Stop Center-Justifying Your Text! It’s too Hard to Read, and You’re Losing Your Readers!

Do you know the sure sign of an amateur graphic designer or copy writer?

It’s when they create lengthy text in a document that is center-justified. Lengthy means over 55 characters wide, and longer than 5 to 10 lines. Here’s an example of center-justified text:

The only text that should be centered is 1. a short quote on a page, like this:

2. a short advertisement, or 3. the text of a formal invitation (like the example above).

Even newsletter, newspaper, magazine and online advertisements are more easily read when left-justified.

Look at this Facebook ad on the left as an example.

The image is on the left so your eye starts with it, then ends up on  the text.

Good! And the text is aligned-left and easy to read. Another good.

So…why is it so much easier to read left-justified over center-justifed text?

Because the way we read in English demands that we read from left to right.

When the lines in your text are justified left (all aligned with the left side of the page, like most of the text on this page), your eye has an easy time of it – it knows where to start each sentence automatically, and can glide to the left and pick up the next sentence easily. Even if the right side of the page is jagged (like this one).

But if your text is center-justified,
your eye has to search out the beginning of each sentence,
because each new line starts
in a different location.
Very, very tiring
after reading a whole page of it.

After a while, people won’t read your articles or entries any more because they know they’ll get eyeball exhaustion. You don’t want that to happen!

So only use center-justified text if it is a 1 to 5-line entry that has up to 55 characters left to right, and no more.

Use left-justified for anything else. Your readers will thank you for being a pro, and for how easy you’ve made it to read your copy.

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