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Character spacing changes line endings

Character spacing can affect line endings and hyphenation. | Typography Glossary | Alpha Index to Full Glossary:

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Unlike kerning which adjusts the space between specific pairs of letters, character spacing adjusts the spacing between all characters in a selection. While kerning is normally applied only to headlines and similar text, character spacing is most often applied to body text. Also known as tracking, character spacing can be used to:

  • improve the overall appearance of a font by tightening up or loosening the default character spacing
  • fit more text in a given space
  • expand text to fill a given space

Depending on your software, other adjustments in addition to the space between characters and words may fall under the heading of character spacing. This can include changing the width of characters (scaling them narrower or wider), changing the position of the characters relative to the baseline, and kerning.

Use character spacing to change the overall appearance and readability of the text, making it more open and airy or more dense. You can use selective character spacing to squeeze more characters onto a line to save space or prevent a few words from carrying over to another page or column of text. Character spacing can be further adjusted on individual lines or words to improve hyphenation and line endings. When making character spacing adjustments to just a portion of a line or paragraph, be careful not to make the change in spacing too obvious. Adjust in tiny increments, preferrably spreading it out over several lines rather than just a few words at the end of a paragrah.

Also Known As: letterspacing | tracking | word spacing
Terms Related to Character Spacing

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