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Re: Does FM support vertical justification (aka "feathering)?

Hi Alice, Jay, Mike.

Here's another "iffy" solution to this sticky problem.

I agree with Alice, whether writing or publishing, less is more. However, if you aren't able to edit the copy, as in the case where you are not the document author and the author says "no", which has happened to me, or the text just can't be reduced 'cause you're such a great writer/editor to begin with, then you are looking at some form of digital solution, albeit undesirable.

Something I've have to do in the past - that I hate doing but it works - is to simply "tweak" the bottom page margin slightly, say a pica or two (or 1/16", whatever). That will sometimes be enough to suck the text back to the previous page without ruining your leading. The trick here is, naturally, to execute this in such a way that your text at the bottom page margin still matches the rest of the book. The obvious downside is that you have an override to you page layout (yuk). 

I'm also guilty of the suggestions made by Jay and Mike (as well as some of the good behavior suggested by Alice), and I can testify that in the case of any of heavy use of overrides, of whatever variety, the suggestion for saving a "virgin" copy is wise.


>>> "Alice Preston" <apreston2@telcordia.com> 01/05/00 08:50AM >>>

Note to both Mike Tatro and Jay Smith,

Typographically speaking, the "feathering" and other Ventura-type kludges were
historically a no-no.  In the days of the stick, hot lead, and even cold type
(Linotron, etc.), you would edit your copy rather than muck around with the
leading.  Your "block" on your page (type sizes for different levels of headings
and copy as well as the leading) was set up to be "pleasing to the eye" as well
as informative.

Then we took the layout work away from the professionals (the typesetters) and
gave it to a bunch of amateurs (us).  So all kinds of horrible-looking things
have been published since then and called "professional".

Personally, I would still try to edit down the copy rather than mess around with
squeezing an extra line onto a page.  It's better in several ways:

 -  many documents these days are just too wordy (period); this usually happens
because it's so easy to type more words in on our current input devices.  Almost
any document can benefit from some tightening up.
 -  translation/internationalization will almost always make documents grow, not
shrink.  If you're squeezed to begin with, you will ALWAYS end up with more
pages.  If you have left the occasional area of white space (even most of a
page), the growth may make little difference in overall document length (in
 -  folks whose eyes are sensitive to such things won't get seasick from your

Alice Preston
Telcordia Technologies, Piscataway, NJ

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