Is it possible to justify the text in Adobe XD?
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Hope it helps.
It's not possible in XD, and highly warned against in general for web and app design !
Most browsers are equiped with lousy hyphenation and justification algorithms, especially in many non-English languages. So text lines are wrapped in incorrect ways, rendering very illegible columns of text. Having justified text might look very straight and appealing, but from a reader's viewpoint, it's often a bad thing...
Thanks @Peter_Villevoye, thanks for that explanation.
I'm new to typography, but I've seen a different kind of style where hyphens aren't used. Instead, the spacing between each word is increased such that the final character of each line is right aligned. Is this a different style of justification, or is there a different term for that.
There are indeed several typographical settings available in text justification, both in print as in web media. E.g. in Adobe InDesign you can specify the desired and tolerated spacing between characters and/or words, and even allow horizontal character scaling as a method in the setting. These values can subtly alter the overall 'look' of a text, to make it appear more newspaper or magaine style.
In web design such CSS settings are also available:
But as I said earlier in this discussion: due to lousy or even missing dictionaries, the algorithms of capable browsers perform a very rough or wrong hyphenation, leaving very large gaps (the space left by every wrapping whole word) to be spread over a text line. Maybe that's not such a big deal in English (which uses far more separated hence smaller words), but it looks horrible in many other languages.
And there's a more disturbing problem: most browser don't support any advanced justification settings:
Justify does not favour English text in responsive design. However, it favours text such as Chinese, Korean. text which mixes with few numbers and english characters.
@Peter Villevoye I disagree. Adobe Xd has so many "convenience"-features, this would just add up perfectly. So many customers asked "why can't you justify it?" - and then i go back to Illustrator or Word. Really? Is that the answer? If customers demand it, there's no excuse to not implement it. This is a basic feature.
The rationale of Justification being a convenience feature for the designer doesn't work for me. When I Google "web design justification text" the whole first page of results is filled with blogs, articles, and examples advising against the use of justified text. I know, Google often tries to offer results that fit a person's confimation bias, but I can't believe they've included this preference in my profile... 😉
So I think it's fair of the development team to prioritize other features and leave this request unfulfilled, in stead of spending a vast amount of resources on hyphenation algorithms and standard and custom vocabularies in 60+ languages, with the notion that it won't work properly in many browsers and websites.
@Peter Villevoye Thanks for your response.
However, your answer will be strongly tied to a momentary "snapshot" of Google results regarding web dev/design. BTW: The original question is not specifically about web or app design.
Possible valid (technological) arguments for web are:
- Browsers are not ready yet
- Complex algorithms
- Different writing systems (latin, cyrillic, greek, arabic etc) result into different rules (adds complexity aswell)
Designer opinions on why it can be bad:
- Harder to read (for some people), e.g. "reading the next line" is more difficult when the lines are the same size/width.
- Difficult to control rhythm of letters and words
- "Just say “no” to justification" (really? That's a terrible argument, but I read it often)
Designer opinions on why it can be good:
- Justified layout of a textblock can provice structural harmony (where the content and the legibility is secondary)
- More artistic freedom in presenting a text
- Replicate the look and feel of magazines and newspapers (those are common, right?)
I'm not saying that this "list" is complete or anything. I understand the negative aspects, but I also understand every designer looking into this thread just desperatly wishing for this feature. This is not about "What should not or can not be done". It's more about "We want that feature", regardless of the technical hurdles.
It would increase the value of Adobe Xd imho.
Thanks for your correct and kind reply. You've summed up the pros and cons very neatly.
This matter is being discussed at lentgh in some other threads and a UserVoice request. In one of them, contributors are even rallying against me for not endorsing their claim or understanding their wish.
I'm not advocating against text justification in general, but only explaining why I can relate to Adobe's attitude or even momentary inability (due to development constraints) to simply shove some half-baked algorithm into XD, slap another alignment button onto the panel, and call it a day. Would users be happy with another flawed solution like that List plugin ?
Let's wait for a better take on the whole text engine, Adobe has been promising (for a few years now...)