement argument and trying to substantiate it with "studies I have read", then that evidence needs to be cited. Or rather, it doesn't need to be cited, but one can't expect for others to take it seriously without decent evidence.

    I agree that the different methods of justifying text were interesting. I would hazard a guess that basic forum software such as this probably use less advanced forms of justification.

  • KeybounceKeybounce Posts: 338 ✭✭✭
    #1726 March, 2020, 01:23 am.

    Oh, I am 100% certain that it is browser dependent. All the forum does is set a CSS flag, and the browser implements it however the browser does.

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