Re: Char. spacing (kerning?) basics?

Subject: Re: Char. spacing (kerning?) basics?
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 18:23:25 -0700

"Dick Margulis" <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net> wrote in message news:234852 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> What makes a font work well on a monitor is a technique called hinting.
> Font-generation software can be coaxed into doing a crude job of hinting
> automatically, but good hinting requires skill, experience, and
> judgment. It is an expensive process to do well, and many font
> publishers don't want to pay designers enough to do it. People who
> design fonts tell me that there are really only a half dozen people in
> the world who are really expert at hinting--and you and I cannot afford
> their fonts. Consequently, fonts vary widely in their suitability for
> on-screen use.
> If you find that a font looks great when you view it at 200% or 300%
> magnification but falls apart at 100%, then the problem is hinting,or
> it's your display settings, or it's the application you are using, or
> it's your operating system. However, it may still print well.
I just want to add a bit to Dick's excellent explanation: screen resolution.
As in, when a computer displays a font on a screen, it has far, far fewer
dots to use than a printer does. The effect gets worse the smaller the font.

Most computer displays have 72 or 96 dots per inch (dpi). When computing
where to display the edge of a font, the operating system, in cooperation
with the metrics in the font file itself (and sometimes with the
applicaiton), if that edge doesn't fall exactly on a pixel boundary, an
adjustment has to be made. Of course, many font strokes aren't horizintal or
vertical, so compromises are being made all around.

Do the math. measure how wide an average character is, then calculate how
many pixels it can use in each direction. You'll see that an edge will
almost never fall on a pixel boundary.

Oh, and monospaced fonts mean momospaced in point sizes, not in pixels. If
there's not a one-to-one match--and there never will be--at some point a
pixel shift will have to be made.

OK, four more paragraphs.

Chuck Martin
User Assistance & Experience Engineer
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net

"I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day
may come when the courage of Men fail, when we forsake our friends and
break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day! This day, we fight!"
- Aragorn

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
- Gandalf



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Char. spacing (kerning?) basics?: From: DaveC

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