The space between the letters in a word seems just a bit too wide. It would look better if that space were reduced. How can I achieve this?

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Checked.png Checked for technical accuracy Psjlisa 15:47, 29 June 2010 (UTC)


The space between the letters in a word seems just a bit too wide. It would look better if that space were reduced. How can I achieve this?


What you need to enable is "Kerning". Kerning is part of the typesetting process, where the space between letters is adjusted to the appearance of the letter and its neighbour. For example, when a V is followed by an A, the shape of the letters would result in a little too much space between them, and this just doesn't look nice. The A should be moved a little towards the V.

This text is not kerned:
Lvat1.jpg
As you can see, the space between the letters is just too wide. This text is kerned:
Lvat2.jpg

So how do you enable kerning?

If you need kerning only for selected parts of your text, follow these steps:

  • Highlight the passages of your text for which kerning needs to be enabled.
  • Select Format > Character.
  • Select the Position tab. In the "Spacing" section, check the check box Pair kerning.

If you need the whole text to be kerned, modify the styles, as follows:

  • Press F11 to open the Styles and Formatting window (or choose Format > Styles and Formatting).
  • Click the paragraph styles icon to open the list of paragraph styles.
  • Right-click on each paragraph style that's being used. Select Modify... on the context menu.
  • Select the Position tab. In the Spacing section, check the check box Pair kerning.

Note that kerning is controlled by information in the font data (in particular the font metrics). Fonts that do not need such precise corrections, like fixed width fonts, will not be subject to kerning.

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