4

I use \documentclass{scrbook} along with \usepackage{microtype} and \usepackage{hyphenat} [adding new words as necessary] for superior typesetting.

During edits, I see overfull boxes in the Draft Edition, then I reword or add new hyphenated breaks to my dictionary, until everything is perfect. Some of my documents are book length, so I have many pages to check. And since the text columns are more narrow than default size, I expect more overfull boxes.

Once I'm done with error correcting, and I typeset a long document for Final Edition, I use \sloppy since it never reduces the quality of paragraphs that would have been typeset correctly using \fussy, and it assures that I have zero overfull boxes in the Final Edition.

So, as "Best Practice", I always use \fussy for draft documents, but only until error checking is done, then at very end of drafting I use \sloppy for a "best quality possible" Final Edition.

I hate to hear fussy complaints, so I use sloppy. But I hate to be sloppy, so I'm asking here if this is really a Best Practice?

2
  • 1
    Also, narrow columns look better with \sloppy than \fussy. It is automatic in \marginpar. Jan 11 '18 at 14:51
  • 2
    I assume you are aware that microtype may change behavior, depending on whether or not you are in draft mode? You can force it to be always final, so that typesetting is the same whether or not in draft mode. See microtype docs section 3.5.
    – user139954
    Jan 11 '18 at 15:17
13

No this is bad practice. \sloppy may affect the typesetting of all paragraphs, typically giving poorer results. If you absolutely need it for some difficult text with hard to break items such as inline boxes then use it locally as needed, but even there it is often better to use some "less sloppy" setting such as just setting \emergencystretch not changing \tolerance as \sloppy does.

Also if your box is .4pt over full \sloppy will remove the warning, but not by making the box not stick into the margin, it simply doesn't warn about boxes unless they are at least .5pt over full.

Here is an example of text set with no warnings using \fussy but then when set with \sloppy the spacing is arguably worse and certainly not the same. TeX warns:

Underfull \hbox (badness 1168) in paragraph at lines 25--26

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}

\setlength\textwidth{142.7pt}

\begin{document}

%\hfuzz0pt

\def\zz{During edits, overfull boxes in the Draft Edition, then I reword
or add new hyphenated breaks to my dictionary, until everything is
perfect. Some of my documents are book length, so I have many pages to
check. And since the text columns more narrow than default size, I
expect more overfull boxes.}


Fussy

\fussy
\zz

Sloppy

\sloppy
\zz

\end{document}

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.