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Chapter 4. Advanced Formatting > Character Spacing

Character Spacing

Chapter 3 omitted a few more advanced font formatting options:

  • Scale determines the horizontal sizing of characters. Scale enables you to horizontally stretch or squeeze individual characters (Figure 1).

    Figure 1. Three examples of character scale: 100%, 150%, and 66%.

  • 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 2).

    Figure 2. 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 3).

    Figure 3. 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 4).

    Figure 4. Two common kerning pairs without kerning enabled (top) and with kerning enabled (bottom).

Tips

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

  • The baseline is the invisible line on which characters sit.

  • 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.

  • 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 spacing

1.
Choose Format > Font (Figure 5), or press .

Figure 5. The Format menu.


2.
In the Font dialog that appears, click the Character Spacing tab to display its options (Figure 6).

Figure 6. The Character Spacing tab of the Font dialog.


3.
To change scale, enter a value in the Scale text box or choose an option from the Scale pop-up menu (Figure 7).

Figure 7. The Scale pop-up menu.


4.
To change spacing, choose an option from the Spacing pop-up menu (Figure 8). Then enter a value in its By text box.

Figure 8. The Spacing pop-up menu.


5.
To change position, choose an option from the Position pop-up menu (Figure 9). Then enter a value in its By text box.

Figure 9. The Position pop-up menu.


6.
To enable kerning, turn on the Kerning for fonts check box. Then enter a value in the Points and above text box to specify the minimum point size of fonts to which kerning should be applied.

7.
Click OK.

Tip

  • The Preview area of the Font dialog (Figure 6) shows what selected characters will look like when you apply settings by clicking OK.


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