[scribus] A New Concept of Character Spacing? (was Re: Why scribus lacks letter-spacing?)

William F. Maddock billsey at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 4 02:25:16 CET 2010

On 01/28/2010 06:56 PM, avox wrote:
> 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.

Briefly returning from lurk mode...

This conversation started me thinking (which can, of course, be a
dangerous thing):

What if we could, well, revamp the entire concept of character spacing
in such a way that kerning would no longer be needed? Instead of basing
any given character's space on the widest part of that character's
glyph, why not make it relativistic? In other words, the character
spacing would be defined as the closest approach between any two glyphs.
Take the word "You", for example. Instead of defining the right edge of
the "Y" glyph as the furthest right visible portion of the glyph, you
would instead be defining the closest approach of the visible portions
of the "Y" glyph to the visible portions of the "o" glyph, and you would
do the same for the "o" and the "u" and any other pair of glyphs.
Instead of having an almost Ptolemaic system like we have now, with the
special settings for certain pairs of glyphs being akin to the epicycles
of Ptolemy's view of the heavenly bodies, we would simply have a single
setting that would say, "This is how close I want any two characters of
this face to approach each other (other than the space characters, of

Am I completely crazy, or does this idea have merit?

More information about the scribus mailing list