The distance between two straight letters is one unit, the distance between straight and round letters is slightly less than one unit, and the distance between two round letters is even slightly less than one unit. These distances are called "kerning units." When two characters are placed next to each other, the person doing the setting should take into account these different types of distances. If they are not adjusted properly, the results will be poor typography.
Kerning can be measured in several ways: visually, by using a measuring device; electronically, by using software that measures specific areas of text or the total width of a letterform; and manually, by using the knurl on a pen as you type.
It is important to understand that the term "kerning" refers only to the adjustment of inter-letter spacing. It has nothing to do with the quality of any particular set of fonts. In fact, if you look at some old typing samples, you will see that some letters have very little space between them while others are almost touching. This was done to save paper then, but it makes no sense today when every bit of space matters.
Kerning is the process of changing the space between two letters or characters to make them more aesthetically appealing. This is especially crucial for headlines or huge type. (B) Optical kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between neighboring characters depending on their forms. 19th-century typesetters used to do this by eye, but now computers do it automatically.
In design terms, important elements that need to be kept apart include hyphens and periods (full stops). Even if you don't want to use these elements, the designer still needs to know where they are so they can be adjusted if needed. These elements are called spacers.
The term "kerning" comes from the fact that these adjustments were first made by hand with a kern-ball, which has raised dots at different heights around its surface. Today's fonts usually have been designed to work well together, so there's no need for manual kerning, but you do need to set the spacing correctly between each letterform for them to look good together.
Spacers include things like underlines, overlines, strikethroughs, and subscript and superscript characters. They're not always visible, but they play an important role in letting you know when your text looks wrong. For example, if the spacing between 'i' and 't' isn't enough, then you'll know that something's wrong with your text.
Kerning Variables Count the amount of font units to compute kerning values. The default spacing between characters must be altered. Positive values expand the space, whereas negative values shrink it. Positive adjustments are mostly utilized for accented letters, special characters, and punctuation. Negative values are used to bring together words or lines of text that might otherwise appear separated.
In Microsoft Word, you can adjust the kernings in the Font dialog box. Select the font that you want to adjust, then click the Options button. In the Advanced Settings panel, change the Kerning value for each character. A sample document with all the fonts adjusted is available on the DVD that comes with this book. You can follow the instructions in the document to see the results of changing the kernings.
In Adobe Creative Suite 3, go to Preferences > Type. You can adjust the left and right kernings separately.