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I want to disable automatic kerning for a few lines in my text as the \textwidth before kerning and after kerning is not the same. And I'm sure there is a simple command to do so, but just can't figure it out.

  • Which command do I use to stop XeLaTeX from doing automatic kerning?
  • Or better still which command do I use to get the \textwidth after automatic kerning has been applied?
  • And does the same command also work for \columnwidth?
share|improve this question
As Ulrike says, kerning and \textwidth are completely unrelated: (Xe)TeX typesets the words with kerning and then justifies the lines by setting the interword spaces (taking a whole paragraph into account). You probably are thinking to something different from \textwidth. – egreg Dec 4 '12 at 11:50
@egreg You might be right that I'm missing the mark on this. Although see my comment below on Ulrike's answer for more detail. – McGafter Dec 4 '12 at 12:05
I'd choose a monospaced typeface. They're designed to look well without kerning:-) – Marc van Dongen Dec 4 '12 at 15:11
up vote 9 down vote accepted

It depends on the font if you can deactivate kerning:

\setmainfont{Latin Modern Roman}
AV Ta \textsf{AV Ta}

{\fontspec[Kerning=Off]{Latin Modern Roman}AV Ta} %works
{\fontspec[Kerning=Off]{Arial}AV Ta} %doesn't work

But actually I doubt very much that you really want to do this. I don't understand why you think that kerning affects \textwidth. You should better describe with a minimal example what you want to achieve.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the example. I've had a question in the past where I had to find the width of the text to include some lettrine in front of. tex.stackexchange.com/q/31459/7093 Even though in the general the answers were helpful, there remain always the cases where they just don't seem to work. So I'm just imagining that when I take the \textwidth it is value "A" and by the time the actual kerning and wrapping with value "B" is applied the width has changed to "A + B". Other than that I don't have a reason for thinking this. It's just in a some cases the solutions doesn't work. – McGafter Dec 4 '12 at 11:27

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