Photoshop Tip: Quick Tracking and Kerning of Text

If you want to change the Tracking (the space between each letter in a word or group of words), there are a couple of shortcuts that allow you to do it without going into the Character Palette.

To set the tracking looser i.e. put more space between each letter, highlight the text with the Type tool that you want to affect, then press Alt-Right Arrow (windows) or Option-Right Arrow (Mac).

To set the tracking tighter, highlight the text and then press Alt-Left Arrow or Option-Left Arrow.

Tracking text by Jennifer Farley

To change the Kerning (the space between two individual letters), click with your cursor between the two letters and use the same keyboard shortcuts as above.

Kerning in photoshop - Laughing Lion Design

These shortcuts are the same in Illustrator.


  1. That is so helpful! It does get old to go into the character palette so often.

  2. Hi Alyssa, yeah it definitely speeds up the workflow a little bit.

  3. Hi Jennifer.Your tip was great. You solve my problem in a few seconds
    Thanks a lot

  4. thank you! The damn @^$&!^@$!!! help section in Photoshop 8 is useless

  5. How clever…… I am a bit Photoshop challenged, still learning. Thanksfor offering this tip! I am anxious to try this to update my website front page. Your site looks interesting; will take some time to check it out.


  6. Four years later, you’re still helping to save others time when using Photoshop. Thanks for the tip.


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