WD: How to Change the Spacing Between Letters

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Summary

Kerning characters brings them closer together or pushes them further apart. For example, you might kern the word "To" so that the "o" tucks nicely under the top of the "T".

KERNING CHARACTERS IN MICROSOFT WORD FOR THE MACINTOSH

Word Versions 6.0 and 98

  1. Select the characters you want to kern.
  2. On the Format menu, click Font.
  3. Select the Character Spacing tab.
  4. Select the Kerning For Fonts check box and click Points and Above.
  5. To increase or decrease the space between characters, select Spacing and select either condensed or expanded from the list.

    You can change the default Expanded or Condensed spacing by typing your change in the By box.
To kern all occurrences of particular letter combinations at once, use the steps for Word 5.0 and 5.1.

Word Versions 5.0 and 5.1

To kern characters in Word, follow these steps:

  1. Select the characters you want to kern.
  2. On the Format menu, click Character.
  3. To increase the space between characters, select the Expanded option. To decrease the space between characters, select the Condensed option. You can change the default Expanded or Condensed spacing by typing your change in the By box.
  4. Click OK.
Your text should move to reflect the change.

You can also kern all occurrences of a particular letter combination at once. For example, you can kern all occurrences of the word "To" so that the "T" and the "o" are closer together by doing the following:

  1. On the Edit menu, click Replace.
  2. In the Find What box, type To.
  3. In the Replace With box, type To.
  4. From the Replace With list menu, select Character.
  5. In the Character dialog box, set the desired kerning options, and then click OK.
  6. Select the Match Case option.
  7. Perform the Find And Replace operation.
Word should replace each "To" with the word "To" kerned to your specification.

NOTE: Word versions 5.0 and 5.1 allow you to decrease the space between letters by up to 1.75 points. Especially with larger font sizes, this may not allow letters to be kerned sufficiently tightly. For better results, try the following method for Word 4.0 users.

Word Version 4.0

In Word 4.0, you can use a formula to kern characters. The Displace formula allows you to move a pair of characters closer together or further apart in increments of one point. You can then perform a global search for the pair that you want to kern and replace it with your formula.

For example, a common kerned pair is "To". The formula for this pair is "T\d\ba2()o", where the "\" is created by pressing the COMMAND+OPTION+\ keys, and "2" is the number of points you want the following letter to move. Once this formula is created, use the following steps to change all occurrences of "To" in your document:

  1. Select the formula and click Copy on the Edit menu.
  2. From the Utilities menu, choose Change.
  3. In the "Find What:" box, enter the pair you want to kern (in this example, the letters "To"). Check the Match Upper/Lowercase option, if applicable.
  4. Put the cursor in the Change To box and choose Paste from the Edit menu. This puts the formula in the "Change To:" box.
  5. Click the Change All button to change all occurrences of "To" with the formula.

References

"Microsoft Word User's Guide," version 5.0, page 137 and page 786

"Microsoft Word User's Guide," version 4.0, pages 100-101

Properties

Article ID: 48042 - Last Review: June 17, 2014 - Revision: 4.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Word 4.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 5.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 5.1 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 6.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 98 for Macintosh
Keywords: 
kbinfo KB48042
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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