# How to prevent uneven spacing between words

In the following example, I get awkward spacing in a multicol environment in the second question. Notice that the words "Which of the following" are not spaced as they are in the first question. I'd rather have the spacing be even and have some blank space at the end of the line. Keep in mind I need two columns in this document.

\documentclass[10pt]{article}
\usepackage[inner=1.1in,outer=.7in,top=.9in,bottom=1in,paperwidth=8.5in,paperheight=11in,twoside]{geometry}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{amsthm}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\usepackage{multicol}

\begin{document}

\begin{multicols*}{2}
\raggedcolumns
\begin{enumerate}

\item For ${i = \sqrt{-1}}$, which of the following is equivalent to $(5 - 3i) - (-2 + 5i)$? % C
\begin{enumerate}
\item
\item
\item
\item
\end{enumerate}

\item Which of the following is equal to ${(5 + 2i)(5 - 2i)}$? (Note: $i = \sqrt{-1}$) % B
\begin{enumerate}
\item
\item
\item
\item
\end{enumerate}
\end{enumerate}
\end{multicols*}

\end{document}


• \raggedright makes lines ragged as requested – David Carlisle Jan 25 '16 at 16:45
• Why multicols* and not multicols? – Arne Timperman Jan 25 '16 at 16:59
• multicols halves the content so that both columns contain text. I want multicols* because if there isn't enough content for both columns, then it should be restricted to the first column – Nelson Jan 25 '16 at 17:19

When typesetting material in narrow columns, it's frequently advisable to give up on full justification and, instead, to go for a "ragged-right" (aka: flushleft) look. To achieve this look for the entire document, load the ragged2e package with the option document.

\documentclass[10pt]{article}
\usepackage[inner=1.1in,outer=.7in,top=.9in,bottom=1in,
letterpaper,twoside]{geometry}
\usepackage{amsmath,amsthm,amssymb,multicol}
\usepackage[document]{ragged2e}  % <- new

\begin{document}

\begin{multicols*}{2}
\raggedcolumns

\begin{enumerate}

\item For ${i = \sqrt{-1}}$, which of the following
is equivalent to $(5 - 3i) - (-2 + 5i)$? % C
\begin{enumerate}
\item
\item
\item
\item
\end{enumerate}

\item Which of the following is equal to
${(5 + 2i)(5 - 2i)}$? (Note: $i = \sqrt{-1}$\,) % B
\begin{enumerate}
\item
\item
\item
\item
\end{enumerate}
\end{enumerate}
\end{multicols*}

\end{document}


As often, microtype is your friend.

A short explanation of what it does is there, you might want to look at the documentation, too (texdoc microtype comes with magnificent examples of what it does, if opened with a recent pdfviewer).

\documentclass[10pt]{article}
\usepackage[inner=1.1in,outer=.7in,top=.9in,bottom=1in,paperwidth=8.5in,paperheight=11in,twoside]{geometry}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{amsthm}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\usepackage{multicol}
\usepackage{microtype} % Load this package to obtain a fine composition.

\begin{document}

\begin{multicols*}{2}
\raggedcolumns
\begin{enumerate}

\item For ${i = \sqrt{-1}}$, which of the following is equivalent to $(5 - 3i) - (-2 + 5i)$? % C
\begin{enumerate}
\item
\item
\item
\item
\end{enumerate}

\item Which of the following is equal to ${(5 + 2i)(5 - 2i)}$? (Note: $i = \sqrt{-1}$) % B
\begin{enumerate}
\item
\item
\item
\item
\end{enumerate}
\end{enumerate}
\end{multicols*}

\end{document}


produces

• While this approach happens to work for the code given by the OP, it's of no help if the word "equal" in the second item wer replaced with "equivalent". As such, the generality of the proposed approach is limited. – Mico Jan 25 '16 at 18:12
• @Mico : I definitely agree, but loading microtype in general avoids a lot of troubles of the kind Op encounters. And it is what I would consider to be a good practice. – Clément Jan 25 '16 at 18:47