[scribus] Why scribus lacks letter-spacing? was: how does scribus do justification?

avox avox at arcor.de
Tue Feb 2 12:05:17 CET 2010

Tornoci Laszlo-2 wrote:
> On 01/28/2010 06:56 PM, avox wrote:
>> Tornóci László-2 wrote:
>>> ... There is a wide belief
>>> that letter-spacing is from the evil (based in part on the above
>>> misquoted opinion of Goudy). I rather believe my eyes. There are lots of
>>> examples in the book "J Felici: The Complete Manual of Typography" of
>>> the same block of text set with different combination of H&J methods #1,
>>> #2 and #3. It is clear, that a combination of these methods gives the
>>> best results if used properly. I simply don't believe anyone can spot 3%
>>> letter-spacing.
>> So you would be content if letter spacing was limited to +/- 5% ?
>> But what is the base value? Normal letter spacing is 0pt, so we can't
>> base it on that (well, in fact we already do ;-) )
>> You mean +/- 5% of the character width? Or +/- 5% of a given character,
>> e.g.
>> 'M' ?
>> Give me a definition and I might be inclined to implement that.
> I am definitely not a font expert, so I have no idea what would be the 
> best definition. However, I don't think there is much difference between 
> any reasonable definitions. You change a setting, look at the result, 
> and either you like it, or change the setting again. So the setting 
> doesn't have to be exactly precise.
> Here is what the Felici book (what I cited in my last letter) says:
> "Generally, these values are expressed as some percentage of *normal*. 
> For word spaces, *normal* means the width of a word space as it's 
> defined within the font being used. For letter spaces, *normal* is the 
> distance between characters when their bounding boxes abut but do not 
> overlap. Spacing adjustments based on tracking and kerning controls are 
> added on top of the spacing values calculated by the H&J program."
> If I understand it correctly, this definition of letter space depends on 
> the character pair considered. It may be possible, to use the value of 
> an arbitrarily selected character pair.

That sounds like the right bearing of the left char plus the left bearing of
the right char.
That's the most complicated case and might even slow Scribus down a little.
It also needs thorough testing since I'm not sure that all fonts define
left/right bearing correctly.


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