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A Graphic to explain a Kerning Pair.

Having No understanding of a Kerning pair, I have enlisted the aid of a very knowledgable woman, Carol UK who gave me this definition of a Kerning pair. Thank You Carol.


Briefly, what kerning consists of. If you think of each letter as occupying a square or rectangle of space, what happens when you print is that the rectangles are placed next to each other. But if a letter slopes and is narrower at one end than at the other, then just putting the rectangles alongside each other means there is too much space between them.

Kerning is a way of letting a letter invade its neighbour's rectangle. So if you look at A and W alongside each other the top of the W is actually in the A's rectangle and the bottom of the A is in the W's. By overlapping their white space you can give a more natural looking space between them. To do kerning, you nominate the pairs of letters which are allowed to overlap, and in some programs you can even nominate by how much.

Just for info: - kerning pairs vary. Never seen less than 100 in a professional commercial font, have seen 958 and I think I have seen one with more than that.


Armed now with this knowledge, We can now make a kerning pair. This will now bring you into the realm of making your own True Type Font. Softy is capable of doing this, since this was the first thing I tried right after I could figure out how to use Softy. To your left, you will see the proof of it. Not the best but hey, It works and now I know how to do it again. I will say this, It takes patience to make a font if you want a font that looks better than the "grunge" look, this one here, happens to be just the way I write If I keep going in and tweaking it, It will no longer look like my writing.


Before you go any further, This feature only works with the registered copy of Softy, So If you are not registered, Well the fee to register is not all that much to pay for a font editor.


Select your first glyph that is to be a part of the kerned pair and double click on it, bringing it into the edit window. This will now be your left part of the pair.


Locate and highlight the glyph you are going to make the right part of the kerned pair


Having selected the two glyphs that you want set as a kerning pair, you now go to the menu and select New Kerning Pair this will then, enter the second glyph into the work area but to the right side of the area set aside for the left glyph.


You can now see the association you have set up for the two glyps. You are almost done with this pair now.


You now RIGHT CLICK on the right glyph and holding your mouse button, drag the glyph to the location that you consider proper for the the spacing between the two glyphs.It might not work, so you release the mouse button and depress and drag again


This is almost done now, you have made the assocation and you have made your spacing.


Now, you locate the first glyph you entered and highlight it. When you have done this, you need only to update the glyph, this will set the kerned pair.


You can check and see if you have done this succesfully by going to the menu and selecting View Kerning Pairs


If you have done this right, A slot will appear below the glyph that you have made the assocation with and you will now, be able to see the kerned pair. Paint Shop Pro does not use/support kerning but after I had done this with the font, I went into Wordpad and wrote several lines and the kerning was there.


Final Step if you have updated your glyphs is to SAVE the file and then you are done. I have no idea how many kerned pairs you might find in a font. I think this might be governed by the complexity of the glyphs involved as well as the spacing.




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file: /Techref/member/softy-font/grumpy/kerning.htm, 6KB, , updated: 2003/6/4 12:59, local time: 2024/4/14 13:07,
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