Kerning Modifier

Set the spacing, or kerning, between characters.

Updated over a week ago

Kerning focuses on the spacing between individual characters. It defines the offset that a Text layer should shift its characters to from the default spacing in points. A value of 0 points sets the kerning to the system default value.

Use positive kerning to widen the spacing between characters and negative kerning to tighten the spacing between characters.

In this example, the last character in the first case, which uses negative kerning, experiences cropping because the kerning affects the trailing edge of the Text layer as well.

Kerning attempts to maintain ligatures. For example, the Hoefler Text Font Family uses a ligature for the letter combination ffl, as in the word raffle shown here with a small negative and a small positive kerning.

The ffl letter combination keeps a constant shape as the other letters move together or apart. Beyond a certain point in either direction, however, kerning does disable nonessential ligatures.


If you apply both the Tracking and Kerning modifiers to a layer, the layer applies the tracking and ignores the kerning.

Did this answer your question?