Proofing Kern On results - How do you review thousands of pairs?

I decided to try Kern On with my latest typeface. After deleting all the small pairs (less than 5) and cleaning up some garbage (pairs for CALT glyphs) I still have over 7,500 pairs in each master. And the kern values are terrible for many pairs. Going through them one by one in Glyphs would probably take longer than just kerning the typeface in MetricsMachine. How are people dealing with this? Are people just crossing their fingers and hoping that Kern On did a good job? 


  • Igor PetrovicIgor Petrovic Posts: 261
    edited June 2022
    In addition to your questions, does Kern On requires predefined kerning classes?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,940
    In addition to your questions, does Kern On requires predefined kerning classes?
    No. I run it without kerning classes, and then do class compression after the fact.

    And the kern values are terrible for many pairs. 

    Define models for some of those pairs to adjust the output?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,940
    Another way to use Kern On is to do manual kerning for the core of your design, and then use that kerning as a model to extend the kerning into the edge cases.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,940
    [To date, I have only used Kern On for syllabic scripts where the number of potential pairs is more than can reasonably be kerned manually.]
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,704
    I kind of figure that one might gain that trust over time? If the algorithm is good enough.
  • Aren't you always manually checking to see if your kerning is good? Whether that kerning is automated or not. I would assume that it's the stage before that, the bulk of the kerning work, that is sped up by a tool like Kern On. Furthermore, I have the feeling that a few silly mistakes tend to slip through the net when I kern manually, that may have never occurred when kerning was automated. Just to defend a plugin I have never used ;)
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,374
    Are there any reliable autokerning systems that don't require Apple hardware?
  • Jens KutilekJens Kutilek Posts: 334
    I can’t comment on its reliability, but DTL KernMaster is available for Windows.
  • Andrea T.Andrea T. Posts: 40
    edited July 2022
    I started to use KO recently, and it works fine for me. I usually start using the interactive KO engine and then I prepared some tabs with the most common kerning pair in latin script (and cyrillic when is present) and I correct and refine the kerning directly.

    Usually I ended up with having at least 100 models and some exceptions. After that I test the kerning on some sheets I made on indesign and web browser, refining every time going back and forth in the master file and in the test specimen. I have to be sure to exclude from the kerning engine a lot of glyphs and I tend to keep the kern table as small as possible (15kb to 25 kb). I also run a lots of scripts that helps me to check the result (kerncrasher, overkerned pairs, large pairs all of them from mekkablue library).

    It is a long process and full of small mistakes. But at the end I will have a more than acceptable kern mostly extensive, saving a lot of time and my mental health.

    At the end I accept some imperfections in my kern (at least in the less important pairs) it is the nature of automatic generated stuff, I always think that my eyes are much more reliable than a computer, but I'm not sure anymore if this is true or just my bias (I always thought computers are just fast and stupid). 
Sign In or Register to comment.