Tracking is defined as " a consistent degree of increase (or sometimes decrease) of space between letters to affect density in a line or block of text."
Therefore, what you've just written does not make sense.
I may be misunderstanding what you are asking, but the whole reason to use tracking is to make the character spacing tighter or looser across a sting of text. Are you saying you want to leave spaces between words untouched and adjust the spaces between letters only, or leave the spacing between letters untouched and adjust only the spacing between words?
Both of those types of spacing can be controlled independently in the justification settings. You can also use a pair of keyboard shortcuts to kern just the word spaces in a text selection (I do this to add or lose a line in a narrow column of text when I want to balance columns in something like a newspaper). The shortcuts are Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Backspace and Ctrl + Alt + Shift + \ on Windows, or Cmd + Opt + Shift and the two keys on Mac. These shortcuts should be used sparingly to avoid obvious inconsistencies in spacing from line to line.
I know the (terrible wrong) practice that people are inserting a space between the letters of a word to perform tracking. Do you meant that? This must not be done as it is causing a lot of problems.
The correct way is to create a Character Style with an extended tracking setting and apply that, or if the whole paragraph has to be tracked to define it in the Paragraph Style.
Willi Adelberger wrote:
I know the (terrible wrong) practice that people are inserting a space between the letters of a word to perform tracking.
Unfortunately, those dreadful spaces can appear without your special attempts.
Here is lines in ID, each has its own tracking value as showed.
Exported to pdf it looks as it should:
Saved from Acrobat to Word it looks way different:
There is no good news too, if you copy/paste it from Acrobat back to ID:
Both Acrobat and Word try to mimic Indesign's tracking, and they fail, no surprise.
Nowadays every office girl feels herself smart enough to copy texts from pdf...
I know several workflows around here, with copying texts from print ready pdf involved.
Office people just refuse to get, that pdf is for viewing and printing only. Well, for non-techies, at least.
So you get that "spaced" text, and nobody feels guilty, because no one did that "terrible wrong thing" by hand...
Tested on Win7 x64, CS6, Acrobat X, Word 2003.
Hate to disagree but that's just the way Acrobat interprets the tracking inside a PDF. And the reason is, tracking is often used inside PDFs to indicate a (variable) space. So copying the text formatted "as is" would lead to spaceless text, but with lots of tracking between the words. That would annoy lots of people, techie or not.
I should actually verify this, but I don't think InDesign converts that wide tracking to spaces when creating a PDF. In particular because it has no good reason to - there is no advantage over adjusting the width of the inserted space if you can also immediately adjust the width of each separate character. (In a PDF there is a facility to adjust the width of a certain character 'automatically', but that feature is primarily designed to adjust the size of Regular Spaces only, to make full justification easier. So why not use this, one value for 'inside' a word, the other for between words? Then the value needs constant resetting on each word!)
No one was talking about Acrobat. But a converting a PDF to any other text editor is always problematic. And I think it would make a huge difference, if the PDF is exported as tagged or as not tagged PDF.
Ah, OP didn't talk about spaces between the characters, either. That was your guess only.
Original message is very unclear in general, and, possibly, meaningless. Steve pointed it out in very first post.
I just wanted to say, those spaces can appear in text, unintentionally.
Editors, copywriters sometimes copy/paste texts, too. Finally you never know, from here text came originally.
And, yes, software interprets it.
So you got a Word doc, placed it in ID, see those spaces here and there.
How to catch them up right? Grep, script? Hardly possible...
But this could be a topic for another thread, most likely.
I'd better get out of here
I wrote: TAGGED PDF.
This requires working with Character and Paragraph Styles.
yes, tagged pdf works, indeed.
1. tagging has its own disadvantages (in some cases, completely different topic).
2. usually you don't copy text from your own generated pdf's, and you can't control others.
and it works without any Paragraph or Character styles, sorry...
Tagging works correct only with appropriate styles. If you work without styles, tagging will l be done automatically. It might work correct in English, but with any other language it is getting up messed.