When type *text* it will become oblique (or italicized, tough i think its oblique because it has no compressive quality). However I noticed that the oblique slant is quite heavy. In fact so heavy that if you do this for a acronym like:

some *PDF* file -> some PDF file

Atleast on my browser this seems like some has 2 spaces after it whereas file flows into PDF as if there was no or allmost no space at all? Is this intentional? If so is it good typography?

  • This bothered me to the point that I try not to use italic text on this site. Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 6:16
  • @JonathanTodd You actually can use italic   text as in “some PDF   file” even on this site and have it look good, but it involves manually placing one or more instances of U+2009 THIN SPACE, U+200A HAIR SPACE, or even U+202F NARROW NON-BREAK SAPCE after the font change from    ̶i̶t̶a̶l̶i̶c̶ ̶ oblique to roman. See the “Edit” section at the bottom of this posting for more description of this. It’s largely because the web sucks typographically speaking, and although simple kerning pairs wouldn’t help between faces, more could be done.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 13:56
  • @tchrist and that would defeat the purpose of having a markup engine and css
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 14:55
  • But it is more portable, since many people cannot have custom CSS hacks applied to particular sites.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 15:06
  • @tchrist No its not. Its superfluous markup that becomes part of the semantics so were you change the italic to any other style you'd still carry over the custom character. There's a reason we separate style form content. Absolutely nothing says that *text* needs to be italic, any other accent could do. In either case users should not need to worry about this.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 15:47
  • In the best of all possible worlds, you are of course correct. But we must live with what we’re stuck with.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 15:53
  • @tchrist live: yes. Accept that things can not be changed: hell no.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


Here's a possible alternative with a 1px nudge:

(I also added a few non capitalised italics to the last line):

enter image description here

Compared to no change (images in Google Chrome):

enter image description here

  • Yeah something like that would help definitely.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 12:03
  • 3
    Go 2px (I might do 3px, personally, but conservative is best with such things) and it might work. However, more importantly, is SE willing to make such a perfectionist alteration? Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 6:15
  • I had tried it but while 2px is slightly better on the all caps, it's definitely too far on lowercase words. Also, any adjustment is too much on comment text, it's only body text it improves (and also I only tried it on Chrome) Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 13:00

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