I compared the screenshot of result betwen InDesign vs MsWord, and I think InDesign has better "Justify" than Microsoft Word. I think MsWord's justify is too much space between words. Is it possible to configure Word's justify behavior?

Adobe InDesign is not Word Processor so it's hard to work with it. Screenshot provided:

Indesign vs Word 2010

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    InDesign's justification algorithm is patented (but is clearly influenced by both Donald Knuth's "optimal spacing", as implemented in TeX, and Hermann Zapf's hz-program). It's kind of optimistic to think you only need to adjust some parameters in Word to achieve a similar quality. But: use Word to only process your text, and InDesign to do the final layout.
    – Jongware
    Apr 3, 2015 at 10:29
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    Adobe spaces per paragraph word spaces per line. So no you can not. But is certainly possible to manually space in word.
    – joojaa
    Apr 3, 2015 at 10:37
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    Word has never been a great tool for layout. It's for text. And InDesign's Story Editor is a perfect word processor in many instances (as opposed to editing text on pages).
    – Scott
    Apr 3, 2015 at 10:47
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    Would you care to make this an answer, @Jongware ?
    – benteh
    Apr 3, 2015 at 11:43
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    Ah, but surely you can make a text box on the master page like so: helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/… and InDesign can be worked on chapters as different files, with separate masters.
    – benteh
    Apr 3, 2015 at 12:42

2 Answers 2


You cannot, in general, copy the exact same feature behavior from one program into another. Tinkering with settings can sometimes lead to a similar result, but not in this case!

InDesign's justification algorithm is influenced by both Donald Knuth's "optimal spacing" as implemented in TeX, and Hermann Zapf's hz-program. It finds the optimal line breaking points in a paragraph within the constraints set by the user (justified or not; hyphenated or not; length of hyphenated words; number of consecutive hyphens; desired letter and word spacing, and glyph scaling, and the amount of divergence allowed; literally hundreds more parameters). The exact algorithm is patented by Adobe.

It's kind of optimistic to think you only need to adjust some parameters in Word to achieve a similar quality, if only because it does not depend solely on settings but there is a fair amount of program code needed as well.

.. in Opposite writing hundred pages in InDesign will hurt your brain.

If you have both programs, use both! Word is a good tool to write text in but has lousy formatting. Writing text directly in InDesign is a pain, but it has superior formatting. So use Word to only process your text, and InDesign to do the final layout.

.. Unfortunately InDesign and Word only communicate using "RTF" insttead of DOCx

Not true. InDesign has been able to import both DOC and DOCX files for a while now. The latest version has no particular problems with importing DOCX generated by the latest versions of Word.

The underlying problem in using InDesign may be because InDesign is professional-level software, and not really aimed at the casual beginner. Point in case: you don't have to create text frames for each separate page, you can enable Autoflow for that. But as said above, don't write in InDesign. Write all in Word, proofread and correct it, and only then import it into InDesign for final lay-out. And when finally importing your text, you can choose to have InDesign create as many pages as necessary.

To alleviate your InDesign related headaches, purchase a friendly starters' guide such as Sandee Cohen's InDesign CC Visual Quickstart Guide.

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    Hm … maybe it’s just me, but I much prefer writing in InDesign to writing in Word, too. The simplest writing tasks tend to be a pain in Word, and the simplest formatting tasks frequently a crashable offence. Plus not having to actually format and set the text once you’re done writing (because that’s already been done on the fly while you were writing) is brilliant. Apr 3, 2015 at 15:55
  • @JanusBahsJacquet For what it's worth, I'd rather write in Scrivener than either, but if I don't have that, I'll use InDesign hands-down. I see very little downside or difference to using it over Word. Apr 3, 2015 at 18:22
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    well I write a lot directly in InDesign and Mathematica. I almost never use Word for anything, unless i need to comment somebody else. Second i do write quite a lot in markdown/RST and convert it to xml for publish. There's something very relaxing in separating semantics form style it gets you focused. When you write who cares what it looks like, you want the best possible text, then best possible look and feel.
    – joojaa
    Apr 3, 2015 at 18:45

more on @Jongware answer:

The problem with all Microsoft products that they are designed for regular user, all MS Products takes decisions on Users behalf, that make it easier to learn and to operate. actual I know some people depending on MS word doing their publications instead of using a more complicated software like indesign.

But Word could be adjusted to do whatever you like with some "in-deep settings"

from the first sight, you will notice that MS-Word doesn't have tracking nor kerning. but it have. and you could make your paragraph like the one that Indesign produced. But I didn't say it will identical, it will just be similar to the Indesign paragraph.

the next example will show you two paragraph having the same justification ion word. but the one in right is adjusted.

enter image description here

The trick is when using full justification you have to set the font to be condensed, and to activate the kerning in font options.

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