Bidirectional Justification ("WP Justification")

I wish to know how to perform a special type of text justification that appears to be unavailable in LibreOffice Writer. This function would be comparable to the default method for full justification in Corel WordPerfect. Microsoft Word also has a similar option, which it defines as “Do full justification the way WordPerfect 6.x for Windows does.” Since no standard term seems to exist for this type of function, I shall refer to it – if I may – as bidirectional justification, for practical reasons that I will further explain.

Currently, LibreOffice Writer uses what I would call unidirectional justification, by moving words in a single direction. The program does so by increasing space between words to ensure that a line extends a certain distance (usually the same width as the preceding line). If a word does not fit in the same line, Writer pushes that word onto the next line. This justifies the text on both sides, but may not always create an aesthetically-pleasing output. This issue is especially noticeable when a text lacks hyphenation and is formatted in narrow columns, where a sentence contains on average three to five words.

The shortcomings of unidirectional justification are resolved by bidirectional justification. In other words, a word processing or desktop publishing program could move words forwards as well as backwards to ensure a better appearance. This is done by both increasing and decreasing as necessary space between words to fit them within a certain line width.

Ultimately, I believe that bidirectional justification would be an important feature to include in future updates and releases of LibreOffice Writer that would attract a greater number of users who are currently tied to proprietary software. Thank you in advance for assisting me personally and contributing to the community as a whole!

Request for enhancement:

Bug 38159 - Better full text justification with auto character scaling and paragraph level adjustment (2011-06-10)

OOo Bug 3243 - improve justification by condensing spaces as well as expanding (2002-02-27)

Come on guys, let’s get on this. There’s no feature more important than this one. Without good looking text, what have you got?

I suggest you file a detailed enhancement bug at the LibreOffice Bugzilla. Be sure to link to the bug you file if you do.