Is permanent custom font kerning possible?

New Here ,
Apr 30, 2015 Apr 30, 2015

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I want to be able to adjust the kerning permanently for 2 characters in a family of Adobe fonts. Can I do this? (I constantly have to do this by hand and it would be great if the font could "learn" my desired kerning.)

It's Myriad Pro family. The C and lower-case R have not enough space on the right. (Cl looks like backwards D, 2 lower-case R's next to each other nearly connect, etc.). Even on the Adobe Type sample PDF of this font you can see that the C is always too close to the D compared with all the rest of the letter spacing. Is there a way to get access to a font's kerning tables? It would save me so much time if I could make this adjustment just once for all eternity.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Apr 30, 2015 Apr 30, 2015
The kerning tables for OpenType fonts are stored in the font itself. You cannot make a permanent change unless you modify the font itself. There are various font editing programs ranging from free to expensive, simple with few options to very complex with Swiss Army Knife features for modifying any aspect of a font.And you must make sure that you follow the font vendor's license in terms of whether you legally permitted to modify the font and then whether you can distribute this modified font. I...

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Apr 30, 2015 Apr 30, 2015

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The kerning tables for OpenType fonts are stored in the font itself. You cannot make a permanent change unless you modify the font itself. There are various font editing programs ranging from free to expensive, simple with few options to very complex with Swiss Army Knife features for modifying any aspect of a font.

And you must make sure that you follow the font vendor's license in terms of whether you legally permitted to modify the font and then whether you can distribute this modified font. In any case, to avoid conflicts with other instances of this font which might subsequently get installed on your system, you should save any modified font with a modified font name as well as file name.

                 - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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New Here ,
Apr 30, 2015 Apr 30, 2015

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thank you!

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Explorer ,
Feb 11, 2016 Feb 11, 2016

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Dov, what you say is true, but I'm not sure that it answers the specific question. If I find that in using a particular font that I am making the same kerning adjustments every single time (perhaps because the font never had good metrics to begin with), then wouldn't it be great if we could ask InDesign or Illustrator to remember our kerning preferences for specific fonts and characters? It would save tons of time.

The difference is that you're not technically changing the metrics of the font, but InDesign or Illustrator is remembering that you prefer that "Y" and "o" a lot closer together, etc.

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Feb 11, 2016 Feb 11, 2016

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I answered the specific question correctly, but the issue that you correctly allude to is that there is not any facility in Adobe applications for creation of either user-specific and/or document-specific pair kerning overrides for specific fonts.

You might want to submit such an idea as an enhancement request for InDesign and/or Illustrator.

             - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Explorer ,
Feb 11, 2016 Feb 11, 2016

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Good suggestion. Gonna do it right now.

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Advocate ,
Feb 15, 2016 Feb 15, 2016

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Peter Kahrels' Kerning javascript for InDesign can export custom kerning to an external file and apply it again.  AI's text engine differs from ID's, and I have no idea how hard it would be to write something similar for AI.

David

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