Various Characteristics of Text and Kerning in Word Processor

The characteristics or properties of text determine the appearance of text on the screen or in the print-out. Various text characteristics include bold text, italic text, underlined text, superscript & subscript text etc. These characteristics are applied from the Font dialog box. Ctrl + D keyboard shortcut is used to access font dialogue box for formatting text in a word document. The advantage of Font dialog box is its preview window at the bottom that shows the affected text in a document.


Following is a list of these characteristics with brief explanation:-


The overall appearance of character set is called font OR the design for the set of characters is called font.

Font Size       

The size of a font is the maximum height of a character written in the font. It is usually measured in points. One point is equal to 1/72 of an inch.


In bold text, characters are displayed in dark text.


In Italic style, characters are displayed as leaning towards right.


A line under the text is displayed.


The text is displayed in selected color. The color of the text is displayed on color monitor. It is also printed on color printer.


A line is drawn through the middle of the text.


Selected text is raised and its font size is reduced.


Selected text is lowered and its font size is reduced.


Shadow is added behind the text. It is used to give three-dimensional appearance.


Displays inner and outer boundaries of each character.


Text appears as raised on the screen of paper.


Text appears to be carved or etched into the page.

Small caps     

All text is displayed in capital letters. The lower case letters are displayed as small capital letters. The upper case letters are displayed as large capital letters.

All Caps        

All text is displayed in capital letters.


Selected text is not displayed.

Changing the Character Space (Kerning)

The amount of space between the characters is called Kerning. Font dialog box is used to change the Kerning setting between selected characters.


By using the Kerning, you can make your text in more polished look, attractive and different. Follow the steps to change the character space in word document:-

  • Select the text to format
  • Press Ctrl + D
  • Font dialog box will be open
  • Click on Character Spacing
  • Click on Spacing list drop down arrow, select the desired option to expand or condense spacing between characters by the specified amount.
  • Click on Position list drop down arrow, select the desired option to raised or lowered the text in relation to the bottom of text by the specified amount.
  • Select the Kerning for fonts check box and specify the amount.
  • Now check the results in the preview box.
  • To reset the formatting option for all new word documents, click Set as Default then click Yes and OK


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