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Re: [Groff] Letterspacing

From: Peter Schaffter
Subject: Re: [Groff] Letterspacing
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:06:12 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

Steve --

On Thu, Mar 27, 2014, Steve Izma wrote:
> I'm puzzled too. Some discussions I have had lately with other
> typographers indicate a general support for letterspacing. One
> font designer even suggested that there is a commonly accepted
> limit to the amount of kerning or morticing -- unfortunately, I
> forget what he said, so I'll have to search for such a guideline.
> For type around 10 pt., I try to keep it around .1 pts. Do others
> have guidelines? Peter, what were your parameters in this
> example?

No more than '.tkf \n[.f]  1  .4  1  .4'   (mom: '.EW .4')
No less than '.tkf \n[.f]  1 -.2  1 -.2'   (mom: '.RW .2')

Generally speaking, the eye is less aware of loose letterspacing
than tight.

> I'm really not interested in setting type ragged any more.

Funny, I enjoy the challenge.  And the results, when it's used in
the right context (*not* columns).  A good piece of rag text has a
graceful informality that's impossible to achieve with justified
> This also raises the question of whether a paragraph-at-once
> algorithm could handle such single-line adjustments without being
> unwieldly or slow. I've never been able to get this kind of
> precision in TeX, as I've mentioned before; it's much faster to
> do it in groff.

I'm addressing this in another post.

Peter Schaffter

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