Manual Kerning

To adjust kerning manually, insert your Type Tool between two characters. Press Option+Left/Right Arrow (Alt+Left/Right Arrow) to decrease or increase the kerning between two characters. This method kerns using the increment specified in your Units and Increment Preferences. The default kern increment is 20/1000 of an em, which is too coarse. Do yourself a favor and change this increment to 5 in your application Preferences. Because these adjustments are in relative units, a kerning or tracking adjustment made at one point size will have proportionally the same effect at any other point size. Holding down Cmd (Ctrl) when using these keystrokes multiplies the kerning increment by five.

To adjust tracking manually, follow the same steps but with a range of text selected.

As your type gets larger, any irregular spacing between characters becomes more noticeable. Manual intervention may be required. Possible candidates for kerning include:

  • Headlines and display type
  • Drop Caps (See Chapter 10: " First Impressions: Creating Great Opening Paragraphs")
  • Combined fonts (especially roman-italic combinations)
  • Script typefaces

Figure 5.6. A headline in Franklin Gothic Condensed with Metrics Kerning (example A) and with manual kerning added (example B).

Figure 5.7. A script typeface without manual kerning (example A) and with manual kerning (example B).


How Much to Kern

Part I: Character Formats

Getting Started

Going with the Flow

Character Reference

Getting the Lead Out

Kern, Baby, Kern

Sweating the Small Stuff: Special Characters, White Space, and Glyphs

OpenType: The New Frontier in Font Technology

Part II: Paragraph Formats

Aligning Your Type

Paragraph Indents and Spacing

First Impressions: Creating Great Opening Paragraphs

Dont Fear the Hyphen

Mastering Tabs and Tables

Part III: Styles

Stylin with Paragraph and Character Styles

Mo Style

Part IV: Page Layout

Setting Up Your Document

Everything in Its Right Place: Using Grids

Text Wraps: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Type Effects

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InDesign Type. Professional Typography with Adobe InDesign CS2
InDesign Type: Professional Typography with Adobe InDesign CS2
ISBN: 0321385446
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 186
Authors: Nigel French
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