Skip to comments.The "Kerning" Issue (no doubt - CBS documents were kerned)
Posted on 09/11/2004 10:10:33 PM PDT by Catphish
I don't usually talk about politics in my journal, but I just can't help it in this case. This CBS forged memos thing is just absolutely hilarious and sickening at the same time. I've been glued to the computer over the past few days reading everything there is to read.
I've been very interested in all of the technical explanations and the many examples of comparisons between the memos, including the exact match between one of the memos and the exact same thing typed in Microsoft Word and the inexact match between one of the memos and the exact same thing typed on an IBM Selectric Composer.
Through all of this, there's been much talk about kerning, which is where pairs of letters in a certain order are closer together than they are when they are in the opposite order. However, no one has actually done an analysis of the document with pictures to prove that there is kerning, so I decided I'd try it in Photoshop.
I downloaded the documents from CBS, and opened up the one dated August 18, 1973. Then I picked a letter pair that kerns in Microsoft word, but doesn't kern (or at least not as much) in the opposite order. I found several instances of each letter pair in the document and pasted them into a new document so that they would line up. Here are the results:
Both of the ta sets were lined up by the leftmost line on the t and the right most line on the a. This was somewhat difficult because the document has been copied so many times that the all of the letters look slightly different. However, I'm certain that it is exact enough to prove my point.
Likewise the three at sets were lined up by the rightmost curve of the a and the rightmost line of the t.
Then the leftmost characteristic, the slash of the t on the ta pairs and the curve of the a on the at pairs, of the two different sets were lined up with one another. Then a line was lined up with the rightmost characteristic of the ta pairs to see if it lined up with the rightmost characteristic of the at pairs.
Obviously it does not. The line actually intersects with the next letter after the at pairs. The at pair is thinner than the ta pair. This is kerning.
As an example, I did the same thing using 12 pt Times New Roman font in Word.
Here again, it is obvious that there is kerning. Since this image has not been copied over and over, we can see the source of the kerning: the tail of the a is under the slash of the t. If you look at the at pair in "coat" from the memos, you can also see that the tail of the a is under the slash of the t.
NO TYPEWRITER CAN KERN because the typewriter does not know what letters are next to the letter you are typing when you type it. A word processor on a computer can do that, because it makes adjustments to what you have typed previously as you go. A typesetter can also do this because they can have sets of letters on the same block.
No typewriter wrote this memo. The only other options are that the document is a forgery, or that Killian sent out his personal memos to file to a typesetter.
Yet another nail in the coffin.
By the way, I also wanted to do an analysis of some typewritten text from an IBM Selectric Composer to prove (for absolute morons) that typewriters can not do kerning, but I can't find an example in good enough quality that has both the at and ta pairs. If anyone comes across anything, email me at raina at rainabear dot org.
THank you ! I've been looking for this all night, this is the smoking gun!!
Send the list of media sources below to all of your friends, relatives, everyone you know! Give them an INTERNET alternate media source!!! After seeing more of the truth, rather than the propaganda from the Media Wing of the Democrat Party, they'll start having less desire to watch the trash on dnCBS and maybe spend more time with their family!
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Do your part to put dnCBS out of business today!! Give people an alternative and encourage them to "Just Change the Channel"
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And by typesetter, in this time (1973), we're talking about something very like the process that the most fancy of wedding invitations are made today.
Question that bugs me--what now? The proof can't be argued with, but it can be stonewalled. Rather can just insist "Oh, yes, it is authentic" unless there's some creative means to corner him.
Since the (D)'s new talking points are:
1) CBS has faux docs, and Kerry has faux medals, ergo, SwiftVets are faux too (that's a quantum leap)
2) Everybody is slinging mud, so believe nothing (esp. the SwiftVets)
3) The subject on top of the heap is W's Tex ANG and not 85% of Kerry's fellow sailors who despise him.
This tactic will best with their own base, for whom it is targeted, since the SwiftVets have eroded a noticeable chunk off of Kerry's base.
This is excellent, thank you! I've been looking for some type of proof-positive that there was kerning in the "documents".
/BTW, are those lines moving or have I just been up too long? ;-)
This is sooo frustrating, but why am I surprised. The stench of media bias is so strong here...if this had been anything in the opposite direction, it would have been the lead item on the nightly news for weeks on end.
Anyway, GREAT JOB HERE!
What about ligatures?
Dan Rather's favorite soap operas:
As The World Kerns
One Lie to Live
Maintain everything else in default, but set font to Times News Roman 11.
Go to item 4 in the suppose memo of 01 August 1972, where the subject is the suspension of flight status. This can be found for instance at
4. On recommendation of Harris, I also suggested that we fill this critical billet with a more seasoned pilot from the list of qualified Vietnam pilots that have rotated. Recommendations were received but not confirmed.
Put two spaces between 4. and On and two spaces between the two sentences; that is, between rotated. and the capital R of the second sentence.
Now, compare the spacing, line breaks, the vertical distance between the three lines, etc. Line up letters vertically. Do what you want, the two are the same, despite the purported 32 years that separate them.
But now the kerning punch line.
In the Microsoft Word document, go to the word fill and put your cursor between the f" and the i. What do you see? The cursor cuts the top of the f" and there is a bit of the f that you can see to the right of the cursor line the f hangs over the space of the i, which as many, many have pointed out is a matter of kerning, and is a property of typesetting or the post-Adode postscript era. Now sit and think about the two facts: letters line up perfectly between "1972" and what we know today, and kerning changes the spacing between letters in documents today. Sit and think. The Freepers have already caught on.
And now for those at DU who do not yet get it:
(1) The probability that a typewritten document in 1972 would replicate in letter spacing, line breaks, etc. the Microsoft Word rendition of the same sentence in 2004 is, as the statisticians would say, near zero.
(2) Due to the spacing adjustment that would accompany kerning, and due to the zero probability that Killian would be typesetting his memos, there is a vanishing probability that something written in 1972 would match so precisely with Microsoft Word.
(3) So its all Bill Gatess fault. He and Rove are controlling the world.
Here we go again. Non-professionals trying to render judgement! The guy is wrong - "kerning" is not about visible widths of pair of glyths. fa and af have different "black width" because f is assymmetrically positioned in its square, it has "right overhang". Kerning is second order adjustment and the forged memos match Word produced text without kerning! Kerning is a non-issue, stop mentioning it!
I've been saying about the fonds on other Kerry docs. Like his DD214 are also the wrong kind. More checking need to be done!
The Bold and the Beautiful
"As the Times New Roman slips through the hourglass, so are The Fonts of our Lives.
This is good enough proof that it text is kerned
...which is not possible when using a typewriter. i.e. the memos are FAKE.
Explain 'second order adjustment', elaborate in plain english.
In typography, kerning refers to adjusting the space between characters, especially by placing two characters closer together than normal. Kerning makes certain combinations of letters, such as WA, MW, TA, and VA, look better.
Only the most sophisticated word processors and desktop publishing systems perform kerning. Normally, you can activate or deactivate kerning for particular fonts.
I think the giveaway is when part of a letter ocupies the same vertical space as an adjacent letter. That is something you cannot do with a typewriter.
Kerning is an adjustment to letter spacing atop of the base letter spacing as determined by the font. For more details: http://www.coolhomepages.com/cda/kerning/
There was a good example of an IBM selectic composer done here on FR earlier. I don't have a link.
I posted one last night but it doesn't deal with "kerning":
Thanks for the link, what I gather is the kerning is embedded in the font, and is not typewriter or computer dependent? Is that correct? So does that mean a typewriter does kern if it has the same font as Word?
This is called "overhang" and it can be achieved on a typewriter - it is just a font feature. The point is that typical typewriter did not use fonts like this circa 1972. Now, there existed IBM Composer, that looked like an electric typewriter, but was able to use fonts with overhangs. The docs are forgery for sure, but the real reason is not any particular feature, but the exact match with MSWord. This exact match is virtually impossible to achive even with IBM Composer, especially 30 years ago (;-)This was debated to death already, just look up my and other people's earlier posts on this topic
That was the one I saw. Hey at least you know people are reading it.
No, a typewriter never kerns. I think even IBM Composer couldn't kern. You need a professional typesetting system for this. But the forged docs do not have kerning anyway, as far as I can tell!
Just sent Raina a couple of scans of memo's. One dated 72 and the other 73. Certainly IBM Selectrics; don't know if they were Composers.
Looking at the ta and at pairs, there's clearly no kerning.
Ok now I understand where you're at, so what do you call the spacing changes from the link? The author calls it kerning, if it isn't that what is it? Just normal font spacing? tia
And, as you said, that "match" in the line spacing, and the page breaks, and centering, etc. with Word was more than enough to convince me. No way that could be a coincidence.
No, actually he's correct. In the days before kerning, many fonts had letters which would extend beyond their start and escapement points. The effort was to compromise between the correct letter spacing for e.g. "YY" and "AA" [which should be wider] and "YA" and "AY" [which should be narrower].
To test for kerning, it's necessary to have a kerning pair of letters which appears in both orders, with identical letters to either site.
AYAY ffYYIf the letters are kerned, the second line will be slightly wider than the first. At least on Firefox, the two lines appear the same width. The two "A"'s and two "Y"'s on the second line will touch each other slightly if the fonts are not kerned, though it's not too bad. But look at "fY". On a properly-kerned font, the letters should be separated. But without kerning not only do the letter spaces overlap, but the letter forms themselves do. If someone had an "f" and "Y" in lead type which projected past the outsides of the main type blocks (I have seen lead type which did that), one would have to put a small spacer between the letters to avoid damaging them.
The point is not that the forged docs can be detected to show kerning, but that the Microsoft Word exact reproduction does have kerning. That is, the only way the spacing of all the letters would be the same (between forged docs and Word) is if the forged docs were produced with kerning. What am I missing in the logic?
Another smoking gun is that Staudt was retired for over a year before he's referred to as pressuring Killian in one of the memos. Uh Oh, LMAO!
No, Word exact reproduction does not have kerning! (Kerning is an optional feature in Word)
No, just left overhang and right overhang. Consider the following examples in "Courier New" [a font everyone would agree is not kerned]
IMMI mwThe top example on the left appears narrower than the second, even though both contain the same letters and there's no kerning. Further, if you look at the examples on the right you will notice that there is overhang between the letters shown even though, again, "Courier New" is not kerned.
By the way, many typewriters did have characters which extended far enough left and right to overlap adjoining characters if typed in the right sequence. Kerning is not the issue. Overhang is not the issue. What is the issue is that the document matches Word's default behaviors so perfectly.
So the blogger is making a valid point even if she has asymetrical positioning of the letters confused with kerning. It rules out all the other kinds of type writers outside of the Composer I suppose.
I would like to see a list of companies running ads on CBS News. May everyone should start making noise about how they are supporting fraud.
No, the point is that Time New Roman is preprogrammed "kerned."
where one reads,
Back in the days when paper was expensive, publishers searched for ways to make the letters smaller and smaller and pack them closer and closer together, so they could fit more words on each sheet. The end-point of this game was the Times Roman font. This was commissioned by the London Times to pack the most information possible into its narrow columns. The letters are packed so tightly together (kerned) that some letters actually overlap each other. A full copy of Times Roman contains f-ligatures. These are single characters that print two or three letters because the letters actually overhang each other: they had to be cast on the same block of metal to get them that close together. They typical ligatures are oe fi ffi etc. If you examine them, the tops of the f overhang the dot of the i. Times Roman was an extremely elegant, good-looking font that has since become probably the most popular font in the world. Times New Roman is the same thing in a True Type variant, kerned slightly less tightly so it doesn't need the ligatures. Times New Roman is Word's default font.
So in trying to explain the spacing, line breaks, and vertical letter positioning, kerning is one of the major points.
Don't trust just any info on the web you can find. They confuse (close)letterspacing with kerning, but these are different things.
No, since typewriters could have characters assymetrically positioned. What few typewriters could do is move the carriage by variable amounts after each character, and what no typewriter could do, at least without ridiculous amounts of pointless finagling, would be to move the carriage just the right amounts to match Microsoft Word's default spacing.
Perhaps "kerning" would have been the correct term when dealing with lead type; certainly it does not match modern usage.
The documents cited to not exhibit what would be called "kerning" in the modern usage. There are some slight overhangs, but such things can exist even with typewriters (note the Courier New examples above). The giveaway is not that the document is proportionally spaced, but that it happens to match Word's default behaviors so perfectly.
If you want to go even more technical, Times New Roman does support kerning, but as an optional feature, which is by default off in MS Word. Again, technical definition of "kerning" is adjustment of glyph positions for specific pairs of glyphs in addition to normal positioning (which might have overhang) Here is a demo: open Word, change zoom setting to 500% and type "f". Observe where the caret blinks - it is in the midst of "f" glyph, shifted by the "advance width" of "f" from the beginning of the line, which is less than the full width of the glyph (which inludes the overhang). This is the normal position where the next character will be placed. Kerning would adjust this position further, but only for specific glyphs. For "f" kerning is actually not needed, but it would be useful for "W" followed by "o", for example (you can use Format Font dialog to turn on and play with kerning)
To everything, kern kern kern....
negative "right offsets", meaning that the next glyph is normally placed closer than the
advancefull width of the previous glyph.
I've just addressed this on the updated page:
The upshot of it is that yes, f does have an overhang. However, a does not (and neither does t) and those are the letters that are used in the example. So an overhang can not account for the difference in widths of the at ta pairs.
Also, I typed the same sentence twice in word and turned kerning on for one of them. They look exactly the same. My conclusion is that Times New Roman must be kerned automatically.
Therefore everything I said in the original post is completely accurate, unless you want to call what it's doing something other than kerning. But that doesn't change the fact that the f and the a are closer together in af than they are in fa, and that Word and the memo do both these things, and that this isn't something you'd find on a typewriter.
Make that:But that doesn't change the fact that the t and the a are closer together in at than they are in ta.
The assertion that Times New Roman is "kerned automatically" is incorrect. See my explanation in the posts above
Look, this is a huge deal and let us be extra careful.
F-overlap and kerning BUMPmark.
And look, the top pixel of the a tail is clearly underneath the cross bar of the t.
The a and t letters don't any have overhang like f does.
So if it's not technically kerning, it's still something, whatever the technical name of it is, that's making those letter pairs different sizes.