# [pdftex] Spacing between letters ---plain pdftex

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Wed Jun 27 10:56:03 CEST 2007

```RS wrote:
> On 26.06.2007 23:04, John R. Culleton wrote:
>> WRT LaTeX I have used soul.sty  in a Context job where the
>> InDesign-influenced designer specified tracking all over the place.
>> There are several parameters to be set for each iteration of soul.sty
>>  which gives very fine control but IMO made it clumsy to use in
>> practice. It required special handling in tracked multiline
>> paragraphs.  Han's solution appears to handle that situation better
>> with less fuss and feathers.
>
> Wrt latex you might want to check out the microtype package, which wraps
> around the new pdftex primitive. It allows to adjust tracking of sets of
> fonts (e.g. all small-caps, or all tiny fonts or whatever), without
>
>
> On 27.06.2007 00:49, Robin Fairbairns wrote:
>> Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha-S0/GAf8tV78 at public.gmane.org>
>> wrote:
>>
>>>> It seems that if you add \kern, you loose the kerning info
>>>> provided by the font.  Hence, I think that Thanh's primitive
>>>> solves this problem.
>> ah -- you're being subtle.  does soul try to deal with that? -- i
>> didn't think so, and i know letterspac(e|ing) doesn't.
>
> Yes, soul manages to retain kerning (if it succeeds at all, that is).
> The new \letterspacefont primitive OTOH currently does not. This will be
> fixed with the next pdftex version (and microtype, following it).

fyi:

in luatex letterspacing can be done by manipulating the node lists
(usually this will be wrapped in a macro so users don't see it); i have
an experimental setup (one of the demos for tug 2007); it's no big deal
to work cross-font, handle spacing around inline boxes, etc.

somewhere next year luatex will be stable enough (first beta end of
june) for production usage;

Hans

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