TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd like to left align my entire document (latex default seems to be center justified). Is there a simple way to do this?

I'm trying to use


but really don't want to have to do that on a paragraph by paragraph basis (and when I try to simply add that to the start and end of my document I get an error.

share|improve this question

Just use:


right after \begin{document}

The flushleft environment effectively sets text in a ragged right list environment. It is defined as:

\def\flushleft{\trivlist \raggedright\item\relax} 

The \raggedright command does the actual work:

   \let\\\@centercr\@rightskip\@flushglue \rightskip\@rightskip

Setting text this way will lead to some ugly looking lines. The ragged2e package provides the \RaggedRight command (and corresponding) FlushLeft environment that solves some of these problems. I would recommend using it instead of just \raggedright.

To see the differences between \raggedright and \RaggedRight here's a small sample document:


\textbf{raggedright with no hyphenation}\par
\textbf{RaggedRight with hyphenation}\par

output of code

share|improve this answer
Can the same result be achieved by completely disabling hyphenation? – ℝaphink Aug 8 '11 at 21:52
@Raphink same result as what? Disabling hyphenation with justified text will just lead to ugly interword spacing, but still justified, not ragged right text. Turning off hyphenation with \RaggedRight will get you the same as \raggedright. – Alan Munn Aug 8 '11 at 22:11
thanks, that answers :-) – ℝaphink Aug 9 '11 at 5:43

You need to use \raggedright to have a flush left typesetting:

\usepackage{lipsum}% dummy text
\raggedright% flush left alignment
\lipsum[1-10]% 10 paragraphs of summy text

Ragged-right aligned document

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.