Did anyone figure it out on how to remove that little extra space in front of the text?

enter image description here


5 Answers 5



While everything I said in my answer is true, the answer that you are looking for is Qutorial's answer below. It's tested and it works nicely. Keep in mind that while using his method you need to be in text-editing mode with the focus in front of the first letter, only then you can change the value from auto (or 0) to a negative one!

I'm sorry to say but as far as I know you can't get rid of that space without outlining the font.

That space is due to the font's creation, not something illustrator puts there. Like shown below, different fonts have different spaces. (You may find some that have almost no space.)

enter image description here

  • I think you are right, but I'm going to wait a bit more maybe someone has figured it out, if not I will select your answer
    – ekclone
    Aug 21, 2015 at 19:50
  • 1
    @Eli Best of luck my friend, hope you find your best answer. PS: Setting a negative value to font indent won't help either...I checked before posting an answer.
    – Alin
    Aug 21, 2015 at 19:52

You should kern your text, not track it (tracking is for adjusting uniform spacing in spans or blocks of text, kerning is for adjusting individual letter spacing).

Kerning is located in the character palette, below font size and left of tracking (CS6). To use it, select the type tool and place the text cursor on the left side of the letter you want to adjust (the "E" here). Keep in mind:

  • Negative numbers will shift your text left.
  • The units are 1/1000 em, so you may need to enter a large number like -100.
  • You need to be using area type (which is where your type is contained in a closed shape, such as when you click and drag with the type tool to make a box, or click a closed shape with the type tool and enter some text), because you won't get the desired result using point type (when you single click and enter text with the type tool) or type on a path.

See also:
Kerning on the Illustrator docs

  • As far as I know, Kerning doesn't affect the first letter, only the ones after it in relation to the first letter...
    – Alin
    Aug 24, 2015 at 17:30
  • 1
    It does (works/tested).
    – Qutorial
    Aug 24, 2015 at 17:31
  • I've also tried it and it doesn't move the first letter...also, the Adobe Docs example back me up and also say "Kerning is the process of adding or subtracting space between specific pairs of characters. "...Something's off here, I'll try with another font.
    – Alin
    Aug 24, 2015 at 17:36
  • I am back and it kinda works, the thing that you forgot to mention is that you need to put a space before the first character for this to work. This may very well be a workaround but it kinda kills the editable quality of the text by no shifting the editable area itself too...and it can drive you crazy when using this in large documents and trying to edit later.
    – Alin
    Aug 24, 2015 at 17:40
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    For me, at first, it didn't wanna let me set a negative value before the first letter if I didn't place a space before it and it didn't allow the text to be edited properly. Now, everything is working fine. I guess AI was playing some tricks on me due to the fact I am working in it now and it's a large document :)) +1 My friend.
    – Alin
    Aug 24, 2015 at 17:46

As the others have stated, this is a font issue, not an Illustrator one. I've noticed this happening in other Adobe programs as well, not only AI.

My workaround for this is a simple one and involves placing a space in front of your first character, then you adjust the tracking of the space to a negative value, until it lines up where you'd like it.

In the following example, the top is my regular point text - no adjustments. The bottom is the same exact text, but with a space and negative tracking.

I should add, since it was apparently not easy to understand, that you only adjust the tracking of the space, not the other characters.


  • I'm sorry but how is this a workaround? What this does is complicate the situation. The OP obviously didn't want to outline the text to keep it editable, since he wants it editable, he will not have only one letter in there. With a negative tracking , all the other letters will overlap the E...even in his example, he still has an L after the E.
    – Alin
    Aug 24, 2015 at 14:59
  • @Alin You only apply the negative tracking to the space...NOT the rest of the letters. I said tracking, but I guess I meant kerning? They are essentially the same thing, only one applies to one letter and the other to the entire block of text...semantics, I suupose
    – Manly
    Aug 25, 2015 at 15:26

If your goal is to be able to align the text with other objects, a simple option is to turn on Optical Margin Alignment: Type > Optical Margin Alignment. Some portions of characters, such as serifs, may extend slightly beyond the text area as Illustrator attempts a more pleasing character alignment, but this will probably be acceptable and the space before the first character will certainly be gone.


Can't be done. It's there for some reason.

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