Advanced Typography Options

We’ve added some new typographical options to Designer for 8.2. We now support kerning, horizontal and vertical font scaling and letter spacing.



Kerning is used to reduce the spacing between glyphs to make text more visually appealing. Designer supports pair kerning, a kerning algorithm that looks at pairs of glyphs and figures out whether the glyphs can be drawn closer together. Certain glyph pairs are highly prone to kerning (like “AV” where the space between the two letters is highly symmetrical) whereas other glyph pairs are not good candidates for kerning. There is no user control over which glyph pairs will be kerned – the kerning is applied based on font metrics and kerning information embedded in the font as well as other algorithmic operations undertaken by Designer.

You can choose to apply kerning to an entire object or to a selection of text – again, whether anything gets kerned is up to Designer, but it will attempt to kern the given text.

If you apply kerning to a selection of text, or if you multi-select objects that have different kerning values, the “Auto Kern” checkbox will display a square rather than a check: this indicates varying kerning states in the current selection.

Font Scaling

Font scaling is used to independently change either the horizontal or vertical sizing of glyphs. Setting the horizontal and vertical scale to the same amount is equivalent to changing the point size (i.e. for a 10pt font, setting the horizontal and vertical scale to 200% is equivalent to doubling the point size. So the result would be identical to setting the font to be 20pt in size.)

Scaling can be applied to an entire object, or to a text selection within the object.

Letter Spacing

Letter spacing is used to force glyphs to render closer together (sort of squishing the letters) or to force letters to render further apart (expanding the text). Unlike kerning, which is applied selectively to certain glyphs that are considered good candidates, letter spacing is applied uniformly to all text.

In order to make letters render closer together, a negative value should be entered. To force the text to expand, enter a positive value.

Like the other properties, letter spacing can be applied to an entire object, or to a selection of text.

The typographical options are fairly straightforward and work like other existing typographical options. Please feel free to post any comments or questions in the comments section.

One Response to Advanced Typography Options

  1. Mike says:

    Good explanation, thanks