NewDeal Hot Tip 1902

[Hot Tips for...] NewWrite

Character Spacing Tips

The lowest possible character spacing value, -150, still does not allow you to put, say, a circumflex accent centered above a w. The accent will appear visibly to the right of center.

The limit arises not from the -150, but from the limitation which is placed on text drawing which prevents text from going backwards. It leads to a number of unpleasant problems to have text go backwards, so the software doesn't allow it.

A work around for the above case (a circumflex above a 'w') is to reverse the order of the characters. Instead of typing 'w' + 'circumflex' and adjusting the spacing of the circumflex, type 'circumflex' + 'w' and adjust the spacing of the 'w'.

This will allow you to center the circumflex over the 'w', but can lead to some problems with characters overlapping. For example, if you had: 'e^w' where the spacing is adjusted for the 'w' such that the circumflex is centered over it, the left edge of the 'w' will then overlap the 'e'. The solution for this problem, should it occur, is to include a space: 'e ^w' and adjust its character spacing appropriately such that the 'w' does not overlap it.

Getting this just right can be difficult, so if you use this sequence frequently, you might set it up just right and then copy the character sequence to the Scrapbook. Once it is there, you can just copy it again as needed. This makes it easier to make it consistent through a document as well.

Here is another description of the process, which we created originally to help a customer who was writing in Serbo-Croation and needed to place a hacek (ogonek or Hungarian umlaut) above a consonant like the letter 'C'.

To get a c with an ogonek, do the following:

  1. Type the ogonek (SHIFT+CTRL+ALT+Y).
  2. Type the c.
  3. Select only the c.
  4. Choose character spacing of -90 (or thereabouts).
  5. The c and the ogonek should now overlap.

This can be done with any characters and can be used for different effects. Positive values make the space between characters larger, and negative values make it smaller. Pay close attention when using this feature, however, because the results can be confusing. If you leave the character spacing set at a very low negative value, all your letters will overlap. To create effects like this, we generally recommend that you type the text in normally, then go back to make the spacing adjustments later. Again, if you expect to use a particular combination repeatedly, you can just copy it and paste it where appropriate.

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Last Modified 7 Mar 1999