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2.10.10 Text and Font Options

General options for text formatting.

If you have a large block of text containing no explicit Return characters, then Mathematica will automatically break your text into a sequence of lines. The option PageWidth specifies how long each line should be allowed to be.

Settings for the PageWidth option in cells and notebooks.

The option TextAlignment allows you to specify how you want successive lines of text to be aligned. Since Mathematica normally breaks text only at space or punctuation characters, it is common to end up with lines of different lengths. Normally the variation in lengths will give your text a ragged boundary. But Mathematica allows you to adjust the spaces in successive lines of text so as to make the lines more nearly equal in length. The setting for TextJustification gives the fraction of extra space which Mathematica is allowed to add. TextJustification->1 leads to "full justification" in which all complete lines of text are adjusted to be exactly the same length.

Settings for the TextAlignment option.

Here is text with TextAlignment->Left and TextJustification->0.

With TextAlignment->Center the text is centered.

TextJustification->1 adjusts word spacing so that both the left and right edges line up.

TextJustification->0.5 reduces the degree of raggedness, but does not force the left and right edges to be precisely lined up.

When you enter a block of text in a Mathematica notebook, Mathematica will treat any explicit Return characters that you type as paragraph breaks. The option ParagraphIndent allows you to specify how much you want to indent the first line in each paragraph. By giving a negative setting for ParagraphIndent, you can make the first line stick out to the left relative to subsequent lines.

Options for spacing between lines of text.

Here is some text with the default setting LineSpacing->{1, 1}, which inserts just 1 printer's point of extra space between successive lines.

With LineSpacing->{1, 5} the text is "looser".

LineSpacing->{2, 0} makes the text double-spaced.

With LineSpacing->{1, -2} the text is tight.

Options for fonts.

Some typical font family names.

Some settings of font options.

Mathematica allows you to specify the font that you want to use in considerable detail. Sometimes, however, the particular combination of font families and variations that you request may not be available on your computer system. In such cases, Mathematica will try to find the closest approximation it can. There are various additional options, such as FontPostScriptName and FontNativeNames that you can set to help Mathematica find an appropriate font. In addition, you can set FontSubstitutions to be a list of rules that give replacements to try for font family names.

There are a great many fonts available for ordinary text. But for special technical characters, and even for Greek letters, far fewer fonts are available. The Mathematica system includes fonts that were built to support all of the various special characters that are used by Mathematica. There are three versions of these fonts: ordinary (like Times), monospaced (like Courier), and sans serif (like Helvetica).

For a given text font, Mathematica tries to choose the special character font that matches it best. You can help Mathematica to make this choice by giving rules for "FontSerifed" and "FontMonospaced" in the setting for the FontProperties option. You can also give rules for "FontEncoding" to specify explicitly from what font each character is to be taken.