Justified Text - Coming to a web near you

Soft hyphens - sounds so nice.

The Look That Says Book

by Richard Fink

The vast majority of books and magazines are typeset using hyphenation and justification (written as H&J from here on in). In print, it’s everywhere: All lines of text except the last lines of paragraphs are stretched out to the same length. Flush left and flush right. Hyphens are used to break words at the end of lines to help prevent gaps in word spacing. Like this:
We hold these truths to be self-ev­i­dent, that all men are cre­at­ed e­qual, that they are en­dowed by their Cre­a­tor with cer­tain un­al­ien­a­ble Rights, that a­mong these are Life, Lib­er­ty and the pur­suit of Hap­pi­ness. That to se­cure these rights, Gov­ern­ments are in­sti­tut­ed a­mong Men, de­riv­ing their just pow­ers…

Using hyphenation and justification today

When it comes to new browser features, Flash-y effects get the glory and so it’s no surprise that support for a special unicode font character called the soft hyphen would go largely unnoticed. But the soft hyphen is the key to good-looking hyphenation and justification. And over the years it’s gained support in every A-grade browser: IE6+, Opera 7.1+, Safari 2+, Firefox 3+, and Chrome. This, combined with a little JavaScript jiggery, makes H&J a viable design technique today.

The soft hyphen

What’s a soft hyphen? The HTML spec says:
Read more at www.alistapart.com

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