# [texhax] penalties

pierre.mackay at comcast.net pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Thu Apr 30 23:50:20 CEST 2009

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Sgouros" <tomfool at as220.org>
To: texhax at tug.org
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 2:49:56 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [texhax] penalties

Hi All:

I've never really had to mess with penalties in all the time I've used
TeX, but now I have to, and I don't really get how to go about it. I
have a long document (~150 pages), and there are only about four places
where the line-breaking isn't working right. But in those places, I
don't really know what to do. The FAQ suggests changing some penalties,
but the other 500 paragraphs look fine, and I don't want to make global
changes. I thought I could do this:

{\hyphenpenalty5000 Text of offending paragraph.}

Too sophisticated. I usually \hbox{the last two or three words,}
of the paragraph. I do that throughout the article, to avoid clubs.

But that seems to have no effect, whatever I set the value to. The FAQ
also suggests appending "\looseness=-1" to the last word of the
paragraph

\looseness is a great tool for page balancing, but it goes at the start of the paragraph
you are loosening. I always put it after anything else, but before \noindent.
If it doesn't work, that means that the linebreaking has not found any workable
values. I hunt for last lines that almost fill the page as indications that \looseness=1 will work
and use \looseness=1 on almost all paragraphs with short clubs.

I don't see how I could do page balancing without it.

Pierre MacKay
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://tug.org/pipermail/texhax/attachments/20090430/cea23794/attachment.html