… those old formatting things?
It was a couple of week ago in a post by Gerry Smith that I saw “it”. I didn’t know what “it” was at the time but “it’ just kept nagging me. He’s since edited the page but at the time I grabbed a screen capture for my TWIOE post, it looked like this.
Can you see “it”?
I felt like a dummy because I didn’t clue in when I saw it. He had full justified the text. You’ll notice how the left margins and the right margins all line up perfectly and there’s a hyphenation in the word “environments”.
That took me back to the advent of word processors. It was so easy to do. Everyone did it. You typed your text and, with one click, the magic happens. You turn your copy into the same full justification that is found in newspapers. It was the finishing touch that said “I’m really published”.
Then, as I tend to do, I wonder how he did it. I can’t ever remember full justification in a blog editor. All I could see in the WordPress editor were left, centre, and right justification.
I came up with all kinds of scenarios.
- He’s not using WordPress
- He’s blogging in a word processor and copy/pasting the text
- He’s using some advanced HTML or CSS to make it happen
Then, I looked at the editor and the three dots that toggle advanced settings. There it was! It was just sitting there all by itself on the second line.
And it works beautifully.
Over the next while, I kept an eye on the blogs that I read and couldn’t find any that had used full justification. The closest I could find were some PDF files of text.
This also got me thinking of other formatting things that were crucial when word processing and the output was to paper. I started to think about the TAB key. Remember in typing, you’d set a tab five spaces in from the left margin. Every paragraph or document had tabs all over the place. You don’t see that any more either. In fact, the actual TAB key on the keyboard was taken on a new role and that is to jump to the next clickable option.
Your thoughts for a Sunday…
- do any of the blogs that you read use full justification?
- in what places these days do you see full justification?
- compare your favourite newspaper online versus the printed copy. (I know; you might have to go to the variety store to check) Why is the printed copy fully justified but the electronic version isn’t?
- Not up for walking to the store? Check out the Newseum front pages
- has the concept of “Publish” changed?
- check your editor. Yes, you can move the margin but it’s not like the traditional tab on the first line…it moves the entire paragraph. In WordPress, it’s called the “indent”
- is there even a way to tab the first first line of a paragragh? (short of cheating and inserting a bunch of spaces)
I’d be most interested in your thoughts on this. Please add them below via comment. The post is part of a regular Sunday series. You can read the past posts here.
Thanks, Gerry, for the inspiration for this post. I love it when I’m forced to do some thinking and research.