How To Adjust Kerning In Illustrator

When creating and editing fonts in Illustrator, kerning is a highly important measurement that can completely change how your typefaces look. Using Kerning, you can change the spacing between letters as they fall into a word. And there is a pretty easy way to adjust it in Illustrator.

There are two ways that you can adjust the kerning on letters in Illustrators. You can either use the character panel and focus on the kerning, or you can use the shortcut Alt+Right/Left arrow button to adjust the kerning in Illustrator.

If you are trying to change how letters look in your next project, factoring in kerning is crucial because it helps the letters flow organically and look pleasing to the eye. Keep reading this article to understand how to adjust kerning and the different kinds of kerning.

How To Change Kerning In Illustrator

The most basic way to adjust kerning in Illustrator is to use the options available in the Character panel on your software. 

There are two ways to do this: navigate from the Window tab to the Type button and choose Character. Then, use the shortcut Ctrl+T (on Windows) or Command+T (on macOS) to open the Character panel.

Once you have the panel open, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Use the Type Tool to add text to your Illustrator project. 
  2. Select the text, and ensure that the Type Tool is active when you do so.
  3. Click the space between two letters, and then use the kerning values.
  4. You can use these values to increase or decrease the space between the two letters.

You can also use a keyboard shortcut, which is the Alt button, along with the left or right arrow button, to increase the tracking or decrease it. All you need to do is select the text and then use this shortcut to adjust the kerning.

This video shows how you can adjust kerning in detail:

The Different Types Of Kerning In Illustrator

There are three kinds of kerning available when you use Illustrator. Here is what these settings mean and how they impact the spacing in the letters:

  • Metric: this default setting automatically specifies how combinations of letters should be spaced out based on the settings of most fonts.
  • Optical: this setting will change the kerning depending on the shape of the letters. One of the best uses of this is if you use different fonts or the font in question is not built with the right kerning measurements by default. 
  • Manual: this setting depends on your adjustment and is what you switch to when you adjust the kerning using the methods mentioned above.

Final Thoughts

If you need to adjust the kerning in your project, it is important to understand how this mechanism works and the different options. By using the Character panel or the keyboard shortcut, you can easily change the spacing between letters to create more attractive typefaces for your next project.