Is there a term in typography for the spacing between two specific words? Working in Ai CS6 there is an overall word spacing setting for selected blocks of type, which applies to all words there-in. I tried kerning between two words, tho didn't seem to work. I guess I am looking for the term for individual word spacing that has the same meaning as kerning applies to type

  • 2
    Hi nico green, Welcome to gd.se. Are you looking how to provide a space between all instances of two specific words consistently throughout your document?
    – Stan
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 4:30
  • Hi Stan, thanks for your reply. I could see that would be a really useful functionality and it sounds quite advanced, would you use a dedicated typography progame for this? I am basically doing building design to scale in Adobe illustrator. And the text is basic page titles and information as you would see on architectural drawings. So I guess it is more a graphic design kind of thing
    – Nico Green
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 5:14
  • ..in that it is an opportunity to present well. Thanks for the welcome :)
    – Nico Green
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 5:40

1 Answer 1


Word Spacing

As you typed. It's not more complicated than that.

Kerning refers to letter spacing. Tracking refers to word spacing.

You can apply kerning to an entire word or to letter pairs.... just as you can apply tracking to an entire sentence/paragraph or to word pairs.

  • Would tracking then not be applied to just the space between these words? Applying -50 (in 1/1000ths of an em, or your local equivalent) to just a space does no harm; applying it to the entire word pair, as you say, would destroy the phrase.
    – Jongware
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 9:24
  • Thats highly situational @usr2564301 isn't it? I mean applying a -50 kerning to "oo" would destroy the pair, but doing the same to "To" or "AV" would not in most instances.
    – Scott
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 14:42
  • Well of course, but OP is only asking about the space between those words :)
    – Jongware
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 15:21
  • @usr2564301 I'm stealing that back-tick smilie..... much more impactful with the back ticks.
    – Scott
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 15:54
  • Hi Scott and guys thanks for your replies, it has cleared up my understanding of it a lot. Is it the case that Ai is a bit limited in the typography department.. I can only kern between letter pairs and not across an entire word. The tracking setting has limited impact on word spacing, although it's uniform spacing the letters and word spacing across an entire block of type/sentence. I found a work-around by highlighting the word space between a word pair and applying tracking, is that typical. Can I ask what programmes y'all are using?
    – Nico Green
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 7:06

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