[OS X TeX] Overfull \hbox errors

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Tue Oct 25 18:13:23 EDT 2005

On 25 Oct 2005, at 23:56, Damon Muller wrote:

> On Mon, 24 Oct 2005 20:05:06 +0200, "Maarten Sneep"
> <maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl> said:
>> Alternatively, you can figure out which word doesn't want to break
>> for you, and insert optional hyphens where you want a word to break
>> (\-). Remember that words that have a hyphen in them will not break
>> any further.
> Yes, this is what I was trying to do. But hyphens do not look right in
> all words - especially short ones (which you'd hope LaTeX would be
> better at wrapping anyway).

Ah, yes. By default TeX doesn't even consider breaks in words with less
than 6 letters (I think, I'd have to look it up, it might very well  
be language

> I think I may have been premature to blame APACite - it's just that I
> had two paragraphs in a row which didn't justify properly which both
> began with in-text citations. However I also had problems in other
> places without citations as well, so it probably wasn't (just)  
> APACite.

TeX shows what hyphens it tried before giving up. Any specific word
that cause trouble or non-breaking hyphens that are in the stream
should be visible there.

> And just to clarify, it wasn't in the bibliography that the problem  
> was.
> APACite does in-text citations, and a few lines which began with the
> in-text citations were ones which didn't justify properly.

Ah, that yucky style. I think most styles like this insert a non- 
hyphen between the year and the author, making TeX's job a lot harder.
Fortunately (for me, anyway) I'm unfamiliar with these styles, but there
may be options to omit some of those non-breaking hyphens.

> Anyway, it seems to have resolved itself now. I used the microtype
> package to make the document a little prettier and either that, or  
> a few
> more iterations of pdflatex, seems to have sorted it out. Whilst there
> were still a bunch of overfull \hbox errors, there wasn't anything  
> that
> you could actually notice looking at the right margin of the document.

For the very final version of the document, you can try to enlarge or  
certain (troublesome) pages by a small amount. Not enough to be visible,
but enough to affect the line-breaks. I would advise to find the largest
overful \hbox, and print it at final size. Ask someone else to  
pinpoint the
offending line, and if he/she fails, don't bother trying to get it  
right. I think
for me the threshold was about 2 pt, YMMV.

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