# Control interword glue

I know that TeX (and thus LaTeX) uses boxes and glue to lay out text, but I can't find how to control the glue dimensions.

Specifically, I have one troublesome paragraph that doesn't justify well because the last word on a line is too long and unhyphenable (it's "What"), and I want to increase the interword glue flexibility to allow very large interword spaces to get the offending last word to move onto the next line.

I only want to relax the interword spacing for that one paragraph. How to do that in LaTeX? (XeLaTeX specifically?)

• you could use \begin{sloppypar}....\end{sloppypar} but many people find that loosens things too much, {\setlength\emergencystretch{1em} your text\par} gives more control where you can make 1em as small as possible to fix the problem. – David Carlisle Apr 28 '13 at 11:30
• Traditionally, a typesetter's options for problems like this include one that, for some reason, is often overlooked these days: modifying the text, i.e. insert, delete or move things around. Sometimes the difference of one tiny character does the trick. – Nils L Apr 28 '13 at 11:34
• @DavidCarlisle: Great, that works! Please post it as an answer so I can accept it! – Kerrek SB Apr 28 '13 at 11:35
• @NilsL: Sorry, isn't my own text, and I have to reproduce it faithfully! (And more generous spacing works great, and is hardly noticeable at all. The biggest problem is XeTeX's lack of microtype, I think.) – Kerrek SB Apr 28 '13 at 11:35

You could use \begin{sloppypar}....\end{sloppypar} but many people find that loosens things too much, {\setlength\emergencystretch{1em} your text\par} gives more control where you can make 1em as small as possible to fix the problem.