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Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

How do I increase the space between letters in Adobe InDesign aka Tracking or Kerning

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we're going to look at something called 'Tracking', or it's called 'Kerning', but what you're really doing is you're playing around with this space between letters. You can see here, I've tightened this one in, and I've opened this one out. So let's go and look at how to do that in InDesign.

A nice quick one, if I select my title here-- my problem is that, this is actually just in front of it so I'm going to actually grab it. Go to 'Layers' panel, unlock the 'Background', and say, "You giant thing, go in the background layer." You're more appropriate back there, then I can lock it again. So Tracking, now I can select on him. If I select all of this-- the Tracking is under 'Character', it's this part here. The Tracking is out, out, out, just switch between letters, easy, easy… You can, so out is interesting. And in, don't be afraid, you can go in as well. So mine is '-50', you're going to kind of tighten it all up. I'm going to tighten mine up to maybe '-30'. There isn't much difference, you got to decide. I play with the Tracking. People call it Kerning as well. Kerning is the built-in default tracking, it's overriding it. I'm going to select all of this, and go to '0', and you just watch it. Undo, redo, undo, redo. Undo. I like a bit of Tracking.

The other thing we'll do while we're here is we'll do the Leading. So, with 'Character' selected-- the Leading is this guy, set to 'Auto'. I can play around with it to tighten it up, I'm not going to increase it. Just to get it perfect, I wouldn't do this for all titles. But the cover is a little bit of a special case.

Now, couple of shortcuts. With all of this selected I can do Tracking by holding down the 'Alt' key on a PC, or 'Option' key on a Mac. And using my left or right arrows. Right pushes it out, and left tightens it up. Same key, 'Alt' or 'Option' and hit the 'Up' and 'Down' key. I never use these options up the top here. I just select all of this, say this title here, I go up a little bit. I just kind of work back and forth. You can work with separate letters, you might decide that spaces-- it's actually quite a well-spaced font, but say this one here is a bit tight. I can open up just the Tracking of that one a little bit. So when I match this one because I'm playing around with the shortcuts.

All right, that's it for Tracking and we're through in Leading, shortcuts, for good measure.