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Microsoft Publisher 2003

Advanced Character Formatting

Tracking and kerning are two Publisher options for controlling the space between characters. Kerning is helpful for fine-tuning the space between individual characters, whereas tracking is useful for larger blocks of text. By adjusting the track first, you may have to do less kerning. 

return to topAdjusting Tracking

Tracking refers to the space between individual characters only. Tracking adjusts the relative space between characters so that it gets tighter at larger sizes and looser at smaller sizes. Publisher offers several tracking options from Very Loose to Very Tight. You can adjust the track for an entire paragraph, a single line, or a few characters. Here is an example of the different types of tracking opposed to normal text:
Tracking example

  1. Select the text that you want to track

  2. From the Format menu, select Character Spacing...
    The Character Spacing dialog box appears.

  3. In the Tracking section, from the pull-down list, select either Normal, Very Tight, Tight, Loose, Very Loose, or Custom

  4. If you select Custom, in the By this amount text box, type a percentage or use the nudge buttons

  5. Click OK

return to topAdjusting Kerning

Kerning refers only to the space between pairs of characters. Desktop publishing programs use linear calculations to determine character spacing. Sometimes this results in too much spacing at large point sizes and too little at small ones. Kerning adjustments are exactly proportional to the characters. Publisher allows you to kern text manually, automatically, or both between two characters or, if necessary, over a range of text. Here is an example of what kerned characters look like opposed to regular characters:
Kerning example

  1. Select the text you want to kern
    NOTE: Kerning affects the space after a character. So, if you want to change the kerning of a word, but not the width of space after the word, select all but the last character of the word.

  2. From the Format menu, select Character Spacing...
    The Character Spacing dialog box appears.

  3. In the Kerning section, from the pull-down list, select either Normal, Expand, or Condense

  4. In the By this amount text box, type the appropriate number

  5. Click OK

return to topAdjusting the Scale

Adjusting the scale of text allows you to stretch or shrink it like a piece of bubble gum.

  1. Select the text that needs the scaling adjusted

  2. From the Format menu, select Character Spacing...
    The Character Spacing dialog box appears.

  3. In the Scaling section, click the appropriate nudge button to shrink or stretch the text

  4. Click OK

return to topUsing the Measurement Toolbar

If you are doing a lot of character formatting, you may want to display the Measurement toolbar. This will provide convenient access to the tracking, kerning, and scaling options.

To display the Measurement toolbar:

  1. From the View menu, select Toolbars » Measurement
    The Measurement toolbar appears.
    Measurement toolbar - tracking, kerning, scaling

To format characters using the Measurement toolbar:

  1. Select the text you want to format

  2. For the option you are applying, increase or decrease the effect by clicking the appropriate nudge button

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