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Lesson 9. Working with Typography > Adjusting letter and word spacing

Adjusting letter and word spacing

You can change the spacing between words and letters using InDesign's kerning and tracking features. You can also control the overall spacing of text in a paragraph by using the single-line or multi-line composers.

About tracking and kerning

Kerning is the process of adding or subtracting space between specific pairs of characters. Tracking is the process of loosening or tightening a block of text.

You can automatically kern type using metrics kerning or optical kerning. Metrics kerning uses kern pairs, which are included with most fonts. Kern pairs contain information about the spacing of specific pairs of characters. A sample of these are: LA, P., To, Tr, Ta, Tu, Te, Ty, Wa, WA, We, Wo, Ya, Yo, and yo. InDesign uses metrics kerning by default so kern pairs are automatically honored when you import or type text.

Some fonts include robust kern-pair specifications. However, when a font includes only minimal built-in kerning or none at all, or if you use two different typefaces or sizes in one or more words on a line, you may want to use the optical kerning option. Optical kerning adjusts the spacing between adjacent characters based on their shapes.

–From the Adobe InDesign User Guide, Chapter 4



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