How to Enable and Adjust Kerning for Fonts in Microsoft Word

924571 How to Enable and Adjust Kerning for Fonts in Microsoft Word

Kerning refers to adjusting the spacing between characters in a font to create visually pleasing and readable text. Not all fonts have kerning built-in, so you may need to manually adjust it in Microsoft Word. Here’s a comprehensive guide on enabling and adjusting kerning for fonts in Word.

What is Kerning?

Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a font. The goal is to achieve evenly spaced text that is visually appealing and easy to read.

For example, the letters “A” and “V” fit nicely together when kerned properly: AV. On the other hand, letters like “A” and “W” may appear too close together without kerning: AW[1].

Kerning makes text more legible by optimizing these character pairs in words. It creates a clean, professional look for documents.

Why Use Kerning in Microsoft Word?

There are several reasons to enable kerning in Word documents:

  • Improve readability: Properly spaced letters are easier for readers to quickly recognize words.
  • Enhance visual appeal: Kerning creates an attractive, high-quality look for text.
  • Refine specific fonts: Some fonts may have poor default spacing that kerning can fix.
  • Style large text: Headlines and titles with bigger font sizes benefit the most from kerning.

In other words, kerning polishes text for better legibility and aesthetics.

How Kerning Works in Microsoft Word

Kerning capabilities depend on the font being used. Here are the two main kerning methods in Word:

  • Metrics kerning: Fonts define specific character pairs to kern, stored in the font file. Word automatically adjusts spacing for these defined pairs.
  • Optical kerning: Word uses an algorithm to visually assess spacing between all characters and make adjustments, not just pre-defined pairs.

You can control kerning settings to enable automatic adjustments or make manual tweaks as needed.

How to Enable and Adjust Kerning in Microsoft Word

Follow these steps to configure kerning settings for a font in Word:

Enable Automatic Kerning

  1. Select the text you want to kern.
  2. Open the font dialog box (Home tab > Font dialog box launcher).
  3. Go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Check the “Kerning for fonts” box.
  5. Set the minimum font size to enable kerning for, such as 12pt.
  6. Click OK.

Word will now automatically kern text at or above the set font size.

Manually Adjust Kerning

  1. Select the text to kern.
  2. Open the font dialog box (as above).
  3. Go to the Advanced tab > Spacing section.
  4. Choose “Expanded” or “Condensed” spacing.
  5. Set the amount of spacing change.
  6. Click OK.

You can tweak the spacing change amount until you achieve the desired kerning.

Other Kerning Tips

  • Only kern large text and headlines. Kerning tiny text is unnecessary.
  • Print out kerned text to better judge spacing visually.
  • Kern text last after finalizing all other formatting.
  • Use optical kerning for specialized kerning needs.

Taking the time to properly kern text will lend a polished, professional look to Word documents. Careful spacing makes text easier to absorb for readers. Enable kerning in Microsoft Word to showcase clean, beautiful typography.

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