Photoshop tracking and kerning: what do the number values mean?

Working on a site design where I’m trying to translate a tracking value of “100” to the CSS letter-spacing property.

When I specify a tracking value of “100”, what am I saying? Definitely doesn’t seem like percent or pixels.

I tend to eyeball to get what I want, but I’d rather run a conversion and not have to think about it if that’s possible.


The answers given in the question linked to in AndrewH’s comment are correct.

As noted on this Photoshop help page:1

Tracking and kerning are both measured in 1/1000 em, a unit of measure that is relative to the current type size. In a 6‑point font, 1 em equals 6 points; in a 10‑point font, 1 em equals 10 points. Kerning and tracking are strictly proportional to the current type size.

In other words, you can achieve the same CSS letter-spacing by dividing the Photoshop tracking value by 1,000 and using the quotient, in ems, as the letter-spacing value.

1 The page linked to is for Photoshop, but the same holds true for all other Adobe products. According to Wikipedia, Quark has 1/200 em as its base unit.

Source : Link , Question Author : Brendan , Answer Author : Janus Bahs Jacquet

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