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Microsoft Publisher 2007

Working with Character Spacing

Tracking and kerning are two Publisher options for controlling the space between characters. Kerning is helpful for fine-tuning the space between individual characters, especially at large font sizes used in display text. Tracking is useful for blocks of text. 

return to topAdjusting Tracking

Tracking adjusts the relative space between characters by a user specified percentage. Tracking is useful when you want to alter the spacing between characters on a large scale (e.g. sentence, paragraph, story, etc.). If you want to change the spacing between two specific characters, refer to Adjusting Kerning. Publisher offers several tracking options from Very Loose to Very Tight. You can adjust the track for a single line or an entire paragraph. It is best to start with a small amount of text and a small change to the tracking. Adjusting the track of a single line can affect the entire paragraph.

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
    NOTE: Your selection is previewed in the Sample section.
    Character Spacing dialog box - Tracking section

  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

If you have to alter the space between two specific characters, you will want to use kerning. Kerning is a specific and focused type of character spacing that puts a user-specified amount of space between the characters that are selected. Kerning is useful when working with especially large font sizes (e.g. a title or headline) or especially small ones (e.g. footnotes or picture captions), where the individual characters may be placed too close together or too far apart by the program. Publisher allows you to kern text manually, automatically, or both. Here is an example of what kerned characters look like opposed to regular characters:
Kerning example

Setting Automatic Kerning

You can set Publisher to kern letter pairs automatically at a specified font size. This may reduce your need to kern text manually.

  1. Select the characters you want to kern

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

  3. In the Automatic pair kerning section, select Kern text at
    Automatic pair kerning section of the Character Spacing dialog box

  4. In the Kern text at text box, use the nudge buttons or type the font size at which automatic kerning will occur

  5. Click OK

Adjusting Kerning Manually

Even with automatic kerning turned on, you may still kern letter pairs manually.

  1. Select the characters you want to kern
    NOTE: Kerning affects the space after a character. To adjust the space between two letters, select both letters.

  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
    Character Spacing dialog box - Kerning section

  4. In the By this amount text box, type the appropriate number or use the nudge buttons
    NOTE: Your selection is previewed in the Sample section.

  5. Click OK

return to topAdjusting the Scale

Adjusting the scale of text allows you to stretch or shrink it horizontally.

  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, type a number or click the appropriate nudge button to shrink or stretch the text
    NOTE: Your selection is previewed in the Sample section.
    Character Spacing dialog box - Scaling section

  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 typing a number or clicking the appropriate nudge button

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