Kerning example

How to Kern Text in Inkscape

To kern in Inkscape, you need to first have the text selected then go to the Text menu tab at the top. From that drop-down select Unflow or ( Shift Alt W ). Now click in between letters and hit ( Alt ← or → ) to add more or less space between the individual letters. This also can be used to add vertical space by hitting ( Alt ↑ or ↓ ) bringing a letter up or down.

If you have ever wondered why kerning isn’t working in Inkscape this is the main reason why.

If need to undo all of the kerning that you manually added just go to the Text menu tab and select Remove Manual Kerns from the drop down. All the text will return to its original kerned width.

What does Text Unflow do?

Aside from allowing kerning, Text Unflow works in concert with Text Flow into Frame. If you wanted text that you have written to conform to the shape of an object then you would have to select the object and the text by Shift clicking them together. Go to the Text menu tab and select Flow into Frame( Alt W ). Now the text will be bound to the shape of that object.



Text Unflow will undo that binding and the text will no longer be bound to the object’s shape. It will go back to being a single line of text.

Why should I Kern?

Kerning is about creating consistent space between letters. This consistency will make your typography have more rhythm and overall harmony. When typography is not properly kerned the eye is drawn to the uneven spacing negatively, whether that’s a claustrophobic feeling when letters are too close to each other or a loss of readability if there’s too much space.

How to Kern in Inkscape

Now let’s go through an example and show how through the power of kerning, words can appear much more pleasing to the eye. As you can see at first the default kerning is pretty bad creating a poor visual experience for the viewer. The letters A and V next to each other typically need adjusting in many font types.


Kerning example


Now all the space has been removed between “AVA” the text flows much better and appears uniform.





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