How to Change Kerning in Microsoft Word

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2024 by

Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between individual letters in a word. It is an important aspect of typography and can greatly affect the overall appearance of a document. While Microsoft Word automatically adjusts kerning for most fonts, there may be times when you want to manually adjust it for a specific word or phrase. In this article, we will discuss how to change kerning in Microsoft Word.

What is Kerning?

Before we dive into the steps for changing kerning in Microsoft Word, it is important to understand what kerning is and why it is important. Kerning is the process of adjusting the space between individual letters in a word to improve readability and aesthetics. It is especially important when working with fonts that have varying letter widths, such as script or decorative fonts. Proper kerning can make a document look more polished and professional.

Changing Kerning in Microsoft Word

To change kerning in Microsoft Word, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Select the Text

The first step is to select the text that you want to adjust the kerning for. You can do this by clicking and dragging your cursor over the text or by using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+A” to select all the text in the document.

Step 2: Open the Font Dialog Box

Next, go to the “Home” tab and click on the small arrow in the bottom right corner of the “Font” section. This will open the Font dialog box.

Step 3: Adjust the Kerning

In the Font dialog box, click on the “Advanced” tab. Here, you will see a section labeled “Spacing.” In this section, you can manually adjust the spacing between characters by entering a number in the “Kerning for fonts” box. A positive number will increase the spacing, while a negative number will decrease it. You can also use the up and down arrows to adjust the kerning.

Step 4: Preview and Apply Changes

As you adjust the kerning, you can preview the changes in the “Preview” section of the Font dialog box. Once you are satisfied with the spacing, click “OK” to apply the changes to your selected text.

Tips for Adjusting Kerning

  • Use kerning sparingly and only for specific words or phrases. Too much kerning can make a document look unprofessional.
  • Avoid adjusting kerning for large blocks of text. It is best used for headlines or titles.
  • Experiment with different kerning values to find the perfect spacing for your text.


Kerning is an important aspect of typography and can greatly improve the appearance of a document. By following these simple steps, you can easily adjust kerning in Microsoft Word to create a more polished and professional document. Remember to use kerning sparingly and only for specific words or phrases to avoid making your document look unprofessional. Have you ever adjusted kerning in Microsoft Word? Let us know in the comments.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.