Why was KernMaster developed?

KernMaster is an innovative program which produces the highest quality character spacing available. It operates on PubLink’s PostScript-based DeskTopPro publishing system. It provides PubLink users (particularly those in advertising typography and books) the ability to offer the very highest quality in a consistent manner by harnessing the computer’s ability to automate a tedious process.

What is KernMaster?

PubLink’s KernMaster program uses artificial intelligence, featuring a space control and kerning algorithm that provides an infinite number of kern pair combinations. This program analyses the attributes of each character to be composed. The character’s point size, leading from the base line and beginning and trailing outlines are examined in the context of the preceding or following character. Based on overall spacing factors, KernMaster positions each character so that they barely touch. Then it invokes tracking to separate the characters again by the most aesthetically pleasing and consistent amount of space. KernMaster is a revolutionary concept. It is not based on kern pair data, nor is it affected by font or leading changes. As a result, it can kern any combination of characters and symbols.

KernMaster’s color and character spacing controls are also evident when symbol pairs and accented characters are formed. Once KernMaster assembles a kerned combination and applies one of five tracking levels, the resulting character grouping forms a new symbol entity that is used in subsequent juxtaposition analysis. This is a particularly valuable feature when you are setting ligatures and symbols in the text stream.

How does it work?

PostScript fonts are supplied with character widths, character shapes and side bearing information. Our utility programs convert the fonts’ shape data into a format recognizable by the KernMaster program. During the line justification process the sidebearings are subtracted from each character. This leaves the "naked" character. The shape of this character is analyzed and compared to adjacent characters, determining intercharacter spacing required and producing even, optical spacing. The intercharacter spacing is added taking into account the optimum word space width for the font(s) in use as well as the overall tracking (sidebearing adjustment) desired.

Provisions have been made for exception pairs to compensate for instances where an adjustment to the character pair is desirable. The number of exception pairs required are less than conventional pair kerning. In pair kerning a font would typically require 2000 character pairs for quality kerning. Using KernMaster the number of exception pairs will range from 50-100 characters depending on the degree of quality desired; and, exception pairs are generally the same from font to font.

What are the benefits of KernMaster?

KernMaster will provide you the following major benefits:

  • Set up time is much less for KernMaster than conventional kerning.
  • Exception pairs are minimal and much easier to develop than conventional pairs.
  • KernMaster analyses composite character shapes such as a cap T followed by an accented e.
  • Because KernMaster analyses the shapes of individual character pairs, a base line shift between characters may produce a different amount of kerning, maintaining uniform optical spacing.
  • Because KernMaster analyzes shapes, kerning can be employed intrafont. Thus a 14 point Avant Garde initial cap followed by a 18 point Palatino character will automatically kern.
  • When KernMaster determines the character shape, it knows where descenders and ascenders occur. Therefore, underscores will leapfrog descenders if underscoring words such as ‘example’ or ‘pages’.
  • KernMaster processing produces exquisite kerning. Yet it takes no longer to process than conventional pair kerning.
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