RE: Difference between EM QUAD and EM SPACE

From: John Hudson (
Date: Fri Jul 07 2000 - 19:07:54 EDT

At 02:51 PM 07-07-00 -0800, Figge, Donald wrote:

>An EM QUAD is a square [space] with sides equal to the point size of the
>font. An EM SPACE is a horizontal measure, usually equal to the side of an
>em quad. In condensed fonts, the em space is sometimes smaller than that,
>for aesthetic and readability reasons. In expanded fonts, the em space may
>be wider than the standard, for the same reasons.

I'd only add that, generally, em spaces are _not_ actually included in
fonts, although nominal em dashes are and may indeed be narrower than the
full em width in some fonts. Em spaces are usually handled by applications,
and their width should be fixed relative to the point size.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

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