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When you are working with headline text you often want to kern certain space between letter pairs. Let's go ahead and zoom in on our headline here. I am going to go and hold down Command+Space or Ctrl+Space on Windows and we will get our Zoom tool here, and we will just zoom up on this word Attention here. I am just going to pan that into view by holding on the Spacebar. All right, so we want to tighten up the space between certain letter pairs. I am going to go and double-click to get my cursor there, and let's say we want to tighten up the space between the T and the E. Your keyboard shortcut there is Option or Alt on Windows and your right and left arrow keys. So Option+Left Arrow key to tighten it up and Option+Right Arrow key to loosen the space, and if you take a look at the kerning field here in the Control panel, you will see that every time I use one of the arrow keys with the Option or Alt key it's moving in 5/1000 of an em.
So it's going from -22 to -27 and then -32 and so forth. If you add another key to that, say a Command on the Mac or Ctrl on windows, so hold them both down, Command+Option or Ctrl+Alt and then right or left arrows, You will be multiplying that base value by five. So instead of going at 5/1000 of an em, it's going at 25/1000 of an em. So you have a little bit bigger movements there if you want to move quicker. Now I am using a different value than the default, in fact you can actually get to the Preferences where you can change the increment value for your kerning, if you hold down the makebetter key, Option or Alt and double-click on the little icon next to the kerning field, that will actually take you to the Preferences dialog, right to the Units & Increments section.
You can see there is the Kerning and Tracking value. The default is 20/1000 of an em. I have changed it to five, to give myself a little bit more granular control, but you can set this to be whatever you want and just remember that's with the Option or Alt key down and then right and left arrows. If you want to move in bigger chunks without having to change this increment, you just add Command or Ctrl to your shortcut, and that will multiply this number by five. So I am going to leave it at five. Go ahead and click OK. And I can just use my arrow keys to move the cursor to another pair, so maybe between the A and the T, Option+Left Arrow to tighten up Option+Right Arrow to loosen it up. And you can just go and forth between each pair, and just tighten that up by holding down your keys, so it's very quick and intuitive and you have a lot of control.
So there you have it, Kerning and Tracking keyboard shortcuts. Kerning is just when you have your cursor between two letters, if you want to change the Tracking, that's just kerning over a range of text. So if I wanted to loosen or tighten an entire word here, let's say, I will select the word 'headline', and then Option+Left Arrow or Alt+Left Arrow and you can see the kerning is actually being applied as tracking to the range of text. So there you have it. Pretty cool.
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