Justification in eBooks

justification in eBooks

Updated June 2017.

I assume you have perfectly good justification for every decision you’ve made in your writing… we’re talking justification in eBooks of the content, including text and pictures.

How should you justify the text in your eBook?

That’s not a philosophical question. I assume you have perfectly good justifications for every decision you’ve made in your writing!

What I’m talking about is the justification of the content (text, pictures, etc.) of your eBook. According to Wikipedia:

In typesetting, justification (also be referred to as “full justification”) is the typographic alignment setting of text or images within a column or “measure” to align along both the left and right margin. Text set this way is said to be “justified”.

In “What Kind of Margins Should My eBook Have?” we discussed setting eBook margins – but how should the text within those margins be justified?

We recommend you use left-justification or centered text. This helps ensure that the end user (the reader) can still easily customize their reading experience on their preferred eReading device.

Right-justification is allowed as well, but if you choose right justification you may need to make sure all the bullets and lists are left aligned (which can be a bit of a pain if you have many lists). Also, some eReaders will override your right-justification settings anyway. Avoid mixing justifications whenever possible.

Please do not use full-justification, which adds extra spacing between words. Those extra spaces can cause some alarming breaks in a line as the book dynamically repaginates.

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Chris Robley is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."


  1. I created a epub file with the default alignment as justify. When I load in iPad, I loose the justification when I set the “Full Justification” as Off. How do I code the text in the epub to let me view the text as justified


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