In typography, the process of adjusting the spacing between certain pairs of characters to improve the appearance of the text. Roughly speaking, this can be thought of as equalising the area of space between adjacent characters. Each character of a proportional font has a width that includes some space on either side so that adjacent letters don't touch. Some pairs of characters such as A and V, look better if the spaces overlap slightly, bringing the characters closer together (but still not touching). In most cases, kerning reduces the spacing ("negative kerning") but some pairs like "r" and "y" look better with extra space ("positive kerning").

See also tracking, leading.

Last updated: 2014-01-14

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