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Set the Size of Text Exactly (based on cap or x-height)

I noticed on our forums that someone needed to set the font size of some text to an exact amount. The topic of font size has always been confusing for people because 72-point text is certainly not 72 points (1 inch) tall! Rather, it’s almost always smaller than that, though in some fonts it may even be larger.

Fortunately, there’s a free script you can use to set the size of text to a specific amount, called SetVisualCharSize.jsx, written by Gerald Singelmann. You can find the script on Gerald’s blog (which is in German). Or if that site is down for any reason you can download it here. The script’s dialog box will appear in English on an English system, or German on a German system… I don’t know what it will do in any other language!


When you select some text and run the script, it asks how high you want a specific character. For example, if you choose the word “Moose” and you want the capital M to be 3p tall, you can type “M” and “3p”. If your art director says “set the x-height to be 17 pt” you can type an x and 17 pt. It’s as easy as that!

(For more information on installing scripts, see this article.)

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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9 Comments on “Set the Size of Text Exactly (based on cap or x-height)

  1. Perfect timing! I need this script right now – thanks Ralf! And thank you too, David. There’s no end to the good stuff that shows up here.

  2. Thanks David,
    Always read this site! Question: Anne-Marie, I compared using Layout Zone and standard copy/paste anchor. Result, the caption is very fuzzy (pixelated) and smaller for LayouttZone, but not for the standard in my EPUB . Should I reinstall the script? Change settings?


  3. Hi, this script looks perfect for what I need. Unfortunately I work in Adobe Illustrator. I’ve tried installing the script in Illustrator but it doesn’t work. Can you help?


  4. Can anyone advise? I am creating new packaging labels for food and the new European regulations specify a font x-height of at least 1.2 mm.
    Is there an easy way to find out the x-height for my font (Helvetica Neue)? I want to set the font size for my document text so the resulting x-height is at least 1.2mm, but don’t know how to. Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask or too much of a noob question

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