How To Adjust Kerning In Adobe Illustrator

Adjusting kerning is a crucial element in typography and graphic design. This involves adjusting the spacing between each individual letter to create an aesthetically pleasing layout. Adobe Illustrator, a top graphic design software, offers various options for kerning adjustments. In this guide, we will explore how to precisely adjust kerning in Adobe Illustrator.

Step 1: Create or Select Your Text

Firstly, you need to have some text to adjust the kerning. If you haven’t already, use the Type Tool (T on your keyboard) to create a text box and type your text. If you already have text, simply select it using the Selection Tool (V on your keyboard).

Step 2: Select the Characters

You can adjust the kerning between two characters by placing your text cursor between them. You can do this by clicking between two characters with the Type Tool or by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.

Step 3: Adjust the Kerning

With your characters selected, navigate to the top control panel. From there, find the Character Spacing section and adjust the Kerning value.

Character Spacing -> Kerning -> Desired Value

You can either adjust the kerning manually by typing a specific value (measured in points) or using the up and down arrows to increase or decrease the spacing respectively. Alternatively, you can use the preset kerning values such as Auto, Optical, or Metrics.

Step 4: Review and Repeat

Once you’ve adjusted the kerning to your liking, simply click somewhere else on your artboard, and the changes will be saved. At this point, take a step back and observe your text. If the spacing isn’t quite right, simply repeat the steps above until you’re satisfied with the kerning.


Adjusting kerning in Adobe Illustrator is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your design. Remember, kerning is more of an art than a science, so it’s crucial to trust your eye and intuition. Keep practicing, and you’ll develop a keen sense for beautifully kerned typography.