Kerning

Feature requests, and in-depth discussions of features and the way Mellel works

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Stellan
Got the styles thing figured out
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Kerning

Post by Stellan » Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:21 pm

Hi!
I understand this topic has been on the table before. Kerning is the only thing missing to make Mellel the number one powerhouse for word processing. What is the current status? Any plans? I would love to have it...
Best
Christer Berg

jannuss
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Re: Kerning

Post by jannuss » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:08 pm

Excuse me, Christer, I'm showing my total ignorance here, but I thought Kerning has been a part of Mellel for years.

According to the Mellel Guide, all you need is a font with the correct kerning tables.

Janet

rpcameron
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Re: Kerning

Post by rpcameron » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:07 pm

I believe what is implied here is manual kerning pairs, and adjustable inter-character letter spacing. Some programs (like Word Perfect) allowed you to manually set kerning pairs to override a font's default kerning. Some other programs allow you to adjust the letter spacing on an ad hoc basis or through styles to either increase or decrease a font's default letter spacing—especially useful for titles and call outs. Additionally, some programs (such as InDesign) can adjust both the kerning and the letter spacing optically to improve flow and legibility of text, such as in titles and headings, or with justification algorithms that analyze the entire paragraph instead of one line at a time.

All three features allow for greater control over layout and presentation.

Mellel lacks all three features.
— Robert Cameron

Stellan
Got the styles thing figured out
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Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:32 pm

Re: Kerning

Post by Stellan » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:12 am

What I need to do is to "kern" headlines tighter. I am presently using Myriad Pro by Adobe for the headlines. Can I do this via the tables you are mentioning jannnuss?

The function I'm looking is more what rpcamerin is mentioning, i e to be able to select a piece of text and set the rate of kerning in the character style.

jannuss
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Re: Kerning

Post by jannuss » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:48 pm

Stellan wrote:Can I do this via the tables you are mentioning jannnuss?
Again, I'm showing off my ignorance:
From the Mellel Guide, I understand that Kerning is performed automatically by those fonts that allow for it.
From graphics.com I learn that
Most kerning is done automatically in text composed by a page layout or typesetting program. The adjustments in spacing are based on kerning tables built into the fonts. These tables list specific letter pairs and the spacing adjustments—expressed in fractions of an em—that should be applied to them. Usually, these kerning values are negative numbers, meaning that the characters in question should have the space between them reduced. But in some cases, they’re positive values, intended to push certain pairs of characters farther apart.

I tried to get more info from the Character Viewer, but found nothing.

Janet

rpcameron
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Re: Kerning

Post by rpcameron » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:54 pm

Kerning tables are built into the fonts themselves. A kerning table tells display software (such as Mellel) that a pair of characters should have their spacing adjusted differently than the default. For example, 'VA': by default each character lives in its own box, but when an author supplies a kerning pair, they can tell software that the boxes should actually overlap. In the case of 'VA', it allows the lower part of the 'A' to be moved under the upper part of the 'V', thus eliminating larger white gaps than one may prefer. However kerning tables are part of the font, not its glyph repertoire. A character map will not display them, just as it will not display ligature tables (but will display the ligatures themselves).

Back to the original poster: I'm not sure Myriad ships with opticals. Opticals are different font variants to use at different sizes: Caption for under 8pt, Subhead for 18-28pt, Display for larger sizes, &c. I would recommend using a font with opticals or one geared for headings rather than Myriad. (In my personal experience Myriad is such a fine and delicate font, that it's really best suited to sub- and section heads in text documents, or as callouts/marginalia. However, that's just my personal opinion.)

So, to answer the original question: Mellel does not support kerning or letter spacing adjustments. If you need different/better kerning for the titles/heads in your document, the only real option is to use a font that ships with opticals (and optionally OpenType variants for all caps—they often come with different kerning and baseline adjustments for punctuation), or to use different software to prepare your document.
— Robert Cameron

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