I recently noticed there is random spacing between paragraph in my book document class and from this community, I found the solution to use \raggedbottom (I don't have footnote). There are question related to this here but all are technical stuff.

My question is which is the right way in readers (typographic) perspective for book document class? Can I use \raggedbottom? I am wondering why book has \flushbottom.

Thanks in advance.

  • You have left and right pages, flushbottom flushes the content to the bottom, so you have an identical bottom margin. Imagine if the text would stop 1cm earlier on the left than the right and few pages later vice versa. Ugly. – Johannes_B Jul 24 '16 at 9:15
  • Thanks for the comment. I understand that book by default do vertical alignment with an expense of paragraph spacing. I don't understand which is the correct way in typographic perspective. Because to my eyes, I felt random para spacing is bad but I want to know others opinion. – Selva Jul 24 '16 at 9:17
  • There is no correct way. Or either way is correct, as long as your decision is an aware one (which it is right now). – Johannes_B Jul 24 '16 at 9:19
  • I use \raggedbottom, because I do not like large empty spaces between items on pages. It looks bad. You just have to try it both options and see which looks better for you. It might depend on what the content of document is. – Nasser Jul 24 '16 at 10:13

The normal layout, from a typographical point of view, should be \flushbottom. This makes the last line of each page be at exactly the same place on the sheet of paper, and it is the default in LaTeX.

It works fine for pure text, with regularly spaced lines (say literary text). However for non-literary books, with figures, tables, float elements, displayed math formulae, &c., it may come problematic. These elements introduce ‘rubber (vertical) lengths’ (i.e. adjustable lengths) to try solve the problem, and in some circumstances it may happen this mechanism leaves oversized white spaces in the page, especially when the author forces the placement of a float element at a specific place with the [H] option.

So one of the possible solutions is to use the \raggedbottom directive. All pages will not necessarily have exactly the same height, but ‘almost the same height’. The difference will be noticeable mainly if it happens in an even page and the following odd page. In most cases it will be imperceptible to the eye.

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