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In Photoshop, you can add jitter to brush settings, so opacity, size, etc., change within a range while drawing.

I'm curious if anyone knows of a method for creating jitter for kerning and tracking, so that a piece of text has randomized kerning/tracking values throughout without having to go through and edit the kerning and tracking every few characters.

Photoshop solutions or otherwise would be great! Thanks.

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  • I was just a bout to start writing an answer for InDesign. Not sure I'm interested in doing one for Photoshop. Why even work with type in Photoshop? 😉 What are you trying to achieve with this aesthetically? It will just look digitally glitched somehow. – Wolff May 14 at 23:35
  • An InDesign solution would be fine. – David Beales May 15 at 0:01
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Here is a script for InDesign which allows you to randomize the tracking of the individual characters selected text.

The script has two settings: minTracking which sets the lowest allowed tracking and maxTracking which sets the highest allowed tracking.

Script

// settings
var minTracking = -100;
var maxTracking = 100;

// main function
function main() {
    // reference to the characters within the current selection
    var characters = app.selection[0].characters;
    // iterate through the selected characters
    for (var i = 0; i < characters.length; i++) {
        // set tracking to a random number between minTracking and maxTracking
        characters[i].tracking = Math.random() * (maxTracking - minTracking) + minTracking;
    }
}

// run main function as one undoable action
app.doScript(main, ScriptLanguage.javascript, undefined, UndoModes.ENTIRE_SCRIPT, 'Randomize Tracking');

Usage

  • Copy the script and paste it into a text editor.
  • Edit the two settings to fit your needs.
  • Save the script as a .jsx file and place it in the folder with your other userscripts. (You can find them by right-clicking the User folder in the Scripts panel and choose Reveal in Explorer/Finder.)
  • Make a text selection or select a text frame.
  • Locate and double-click the script in the Scripts panel.

Notes

  • The script will fail if you try to run it with no open document, without having any text selected or if you have a selection which contains other objects (and maybe more). Different checks could be added to account for these situations.
  • An interface could be added to make it easier to choose other settings.
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  • Wow, that's just perfect. And I bet I could figure out how to do kerning using your example too! Thanks! – David Beales May 15 at 2:43
  • Yes, to instead change kerning you can just change characters[i].tracking to characters[i].kerningValue. But visually it will look exactly the same. – Wolff May 15 at 8:39

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