Thursday, September 30, 2021

Manual Full Justification

Matt Gemmell:

The most amazing thing I’ve ever read is a guide to the SNES game Super Metroid.


Lots of game guides are in plain text, by the way, like this one. No fancy formatting.


See how virtually all the paragraphs are like solid blocks on their left and right edges? In typography that’s called “fully justified”. In word processors etc, it’s accomplished by evenly distributing extra spacing throughout lines of text, and also by hyphenation.

But in that guide, it’s not done with hyphenation or variable spacing. It’s monospaced text in a monospaced font.

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Manual justification like that is crazy talented! Never seen anything like that before.

But of course, leave it to my stupid highly trained eye to hone in on a typo after a random scroll downward: "Mroph" when it should've been "Morph" ROFLOL

Wow. Full justification in monospaced fonts are not too unusual. They were very popular back in the days of fixed-pitch printers.

The amazing thing here is that there are only four instances of a double-space in the text. All the rest of that justification was accomplished by varying the text so it just fits. That's an insane amount of work to get right. (I refuse to believe that this just happened by coincidence :-) )

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