Kerning paradox

docunagi's picture

Hello everyone,

I wonder if anyone ever bump into this case. I am creating a font for a client. When I compose the font in illustrator CS5 I have no problem with spacing and kernings. But when my client use it in her illustrator all the kernings are gone. I ask her to send me her file to look after the problem. But the strangest thing happen when I open her file. To be simple the red line is my client composition and the blue one is mine. The font is exactly the same. The settings of the font panel are the same. Even when I am trying to use the Eyedropper the setting doesn't change. No kernings on my client composition. Anyone ever had this problem ? Is it a way to tell illustrator to use disable the kernings just for one line of text ? Any help would be much appreciate :-)

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Arjun's picture

Hi @Docunagi

Very strange but quick thoughts,
- Is the tracking set to the same setting?
- Is she using optical kerning or the like?
- Are you using an OTF font/typeface while she is using a TTF one?
- Are your illustrator versions the same or are you saving with backward compatability for the client?

I've never faced such an issue. Very curious to understand whats happening. Do you use the same font manager?

Nick Shinn's picture

One thing you might try:

subtable;

Insert that into the Kern feature in your OpenType panel, several times, to break up the list of kerns into shorter segments.

.00's picture

Have you sent previous versions of the font to your client?

If so did you change the version number of the font?

If not, you'll need to instruct your client on how to clean font caches.

Stickley's picture

Adding to the curiosity:

Select both lines of text at once.

If you switch to another font, does the problem go away and both lines look the same?

If you switch back to the original from that other font, does the problem come back? (Don't undo, go select the problematic font again.)

Stephen Rapp's picture

I seem to recall somewhere you can check a box to turn on manual kerning which in effect turns kerning off.

Stephen Rapp's picture

To the left of the tracking you can select kern settings.

frankrolf's picture

Which version of Illustrator is your client using? I remember Adobe apps not invoking the kerning if there is no other feature present in the font. (I think this was true for CS2 apps, maybe even CS3.)

A solution for the problem would be the creation of a ‘bogus’ liga feature, something like:

liga {
sub hyphen by hyphen;
} liga;

(don’t forget the tab in front of the ‘sub’ – Typophile’s code formatting does not seem to get any better)

HTH,
Frank

docunagi's picture

- Is the tracking set to the same setting?
yes they are
- Is she using optical kerning or the like?
I have to ask her
- Are you using an OTF font/typeface while she is using a TTF one?
I generate only the OTF version for now so we have the same format
- Are your illustrator versions the same or are you saving with backward compatability for the client?
She is using Illustrator CS4 I am using CS5.

I am gonna try all your recommendations and will let you know.

docunagi's picture

OK… dumb designer ! It's a caps only font so the lowercase are components of the caps. Bu I didn't check if the kern was correctly copied… And they aren't. So I guess I just need to find a easy to copy the kern features to components :-)

.00's picture

Edit / Paste Special...

Mark Simonson's picture

The best solution in a case like this is to use class kerning. Create a kerning class for each cap that kerns, and add the lowercase equivalent to each class. Doing it this way insures that you'll get kerning in caps-to-lowercase combinations as well.

docunagi's picture

Thanks again everyone. Everything is fine now :)

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