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Changing letter and word spacing

From: Typography with CSS in Dreamweaver

Video: Changing letter and word spacing

Another way to differentiate selected text, is through the judicious use of letter and word spacing in CSS. While not as finely tuned as the kerning controls on publishing software like Adobe InDesign, the letter spacing and word spacing properties allow you to manipulate the amount of space between letters in a word and the words in a phrase or sentence. As you'll see, the two options can be combined to give your headings a very nice flair. So here we have the tours.htm file from the Chapter 5 > 05_05 folder and I'm in Live view.

Changing letter and word spacing

Another way to differentiate selected text, is through the judicious use of letter and word spacing in CSS. While not as finely tuned as the kerning controls on publishing software like Adobe InDesign, the letter spacing and word spacing properties allow you to manipulate the amount of space between letters in a word and the words in a phrase or sentence. As you'll see, the two options can be combined to give your headings a very nice flair. So here we have the tours.htm file from the Chapter 5 > 05_05 folder and I'm in Live view.

I'm going to scroll down to where my tour descriptions are, so we can modify those headings again, and I put my cursor into the h2 so that we can see that selected over in the CSS Styles panel. Now I'll go into Edit Rule and the first thing I'm going to do is uppercase all the letters in the h2 tag and we'll do that by going to Text-transform > uppercase. I find that letter spacing actually works quite well when you've got a completely uppercased phrase.

So now we switch to the Block category where you'll see Word-spacing and Letter-spacing. Let's go into Letter- spacing and add a 0.5 em value. Now I'm going to go ahead and click OK, and because we're in Live view you can see that instantly take effect. Now one of the issues that you might encounter when you're starting to work with different letter spacing is sometimes if you expand it so much, it can be a little difficult to see the difference between the letters and the words. So in that case you want to bump up the word-spacing just a bit.

This time let's just add that property directly right in the CSS Styles Property pane. So I've clicked Add Property and now I'm going to type in word-spacing and we'll make this 0.5 ems. So I'll type in .5, hit Tab and then type in em and hit Return or Enter. So then you can see the two words; the second word has moved over to the right just a little bit it. You don't want to use too high a value for this, because you want to keep the words close enough together so that they can quickly be read, but adding a little bit of spacing works quite well.

While you can use any measurement unit to set the word or letter-spacing values I've found that ems are the most reliable.

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This video is part of

Image for Typography with CSS in Dreamweaver
Typography with CSS in Dreamweaver

36 video lessons · 8021 viewers

Joseph Lowery
Author

 
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  1. 3m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 33s
  2. 19m 16s
    1. Working with the Property inspector's HTML tab
      2m 0s
    2. Making the most of the Property inspector's CSS tab
      4m 57s
    3. Defining and changing type with the CSS Rule Definition dialog
      6m 16s
    4. Modifying type directly in the CSS Styles panel
      6m 3s
  3. 19m 45s
    1. Understanding type measurement unit options
      2m 50s
    2. Working with pixels
      2m 34s
    3. Defining a percentage-based page with ems
      6m 51s
    4. Letting users set page type size
      7m 30s
  4. 17m 36s
    1. Getting to know the basic font categories
      1m 32s
    2. Employing web-safe fonts
      3m 20s
    3. Defining new font families
      3m 22s
    4. Exploring CSS3 typeface options
      3m 9s
    5. Setting up @font-face
      6m 13s
  5. 9m 39s
    1. Dispelling the myth of web-safe colors
      1m 13s
    2. Applying color to type
      4m 52s
    3. Incorporating semi-transparent type
      3m 34s
  6. 19m 46s
    1. Setting the font-weight
      3m 48s
    2. Mandating font case
      2m 25s
    3. Exploring font variants
      1m 50s
    4. Utilizing white space effectively
      3m 40s
    5. Changing letter and word spacing
      2m 20s
    6. Defining first-line variations
      2m 19s
    7. Inserting drop caps
      3m 24s
  7. 20m 17s
    1. Applying CSS3 text effects
      5m 26s
    2. Designing type gradients
      8m 27s
    3. Rotating text with CSS transform
      6m 24s
  8. 15m 21s
    1. Implementing advanced headings with HTML5
      3m 11s
    2. Preparing CSS3 multiple-column layout
      4m 50s
    3. Future type: Defining CSS Regions
      7m 20s
  9. 24m 51s
    1. Styling unordered lists
      6m 51s
    2. Specifying a sequence with ordered lists
      5m 14s
    3. Applying definition lists
      7m 19s
    4. Targeting list items with CSS3 nth child
      5m 27s
  10. 20s
    1. Next steps
      20s

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