How to Increase the Word Spacing in Adobe Illustrator CS3

Use word spacing to improve book layout and design.
Image Credit: Jon Feingersh/Blend Images/Getty Images

Increasing the word spacing in an Adobe Illustrator CS 3 document can make it more readable. In addition to changing the word spacing, you can adjust the character spacing, which is called tracking. Tracking affects the spacing between each character, so it is different from kerning, which affects spacing between specific pairs of characters. Be wary of increasing either word or character spacing so much that the text becomes difficult to read.

Adjust Word Spacing

Step 1

Click the Paragraph panel's flyout menu and then click "Justification." In the Justification dialog box, click the "Preview" check box so you can see your adjustments in the text immediately.

Step 2

Type the exact percentage you want for word spacing in the Desired text box for the Word Spacing row. Percentages lower than 100 tighten the word spacing; percentages higher than 100 loosen the word spacing. Select from zero to 1000 percent.

Step 3

Type the lowest percentage of word spacing you want in the Minimum box and then type the highest percentage in the Maximum box. Click "OK" to accept your changes.

Adjust Character Spacing

Step 1

Select the text for which you want to adjust the character spacing, also called tracking.

Step 2

Click "Window," select "Type" and then click "Character" to open the Character panel.

Step 3

Adjust the character spacing using the "Tracking" drop-down menu, whose icon looks like a "VA" with arrows pointing in opposite directions underneath it. Your changes are applied immediately.


Watch for odd text effects when adjusting tracking. Characters at the end of a line may become wider.