In typography, descriptive of the relative wideness of all the characters in one typeface. Expanded type is used in heads, subheads, and small blocks of ad copy.
There are four basic gradations of expansion beyond the "normal" typeface: semiexpanded, expanded, extraexpanded, and ultraexpanded. Extended and wide are often used synonymously with one or more of these degrees of expansion. Some typefaces, such as Century Expanded, expand the characters in the x-height direction, rather than in width.
Digitized typesetters can modify character set widths electronically to create wider characters. Expansion can also be accomplished optically.
If a digitized typesetter is used to reduce set size, then all values are changed, including the fixed spaces. This would have to be the case, since the figure space width (which is often the en space) would have to increase the width of the figures. When using expanded type, it is important to ensure that the word space standards are also expanded, otherwise words will tend to run together. Expanded type should also not be used with narrow line lengths, as it looks awkward. Expanded type also has reduced legibility, so its use should be sparing.
See also Condensed.