Three warnings


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Text massage
Line length

Big spaces
Look at the gaps between sentences. They are too wide. A single wordspace between sentences is enough.

Small spaces
This example has no space in front of the letter W. It has half a space (one space, half the point size) in front of the letter A.

We’ve been struggling with type over five centuries. There aren’t many surprises left. But you need to pay attention to detail. You ought to learn about the things that make respected professionals look like ninnies, and to make sure they don’t happen to you. To begin with, I’ll give you three warnings. Let’s look at them before we move on to typographic perils.

Don’t trust a built-in hyphenation dictionary. Not many are any good. You have to check every word break yourself. And remember that four lines in a row, each with a break, is more than you’ll normally get away with.

Don’t trust programs that check spelling. They’re good at catching words that aren’t in the dictionary. The spelling errors they leave behind make the author sound unhinged.

Don’t trust your typist. Beware of two wordspaces after a period, and paragraphs with three-inch indents. Good, professional typists are too often full of the rot they learned in typing classes.



Copyright © 2001 Gunnlaugur SE Briem. All rights reserved. Updated 01 May 2003