# [texhax] TeX Queries (2): Artificial Break

Paul Stanley paulrichardstanley at gmail.com
Fri Jul 13 21:47:39 CEST 2012

``` > Extract from TeXbook:
> "The `|\/|' tells \TeX\ to add an \break
> % makes the line tighter, to be fair
> ``{\sl^{italic correction}\/}'' to the previous letter, depending on
> that letter; this correction is about four times as much for an `\$f\$'
> as for a `\$c\$', in a typical italic font."
>
> What does the author mean by "makes the line tighter"?

If the artificial break weren't there the line would be stretched too
much; in other words, it's just a hand-made justification.

Just to confirm, by "artificial break" are you refering to `\/' ?

> What does "italic correction" actually mean?
[snip]

The italic correction adds a thin kern whose width depends on the
preceding character; for instance, after an `f', it is much larger than
after a `c', because in the former, the difference between the glyph's
declared width and its real, visual width, i.e. its rightmost point,
is much larger than in the latter. You can try this:

Sorry, I'm not quite sure what you mean by the "declared" and "real" widths.

[snip]

Thanks,
Paul

```