V-Justify has received another important update that changes quite a lot of things.

First, there are now 5 options in the Justification Style dropdown: Prefer TightPrefer LooseLoosen OnlyTighten Only, and Minimum Change.

They are fully described on the product page (here) and are self-explanatory, but briefly, the difference is that the new options “Loosen Only” and “Tighten Only” will try to justify the frame by adding space only, or removing space only (respectively), while “Prefer Tight” and “Prefer Loose” will first try to tighten or loosen the spacing, and if that doesn’t work, will then try the opposite operation. And “Minimum Change” will check which of the two options causes the least change and will use that option.

These new options give you full control over how to justify each frame, and make it easier to understand what is happening.

However, the biggest change in version 1.4 takes place behind the scenes and aims to make V-Justify much faster.

The biggest problem with previous versions was speed. V-Justify tried various combinations of spacing (in a very efficient way), measured the results, and settled on the best. But this was slow.

In version 1.4 a different approach is used. InDesign’s own vertical justification is switched on for the text frame in question, measurements are taken, it is switched back off, and the necessary space can then be calculated without resorting to the trial-and-error approach of previous versions.

This algorithm is much more efficient and you will notice the speed improvements immediately.

However, it has some drawbacks. It relies heavily on InDesign’s built-in vertical justification (only for taking measurements; ultimately InDesign’s built-in vertical justification is switched off). And InDesign’s justification has some weird bugs. So if InDesign doesn’t succeed in justifying a page, neither will V-Justify.

Also, in the case of multi-column layouts with headings that span columns, earlier versions may have had more success.

However, the difference in speed is so huge that I think this new approach is worth it, and with most layouts the success rate seems to be around 95%.

This update is free for all owners of any version of V-Justify, and can be downloaded here.

I’ll be interested to hear your feedback on the new update!