Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as kerning, kern is a term used to describe the spacing between characters. Kerning is used to enhance the overall appearance of a typeface. For example, in the word "WAV," kerning bunches the letters together, taking less space and improving the look. Many advanced word processors, like Microsoft Word or LibreOffice Writer, support the ability to adjust character spacing.

Example of what kerning looks like

This text has kerning applied to it and should have additional spacing in between each letter.

How to apply kerning in Microsoft Word

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Highlight the text you want to adjust.
  3. Once highlighted click Format, Font, and then the Character Spacing tab.
  4. In this section, you can adjust the scale, spacing, position, or kerning on fonts above a specific size.

Certain fonts and printers do not support kerning.

How to apply kerning to text on a web page

Kerning can be applied to any text using the letter-spacing CSS attribute as shown in the examples below.

h1 {letter-spacing:2px;}
.kern {letter-spacing:3px;}

In the above example, the H1 HTML tag is specified to have kerning added to it. If you add the above CSS code to your document, then add the kern class to a paragraph tag, (as shown below) the text appears as it did earlier in this document.

<p class="kern">This text has kerning</p>

Font, Typography terms