I'm using XeTeX to mimic another document, but I only have a similar font which I stretch using the extend and letterspace options.

My main problem is though, that my font's spaces (U+0020) are only about half as wide as the original font's. I don't want to use U+2000 to U+200A, because I want to be able to change the exact width without re-editing everything. I defined


But that's very verbose to use: Hello\K{}World

What I'd really like is an option that allows me to define a factor to stretch spaces by (it may disable TeX's automatic stretching, I don't use justified text or even automatic line breaks anyway), but I only found those for vertical spaces…

This works with pdflatex but not with my versions (3.1415926-2.2-0.9995.2 TeX Live 2009/Debian and 0.9997.4 TeX Live 2010) of xelatex. So a solution not using microtype would be nice…


\DeclareMicrotypeSet*[tracking]{my}{font = */*/*/*/*}
\SetTracking[spacing={1000,,}]{font = */*/*/*/*}{1}

  • I don't relly understand how the "texlive" tag is relevant here. The question would be the same with MikTeX, for example.
    – mpg
    Jan 1, 2011 at 12:58
  • I thought it was a problem with my XeTeX version, since updating to TeX Live 2010 solved another fontspec-related problem for me, but I remove the tag now
    – pascal
    Jan 2, 2011 at 14:57

2 Answers 2


In the case of pdflatex you can change \spaceskip (affects all fonts) or \fontdimen2 (affects only one font). In the case of xelatex: look up in the documentation of fontspec - section "interword space" - the option WordSpace.

  • Great, thanks. Fontspec also supports the other options I used with plain \font: FakeBold=embolden, FakeStretch=extend, LetterSpace=letterspace (but with different units, for some reason)
    – pascal
    Jan 2, 2011 at 15:01

package microtype knows the \textls comamnd

  • I seem to have an issue with \textls and TikZ: ! Undefined control sequence. \tikz@invoke@collected@onpath ...mmand \tikz@temp[HERE] \pgf@stop \tikz@node@is@a@... but my line spacing has a problem, too, so I think that's unrelated. Thanks!
    – pascal
    Dec 30, 2010 at 20:52
  • 2
    give a complete example, not only fragments
    – user2478
    Dec 30, 2010 at 20:55
  • Solved that problem now, but I now have found out that spacing doesn't seem to work with XeTeX: (see question) When compiled using pdflatex spaces are double wide, but there's no effect using xelatex. I see that they are just now implementing it, back to LaTeX then…
    – pascal
    Dec 31, 2010 at 12:53

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