# How to increase minimum space between words in XeLaTex output?

Update: The problem seems to be that the spacing between some words is too small, and the ATS thinks it's one word. So, the ideal solution would be to set a minimum spacing across the entire document, rather than manually adding spaces where needed.

I recently uploaded my resume (XeLaTex output) to Jobscan, a service that mimics (or purports to mimic) Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). ATS are used to process incoming resumes before a pair of eyes gets to look at them. This processing involves turning your resume into plain text, and then comparing how many keywords in the job description appear in your resume (and how often), as a way to gauge "surface compatibility," so to speak.

What I noticed though is that many key words in my document weren't counted because Jobscan wasn't parsing whitespace correctly: many keywordswere mushed together like this, and instead of detecting an instance of each key word, it detected one instance of 'keywordswere.' The snag is that resumes are sometimes thrown out if they don't hit a key word threshold, so, I worry that it won't even make it to a person if the problem occurs on a real ATS.

I looked around and one option that came up is to use cmap, but that doesn't work with XeLaTex, only pdftex. What options could I have, other than going back to a Word document? (pdftex wouldn't work with my current resume template, given my use of fonts).

• See the accsupp package. Ths question, tex.stackexchange.com/questions/198516/…, was the exact opposite of yours, in which the PDF output showed spaces, but they wanted the copy/paste of the PDF internals to show no spaces. – Steven B. Segletes Nov 10 '17 at 1:59
• @StevenB.Segletes: I'm reading through the documentation, going to start poking around a bit, but wanted to ask: would you know if it's possible to create a replacement text for the entire document in one go, or would/should I do it section by section? – Khashir Nov 10 '17 at 4:22
• I'm sorry, but I have never used the package in such an extensive manner to give you a good answer to that question.. – Steven B. Segletes Nov 10 '17 at 11:18
• I don't know how your system parse the pdf, but if it does it similar to a normal pdf viewer and its copy&paste and if it only happen sometimes that word space is lost then probably the problem is that the word space is to small here. – Ulrike Fischer Nov 11 '17 at 22:21
• if you are copying and pasting from a pdf, you should be aware that, unless special steps are taken, (la)tex does not insert space characters between words, only "glue", which is equivalent to a position shirt. without a space character, ordinary copy-and-paste techniques will not recognize the gap as a reproducible space character. (i went through this last year when a latex document i wrote was converted to word for publication, using copy-and-paste from a pdf file rather than from the tex source, which would have been much more reliable.) – barbara beeton Nov 15 '17 at 17:58

fontspec has an option WordSpace that you can use to increase the word space. Be aware that is a global option of a font. If you want to use the same font with a different word space you must e.g. scale it a bit:

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}

\setmainfont{Arial}[WordSpace={2.5,1.2,0}]

\setsansfont{Arial}[Scale=1.01]
\usepackage{lipsum}
\begin{document}
\lipsum[1]

\sffamily

\lipsum[1]
\end{document}


See the syntax for the WordSpace option (from the documentation):

"For those times when the precise details are important, the WordSpace feature is provided, which takes either a single scaling factor to scale the default value, or a triplet of comma-separated values to scale the nominal value, the stretch, and the shrink of the interword space by, respectively. (WordSpace={x} is the same as WordSpace={x,x,x}.)"

• This looks very promising, though could you explain the options inside the bracket? [Wordspace = {...}]. Also props for the scaling tip! – Khashir Nov 15 '17 at 17:20
• Well fontspec has a documentation. Why don't you look up the syntax there? – Ulrike Fischer Nov 15 '17 at 17:22
• I did. Just thought it would be a more complete answer. – Khashir Nov 15 '17 at 17:24
• Syntax explanation, for posterity: "The space in between words in a paragraph will be chosen automatically, and generally will not need to be adjusted. For those times when the precise details are important, the WordSpace feature is provided, which takes either a single scaling factor to scale the default value, or a triplet of comma-separated values to scale the nominal value, the stretch, and the shrink of the interword space by, respectively. (WordSpace={x} is the same as WordSpace={x,x,x}.)" – Khashir Nov 15 '17 at 17:27
• Just finished testing, making sure it worked well. Thanks again! – Khashir Nov 15 '17 at 18:40