Is there a way to define certain instances of the space character to occupy a certain length in justfied text? The consistency of the size of the space after a full stop in a 12pt article (using lmodern) is too inconsistent for my taste, and I am not able to change to \raggedright


If you use

\spaceskip=.3333em \xspaceskip=.5em

or any other fixed lengths, the white space won't stretch, of course if you make it completely rigid as here, then Tex may have trouble justifying the text, but you could add some plus or minus components according to taste.

This will show the default values:


with 10pt cm fonts you get:

  • I didn't find the default definition in article.cls, I assume that is deeper in the software. Can you give me a sense of how it is defined? Is there a way to find how much plus and minus are part of the object in the default state? – repurposer Jun 17 '14 at 16:09
  • but beware -- if you change the size of the text font, the widths associated with these two \*spaceskips will not change, so a space intended for 12pt text will look too large in a footnote. – barbara beeton Jun 17 '14 at 16:09
  • 1
    By default it takes the values from the font dimensions of the current font, but if these values (they are tex primitives not used by default in latex) are set the font params are ignored and these values are used. the default values are font param 2 3 4 7 see tex.stackexchange.com/questions/88991/… I added some code to my answer – David Carlisle Jun 17 '14 at 16:21

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