AskDefine | Define leading

Dictionary Definition

leading adj
1 indicating the most important performer or role; "the leading man"; "prima ballerina"; "prima donna"; "a star figure skater"; "the starring role"; "a stellar role"; "a stellar performance" [syn: leading(p), prima(p), star(p), starring(p), stellar(a)]
2 going or proceeding or going in advance; showing the way; "we rode in the leading car"; "the leading edge of technology" [ant: following]
3 greatest in importance or degree or significance or achievement; "our greatest statesmen"; "the country's leading poet"; "a preeminent archeologist" [syn: greatest, leading(a), preeminent]
4 having the leading position or higher score in a contest; "he is ahead by a pawn"; "the leading team in the pennant race" [syn: ahead(p), in the lead]
5 purposefully formulated to elicit a desired response; "a leading question"

Noun

1 thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type in printing [syn: lead]
2 the activity of leading; "his leadership inspired the team" [syn: leadership]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Verb

leading
  1. present participle of lead

Extensive Definition

In typography, leading (, rhymes with heading) refers to the amount of added vertical spacing between lines of type. In consumer-oriented word processing software, this concept is usually referred to as "line spacing". Leading may sometimes be confused with tracking, which refers to the horizontal spacing between letters or characters.
The word comes from lead strips that were put between set lines. When type was set by hand in printing presses, slugs or strips of lead (reglets) of appropriate thicknesses were inserted between lines of type to add vertical space, to fill available space on the page.
Text set "solid" (no leading) appears cramped, with ascenders almost touching descenders from the previous line. The lack of white space between lines makes it difficult for the eye to track from one line to the next, and hampers readability.
The following block of text has no leading:
Typography (Greek: typos "form", graphein "to write") is the art and technique of setting written subject matter in type using a combination of typeface styles, point sizes, line lengths, line leading, character spacing, and word spacing to produce typeset artwork in physical or digital form.
This block of text set with 50% leading is easier to read:
Typography (Greek: typos "form", graphein "to write") is the art and technique of setting written subject matter in type using a combination of typeface styles, point sizes, line lengths, line leading, character spacing, and word spacing to produce typeset artwork in physical or digital form.
This block of text at 100% leading is also easy to read, but makes less efficient use of vertical page space:
Typography (Greek: typos "form", graphein "to write") is the art and technique of setting written subject matter in type using a combination of typeface styles, point sizes, line lengths, line leading, character spacing, and word spacing to produce typeset artwork in physical or digital form.
In CSS, leading is implemented by the line-height property.
leading in German: Durchschuss
leading in Dutch: Interlinie
leading in Swedish: Radavstånd

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

absolute, all-absorbing, antecedent, anterior, arch, ascendant, at the head, authoritarian, authoritative, authority, authorized, autocratic, banner, best, boss, capital, cardinal, central, champion, chief, clothed with authority, command, commanding, competent, conduct, consequential, considerable, control, controlling, crowning, directing, direction, directive, directorial, directory, dominant, duly constituted, eminent, empowered, ex officio, exordial, first, focal, fore, foregoing, forehand, foremost, forward, front, frontal, general, governance, governing, government, great, greatest, guidance, guiding, handling, head, heading, headmost, hegemonic, hegemonistic, highest, husbandry, imperative, important, in ascendancy, in charge, in chief, in the ascendant, inaugural, influential, initial, initiatory, lead, magisterial, maiden, main, management, managerial, managery, managing, manipulation, master, matchless, mighty, momentous, monocratic, noted, notorious, official, ordering, outstanding, overriding, overruling, paramount, peerless, pilotage, popular, potent, powerful, precedent, preceding, precessional, precursory, predominant, predominate, preeminent, prefatory, preliminary, preludial, prelusive, premier, preparatory, prepollent, preponderant, preponderate, prepotent, prestigious, prevailing, prevalent, prevenient, primal, primary, prime, principal, prior, proemial, prominent, propaedeutic, puissant, ranking, regnant, regulating, regulation, regulative, regulatory, reigning, ruling, running, senior, sovereign, star, steerage, steering, stellar, substantial, supereminent, superior, supreme, the conn, the helm, the wheel, topflight, topmost, totalitarian, unsurpassed, uppermost, weighty
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