Controlling tracking

Tracking lets you adjust the space between selected characters and words for copyfitting and typographic effects. Tracking values are expressed as 1/200 of an em space. A positive tracking value increases the space to the right of each character; a negative value decreases it.

Tracking is commonly used for copyfitting. However, too much tracking can interfere with design and readability. When you are using tracking for copyfitting, consider these guidelines:

  • Track whole paragraphs rather than one line or one word.
  • Establish guidelines for tracking (for example from +3 to –3).
  • Make sure vertically adjacent paragraphs have similar tracking applied.

These are general rules; appropriate tracking values depend on the design, font, column width, and other factors.

Parent topic: Text and typography

Controlling tracking