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Custom letter spacing?

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Nathan Dana's picture
Joined: 30 Nov 2010 - 10:27am
Custom letter spacing?

We have one client that primarily uses Gill Sans for their type. The problem with it is that with certain letter combinations, the spacing gets pretty far off. Ideally we would have a custom made font with custom letter pair spacing, but I don't really know how to do that. The biggest issue is with a period followed by letters like V, W and T. So ". V" or ". T" They tend to run very tight, and we have to manually go in and add spacing. It mostly an issue in InDesign, and it doesn't really matter if the character spacing is Optical or Metric. Anyone deal with this? Whats the best solution?

Claus Eggers Sørensen's picture
Joined: 17 Jan 2007 - 5:49am

Complain to the font vendor or http://www.typophile.com/node/69252

Nick Shinn's picture
Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am

Whats the best solution?

Quark XPress, with custom font kerning tables.


I have had issues with over-enthusiastic kerning in Gill Sans, but that was 20 years ago, and IIRC more recent versions are better.
Are you using an old version?

Charles Ellertson's picture
Joined: 3 Nov 2004 - 11:00am

The best solution is to prepare your own kerning. I believe there are plug-in programs that lets you write pairs for InDesign. Here is one:


It may not be as useful as one would like, see:


The other way is to go into the font itself and modify the kerning. I believe the Monotype/Linotype conglomerate's EULA prohibits that, at least if you're using OpenType. Practically, speaking, how would anyone know if it were done in the font, or done outside it?

Theunis de Jong's picture
Joined: 22 Apr 2008 - 5:06pm

If your InDesign is moderately new (CS4 or '5), you could add the custom spacing as GREP styles.

But +1 on custom kerning tables in InDesign -- I'd certainly could find a use for them.

Blank's picture
Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm

If you want custom kerning tables in InDesign go over to Adobe.com and file a feature request. Adobe adds what people demand.

David W. Goodrich's picture
Joined: 14 May 2008 - 2:23pm

I have not had occasion to use Peter Kahrel's script for custom kerning InDesign files via Java script, but I like some of his other tools very much and am tempted to try this one.


Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am

Nathan, did you get my email?
Or: Did you find a good solution?