Justifying the Content, Justifying the Format

Go ahead, call me the Justify Cop. I haven’t been pointing fingers too much lately about the use of justify, but after a series of events that have taken place with my work, I think I have the perfect excuse. For this post thank you goes to the developers of San Antonio Air Conditioning Service. They occasionally hire me to review their sites, and were nice enough to let me allow to use this new site as an example.

Besides learning when or when not to justifying text, there is something else that this site needs to justify. It’s the content.

A Quick Lesson In Justify for Format

Here in the United States (and many other countries), text is read left to right. Text is aligned left for easy reading, it helps us easily find the starting point, and uses just one space between words. When we run out of space on the right we simply wrap the content down to the next line.

When justify is used, this format is broken. Extra spaces are added, and the text aligns on both sides. So why is there a feature in most word editors to justify?

screenshot of san antonio air condition website and the use of justify

Justify format is used for a couple of reasons. The first reason is to differentiate its content. Justify, today, is mainly used to identify block quotes. A block quote is typically considered any quote that requires more than four lines of text. Online, this format often works best, and is the format most popular websites and blogs use today.

Justify format is also commonly used in narrow column periodicals and even the Bible! Having that right side align straight down helps prevent eyestrain by creating a clear white space margin between columns.

So to review, align left normally, unless you are using block quotes or narrow columns.

Now to Justify the Content

Forgetting the lesson of how to align text for a minute, there is another lesson this site can teach us. It’s to limit the prose text on the home page, and make sure there is a prominent call to action. Looking at the screenshot image I took above you can see there is almost nothing but text on this site, and no call to action. Very few new visitors will read even half of all that text.

Is the site nothing but a fancy digital brochure? I think so. If you have been keeping up with this site, Best Web Image, you know that I have been pushing the idea that “digital brochures” are the thing of the past. Get your site to do something! With a little more work, and a lot less text, this site could not only be giving its visitors information, but booking appointments and making sales!

Have you justified your content lately?

A special thank you goes to San Antonio Air Conditioning Service, for sponsoring Best Web Image with this paid editorial review.


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