I'm a German software developer who needs to add a parameter to a function that lets users choose if the created text "sticks" to the left, to the right, or is (horizontally) centered. For this concept I have found three expressions: (1) text justification (2) text alignment (3) quadding.
Is there any difference between the three choices in how they are used / what they mean?
From writing HTML, I know text alignment, e.g. mozilla docs.
It's also called "align" in Google Docs and Libre Office Writer:
The same concept is called "text justification" in the PDF specification.
I have only ever seen this in the PDF specification. There it is used as a synonym for "text justification".
The best explanation what this means comes from http://www.happydragonspress.co.uk/tips/beginners/justification.shtml :
Em spaces are sometimes grouped in with Quads. Quads (or Quadrats) are like extra wide spaces, in multiples of 1 Em: 2 Em, 3 Em, 4 Em and occasionally 5 Em. These extra wide spaces are particularly useful for centering things and, above all, for poetry.
So quads are a tool to implement centering.
Looking at Google NGrams,
text alignment seems to be by far the most common one:
Justification vs Alignment
According to https://yesimadesigner.com/justification-vs-alignment/ and https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/justify-vs-align-guide-to-type-alignment
- Uses "justified" as one type of text alignment. It's called "justified" in Google Docs / Writer as well.
- Maybe even more precise would be that text is either justified or aligned. If it is aligned, it can be left/center/right aligned.