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Chapter 4. Text Controls > Adjusting Kerning

Adjusting Kerning

Kerning refers to the amount of space between letters in a word. More space between letters often improves the readability of the text. On the other hand, too much space can hamper reading by making individual words appear less distinct on the page.

In this example (Code 4.1 and Figure 4.1), extra space is being added between the letters of the word stretching.

Code 4.1. Here, I've used letter spacing for a dramatic effect to stretch the word stretching.


Figure 4.1. This text does what it says.


To define kerning:

1.
letter-spacing:

Type the letter-spacing property, followed by a colon (:) in the CSS definition list.

2.
2em;

Type a value for the letter-spacing property (Table 4.1), using either:

  • A length value, such as 2em, which sets the absolute space between letters

  • normal, which overrides inherited spacing attributes

Tip

A positive value for letter-spacing adds more space to the default amount; a negative value closes the space. A value of 0 does not add or subtract space but prevents justification of the text (see "Aligning Text Left, Right, and Center" later in this chapter).


Table 4.1. letter-spacing Values
Value Compatibility
normal IE4[1], N6, CSS1
<length> IE4[1], N6, CSS1


[1] Mac version only; not available in Windows

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