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  • Writer's pictureRaphaël Freeman

3. How to Kern Like a Pro

This is the third of a 10-part series of the Ten Keys to Seamless Typesetting.

Kerning is a necessary part of the typesetting process. Whereas in the past could have meant filing the edge of a sort to fit two characters closer together, today the process is much faster.

To a large extent, kerning is pre-programmed into a professional font, but not every letter combination is necessarily taken care of and even if it is, not necessarily to the liking of the typesetter.

However, even if the best kerned typefaces, there no way to program a letter combination of one font to another, or more relevantly from say, italics to roman. So if you were to put the word “proof” in parentheses, you would have the following scenerio: (proof) where the “f” and the “)” collide.

In many fonts the problem can often occur with closed quotation marks and characters such as the question mark and exclamation point.

The video below illustrates this problem and then using Peter Kahrel’s kern script demonstrates how this can be solved and saved for future use.


If you have a manuscript that needs typesetting and you want to make sure it’s correctly kerned, then contact us for a no-obligation discussion.

Looking forward to your comments below!

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