Kerning, in its most basic form, involves modifying the spacing between two individual letters, whereas tracking includes adjusting the spacing evenly over a specified selection of text. Both aim to equalize the appearance of whitespace between letters. With tracking especially, this is needed to avoid the appearance of bolding or italicizing parts of a sentence.
In addition to improving readability, adjusting letter spacing can also improve the look of your text on screen or printed out. It allows you to control how much space there is between words, sentences, and paragraphs. This is particularly important when creating PDF files because the amount of text on one page limits the size of any images that can be included. By adjusting the tracking and kerning on each element, you can make sure that they don't overlap or touch, which looks better than if some were made larger than others.
There are two main types of kerning: subjective and objective. Subjective kerning requires that someone with visual perception (such as a designer or typographer) decides what values should be used for each character pair. Objective kerning uses software tools to calculate correct values based on certain rules. Most fonts have both subjective and objective versions so they can be used together for maximum flexibility.
The use of kerning has become more common as digital typefaces have become available.
While kerning relates to the spacing between letter pairs, tracking refers to the overall spacing of a group of characters. When tracking values are used, the spacing across the text is uniform. When fixed-width fonts are used, the only way to adjust the spacing is through word processing software.
Kerning is the practice of changing the space between characters in a proportional typeface to produce a visually appealing outcome. Kerning modifies the distance between individual letterforms, whereas tracking modifies spacing evenly over a range of letters. When used together, these techniques can be employed to create great-looking text.
In an electronic file, kerning data are usually stored in a "font table" or "kern table". The term "kerning" may also refer to the process of adjusting the spacing between two objects (such as words) to make them appear closer or further apart on a page. This is done with a kerning pair: a letter that fits between the objects being spaced.
Kerning was first used by French typographer and calligrapher Jean Jannon (c. 1457 – 1540). He called it "acharnement", which means "hardening" or "stiffening". Today, this function is performed by default in most desktop publishing software packages. However, some people may want to adjust the spacing between certain pairs of characters in a word or phrase; for example, to make it look like they're printed in blackletter style.
The goal of kerning is to make sure that different parts of a composition read at a comfortable distance from one another.
With kerning, you can adjust the spacing between any two letters or words without changing the overall size of the text.
"Tracking" refers to the general spacing between groups of letters, whereas "leading" refers to the vertical spacing between type lines. Making the necessary adjustments to your leading and tracking first is critical, since doing it after kerning might disrupt the balance in the kerning modifications you've previously done. Tracking should be adjusted before leading, since type designers often use a piece of paper with marks for each line of type to help them align it properly.