In typography, kerning (less commonly mortising) is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. Kerning is the adjustment of the space between individual letter forms vs. tracking which is the uniform adjustment of spacing applied over a range of characters. In a well-kerned font, the two-dimensional blank spaces between each pair of characters all have similar area. The related term kern denotes a part of a type letter that overhangs the edge of the type block. 1

Examples of letter pairs that need kerning treatment are AV, AY, PA, and AT. These letter pairs often look awkward together, and need to either be moved closer together, or further apart manually. Professional typesetting systems and fonts allow fine-grained adjustments for such letter pairs. Popular word processors either lack support for kerning tables or disable kerning by default (this is the case with both Microsoft Word for Mac OS v.X and 2008). 2

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