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Chapter 4. Advanced Formatting > Character Spacing

Character Spacing

Chapter 3 omitted a few more advanced font formatting options:

  • Spacing determines the amount of space between each character of text. Spacing can be normal or can be expanded or condensed by the number of points you specify (Figure 1).

    Figure 1. Three examples of character spacing: normal (top), expanded by 1 point (middle), and condensed by 1 point (bottom).

  • Position determines whether text appears above or below the baseline. Position can be normal or can be raised or lowered by the number of points you specify (Figure 2).

    Figure 2. Three examples of character position: normal (top), raised 3 points (middle), and lowered 3 points (bottom).

  • Kerning determines how certain combinations of letters "fit" together (Figure 3).

    Figure 3. Two common kerning pairs without kerning enabled (top) and with kerning enabled (bottom).

Tip

Like any other type of font formatting, you can apply character spacing to characters as you type them or to characters that have already been typed. Check Chapter 3 for details.


Tip

The baseline is the invisible line on which characters sit.


Tip

Don't confuse character position with superscript and subscript. Although all three of these font formatting options change the position of text in relation to the baseline, superscript and subscript also change the size of characters. I tell you about superscript and subscript in Chapter 3.


Tip

The effect of kerning varies based on the size and font applied to characters for which kerning is enabled. Kerning is more apparent at larger point sizes and requires that the font contain kerning pairs—predefined pairs of letters to kern. In many instances, you may not see a difference in spacing at all.


To apply character spacinyg

1.
Choose Format > Font (Figure 4).

Figure 4. The Format menu.


2.
In the Font dialog box that appears, click the Character Spacing tab to display its options (Figure 5).

Figure 5. The Character Spacing tab of the Font dialog box.


3.
To change spacing, choose an option from the Spacing pop-up menu (Figure 6). Then enter a value in its By edit box.

Figure 6. The Spacing pop-up menu.


4.
To change position, choose an option from the Position pop-up menu (Figure 7). Then enter a value in its By edit box.

Figure 7. The Position pop-up menu.


5.
To enable kerning, turn on the Kerning for fonts check box. Then enter a value in the Points and above edit box to specify the minimum point size of fonts to which kerning should be applied.

6.
Click OK.

Tip

The Preview area of the Font dialog box (Figure 5) shows what selected characters will look like when you apply settings by clicking OK.


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