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aurimas

Optical typesetting

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Hi aurimas,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

You can find the tracking and kerning controls in the Character panel (menu Text ▹ Show Character). You can also access them from the contextual toolbar for the Text tools.

 

Currently only metric kerning is available. Affinity Publisher (our desktop publishing solution) available later this year as a beta should provide more advanced options, some of them may then be ported back to Designer (when applicable).

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I can appreciate launching a feature like this in a page layout program first. That having been said, some of us (:::raises hand REALLY high:: :) are basically junkies for hand-setting text. Any chance you could code a shortcut for character spacing, something along the lines of ⌥⇢ to increase and ⌥⇠ to decrease kerning, maybe with an optional ⇧ modifier to affect tracking instead … and while we’re at it, ⇧⌥⇣ to increase leading and ⇧⌥⇡ to decrease leading? I could blow through some headline text in seconds with one hand on my mouse and the other on my modifiers & arrow keys!

 

PS:  The dotted arrows here indicate scrolling with the mouse wheel/Magic Mouse or one-fingered swiping on a trackpad.


—Russ Jonson

Still and video design, logos, branding, and more 

RussDoes.com

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Are you aware of the keyboard shortcuts? We use Alt-left and Alt-right to change kerning or tracking - if the caret is between two characters it affects kerning, and if several characters are selected it affects tracking. Leading is Alt-up and Alt-down.

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Are you aware of the keyboard shortcuts? We use Alt-left and Alt-right to change kerning or tracking - if the caret is between two characters it affects kerning, and if several characters are selected it affects tracking. Leading is Alt-up and Alt-down.

 

 

Honestly, I wasn’t … at least in AD.

 

That having been said, I've been doing typesetting long enough to know that stepping through discrete values, whether by typing or repeatedly pressing ⌥→ and ⌥←, tends to build some bad habits, not the least of which is paying attention to setting values at the expense of getting the look of a piece just right. The trick is to make changing spacing as analogue a process as possible.


—Russ Jonson

Still and video design, logos, branding, and more 

RussDoes.com

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Does that mean you don't care whether the values you end up with are whole numbers? Some people here want to step leading in 1pt units, for example, which is not very analogue.

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I hope I end up with some kerning values that aren’t whole numbers! My opinion: make the thing as close to analogue as possible. Oh, there still will be those who want x points of kerning exactly, and sometimes I’ll even be one of them, for one reason or another. But that’s what text input fields are for.

 

We already have 1,000,000-plus-per-cent zoom. I see every reason kerning should be exactly the same. And besides, having the ability to work more æsthetically than mathematically is one of the things that will separate a good tool from a great tool.

 

And Serif already have proven they intend AD to be a great tool.


—Russ Jonson

Still and video design, logos, branding, and more 

RussDoes.com

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+1

 

I'm not a graphic designer by any means, but in AI I would use optical kerning as a matter of course - it always makes my type look better.

 

I'd put this as a very high priority.

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Optical kerning isn't all that. Which is why in (at least) InDesign it was never the default setting. It can do a decent job when paired with ID's paragraph composer (which I believe is the default composer). But it isn't really made for line by line composition and can actually make things worse (too tight at smaller sizes, openings--rivers in text--at larger sizes).

 

One can do a better job with a combination of the hyphenation settings and the line composer, with, depending upon the font, manually kerning and tracking.

 

Mike


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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