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Hi :)
On the rare occasion i have glanced through newspapers in the last few years i have noticed really 
bad kerning between words on different lines.  I doubt LaTeX is really perfect either although it 
probably is a shed load better than Writer/Word.  Getting the spacing right between words on 
different lines without leaving the end all raggedy takes craftsmanship (craftswomanship) and is 
more of an art than a science.  Computers will never really understand the way human beans see 
things.  They can only approximate.  ("If only you could see what your eyes have seen" Bladerunner 
replicant to the chap that manufactured his eyeballs)

The people who compare Writer to LaTeX seldom mention how well Word compares.  People reading some 
of these posts, or quoting them in articles,  might be under a false impression.  The very fact 
that people are annoyed that Writer is not a perfect Desktop Publishing shows how much closer it is 
than Word.  Word makes a complete mess of documents.  If you tried listing the various nasty messes 
Word makes in an average document then it could take a looong time.  That's why they have 

Having used Publisher a fair bit, and Word and now Writer but not LaTeX i think output quality 
starts with Word as being the worst on the left
Word ................. Publisher .... Writer ................... LaTeX
although maybe the gap between LaTeX and Writer is even closer than that?  There might be some 
things Publisher does better and maybe i have only ever seen it being mis-handled but so far 
everything i have seen produced by people experienced (but not necessarily good with it) with 
Publisher has been done a lot better by a noob with Writer.  

Regards from
Tom :)  

 From: Virgil Arrington <>
Sent: Saturday, 7 September 2013, 13:39
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Re: spacing after punctuation

Bruce Byfield wrote:

I know of several publishers who work directly from ODF files. With a 
of exceptions, Writer has most of the tools needed for a thoroughly
professional design job, allegedly because when the original code was being
written in the days of Star Division, they were told they would have to use
what they wrote for documentation.

The trick is to know what options to use, and which to ignore (topics that, 
you forgive the shameless plug, I am currently grappling with the book I am
writing with Jean Hollis Weber).

For now, I'll just say that Writer is not a word processor so much as an
intermediate desktop publishing program. You can actually substitute it 
successfully for proprietary tools like FrameMaker.

No doubt, many publishers are simply publishing the files sent to them that 
are created by word processors. And, sadly, the results are often quite 
apparent. I'm reading more and more books that are set without true small 
caps or old style numbering. Writers and publishers simply accept the faux 
small caps generated by their word processors by shrinking regular upper 
case letters complete with the corresponding weakening of the lines that 
come from the shrinking. Now, perhaps these are the options that you and 
Weber would recommend avoiding. (I look forward to hearing more about your 

However, for me at least, LO's biggest limitation that disqualifies it for 
final publishable work is its justification method. It's line-by-line 
justification results in too many word space variations from line to line 
and too many hyphenated lines. As an experiment, just prepare the same 
document using LO and LaTeX (with the Microtype package). The difference in 
the justified lines will be quite obvious.

To me, LO Writer is a business class word processor, and perhaps the best 
there is, but until it finds a more complete justification method, I don't 
think I qualifies for creating publishable output.


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