I understand the difference between kerning and tracking, but is there a term for the space between words. For example, I have a document in which the spacing in the line of text is so tight, that it is difficult to read. So, I'd like to increase the space between words for legibility.

  • 4
    Yes, it's called word spacing. What software are you using?
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 16:59
  • I am looking at a PDF file and I need to tell the publisher to increase the word spacing. Thought there might be a more technical term. Thanks for confirming.
    – Ben
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 17:14
  • @ZachSaucier, I don't think it's enough for answer. Feel free to elaborate if you want.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 21:09
  • 4
    Does this answer your question? Is there a term for adjusting the spacing between WORDS for a font (not letters)?
    – Wolff
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 21:46

2 Answers 2


It's called "word spacing" in most software. Not all text programs offer it, but layout programs typically have min, max, and average settings for word spacing. These are either program-wide, document-wide, or style-level settings. Some may offer it at paragraph level.


It is actually called "tracking" in proper Typography terminology, and "word spacing" for the rest of the world : ). If you tighten it up, words start to jumble on top of each other. Loosen it too much, and you might end up with a text which is difficult to read. What tracking does is modify the sidebearings of all letters in a given text. Sidebearings are the blank space to both the left and right of every glyph in a given font, and it is normally defined by the type designer.



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