FAQ: CSS Typography - Letter Spacing

This community-built FAQ covers the “Letter Spacing” exercise from the lesson “CSS Typography”.

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FAQs on the exercise Letter Spacing

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what is the default value for the kerning spacing??

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You’ve learned how to increase the spacing between lines of text and words

The last lesson was word-spacing. Is line spacing something to do with padding and display: inline?

Ah, it seems to be later, in Line Height Anatomy. The sections must have been reordered at some point.

I have noticed that letter-spacing also gives the same amount of space after the last letter of the text. Is there an efficient way to stop this or compensate for it?

If you use it only on headings then it is not an issue since headings do not end with a full stop and typically have no punctuation. In paragraphs we should not mess with letter spacing.

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so if the word-spacing's default value is .25 em (25% of the font-size) , what is the default em for letter-spacing ?

The default is normal, but what that equates to in ems is difficult to say. In 16px font size the spacing may be about 1px, so, 1/16 em, or 0.0625em.

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thank you for making it clear!

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CSS Typography lesson has some examples when we use ‘em’ for a unit. As i understood, the difference between ‘em’ and ‘pixel’ is that ‘em’ is a relative unit while a ‘pixel’ is an absolute unit.

Could anyone give some examples when we should use ‘em’ rather than ‘pixel’ in practice?

Even if you shouldn’t mess with the letter-spacing property of <p> elements, you can fix the problem @thesethneal mentioned by wrapping the last word in a <span> element and adjusting this <span>'s letter-spacing property

I recommend always using relative units when sizing text. This can either be em or (the preffered one) rem

This means that if the user changes the default font-size on his browser settings, the text on our web page will actually adapt to these preferences. Here is a helpful article I read about this topic: https://medium.com/code-better/css-units-for-font-size-px-em-rem-79f7e592bb97


As this post mentions, the value assigned to the word-spacing property will actually get added to the default value instead of it being the final value. This means that if we assign 0.5em to the word-spacing property of an element, it will actually have 0.75em of word spacing as 0.25em (the default word spacing) + 0.5em = 0.75em. The same thing applies with letter spacing

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