Kern pairs in InDesign

chrislong's picture

indesign users: y'all remember how easy it was to make global changes to kern pairs in qxp -- i've spoken w adobe reps & they assure me that indesign will NOT have this feature in any future revs. this means that altering kern pairs has to be done at the font level, thus:
1. leave indesign app
2. turn off font in suitcase or other font manager
3. open font in font editor
4. make change(s) to font's kern pairs
5. turn font back on in font manager
6. return to indesign & get back to work.

am i missing something? can anyone offer a better method? this seems way too time-consuming and troublesome.
HELP!

thanks much, folks.

plainclothes's picture

I think Adobe is hoping to perfect optical kerning so you
don't have to worry about kern pairs... sounds foolish,
but that seems to be their direction.

hrant's picture

It's not so foolish. Spacing is a 99% technical thing (at least for text), so a really smart algorithm could do it fine. In fact, the current one in InDesign does better than 90% of type designers.

hhp

ideagent's picture

Optical kerning has worked pretty well for me thus far with body text. Headlines sometimes require manual tweaking...but nothing major. I'm not sure I would screw around with a font's metrics to correct something that could be fixed in InDesign.

plainclothes's picture

Hrant said...

"It's not so foolish."

I should've said, "sounds foolish to me."

"Spacing is a 99% technical thing (at least for text), so
a really smart algorithm could do it fine. In fact, the
current one in InDesign does better than 90% of type
designers."

and I suppose this smart algorithm could rely on the
same advanced measures that helped you arrive at
your percentages? ;) really though, I'm sure there is
some magical formulaic way to decode great kerning --
but who has the formula? don't you think typographers
are still going to want a global override for some letter
combinations? if Adobe wants to steal Quark's
customers, maybe they should consider these
customers' requests.

I really should hold judgement until I am able to work
further with ID (I'm still stuck with QXP here in the
office). the optical kerning functions that I have seen
are tremendous, and it really looks like a promising
development. at the same time, I think we need to
remember that there is a great deal of subjectivity to
this profession and incorporate that into our
applications.

hrant's picture

OK, then:
"It doesn't sound so foolish to me." :-)

> .... your percentages?

:->
I actually use a hypercomplex proprietaty system. It's called fudging.

> don't you think typographers are still going to want a global override for some letter combinations?

Yeah, totally. InDesign should get that feature.

hhp

chrislong's picture

"Don't you think typographers are still going to want a global override for some letter combinations? "

Hrant responds:
"Yeah, totally. InDesign should get that feature."

--

i specifically cornered the adobe indesign rep recently and badgered him about this. he told me in no uncertain terms that this would POSITIVELY DEFINITELY NOT be forthcoming in ANY indesign releases, which is why i started this thread in the first place.

so ... NO ONE has any ideas? i know that i'm drawing a blank.
*ugh*

plainclothes's picture

"so ... NO ONE has any ideas? i know that i'm drawing a
blank."

sorry, I tend to drift off into discussions about the
question rather than delivering answers to it. I should
have said in my first post that I have no clue how to
work around this gaping hole, outside of the
unpleasant method you've already described. hopefully,
if we badger them enough, Adobe will correct this
mistaken decision and nab one more advantage away
from Quark (of which it now has very few).

saccade's picture

maybe it could be done by a plug-in?
perhaps someone could contact any
plug-in-programmer.

I think, it would be a useful feature - not
necessarily for normal Text, optical kerning is
very good, but for logo-fonts or special
characters/pi-combinations.
In a 500-page-book created with Corel Ventura I
used it for better kerning of numbers.
In InDesign it would be necessary to use optical
kerning for all the text to improve inline
numbers.

Thomas Phinney's picture

Actually, this is a feature that is on the InDesign team's radar for consideration in future versions of the application. I can't comment on specific features of unannounced products, and I'm not saying it will be in the next major version, but to say that "it will positively definitely not be forthcoming in any InDesign releases" is vastly overstating the case. If it doesn't make it into the next major version, it will definitely be in consideration for the following one.

Regards,

T

Thomas Phinney
Fonts Program Mgr.
Adobe Systems

kakaze's picture

"hopefully,
if we badger them enough, Adobe will correct this
mistaken decision and nab one more advantage away
from Quark (of which it now has very few)."

I can only see two advantages that Quark has, myself... market saturation and speed. InDesign really needs to be sped up because it can bog down fairly quickly.

anonymous's picture

Note that there is a plug-in called Cool Kerning for kerning pairs in InDesign from www.knowbody.dk

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