# Underfull/overfull preference

When long words at the end of a line cannot be hyphenated (for example when hyphenation is suppressed with \mbox{}), LaTeX could either have the tendency to make lines overfull or the tendency to make them underfull.

Is there a way to define for a paragraph or a short block of text (in which I want to list some longer technical terms), that I prefer underfull lines?

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Use \sloppy before the paragraph and \fussy after the paragraph (leave an empty line before the paragraph before \fussy) – Guido Sep 21 '12 at 22:16
@Guido: Thank you very much! That worked for me. – Wolfram Sep 22 '12 at 18:50

As @Guido says, \sloppy (or \sloppypar) is the classic LaTeX way to loosen up the white space, although sometimes better results can be obtained by instead setting \emergencystretch to a suitably large value (such as \textwidth).
Thank you for suggesting \emergencystretch. I finally used that. – Wolfram Sep 22 '12 at 22:00