Re: Ligatures

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Nov 27 2004 - 21:44:01 CST

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    Hopefully not adding 37 pages...

    Michael Norton (a.k.a. Flarn) <flarn2003 at megapipe dot net> wrote:

    > Can you please give me a list of all the ligatures available? Thanks!

    If by "available" you mean "separately encoded in precomposed form," you
    could start by checking the online, definitive Unicode data file:

    Upon searching this file, you would find 507 characters with the word
    LIGATURE in their name.

    However, I'm guessing that what you are after is Latin-script ligatures,
    so it probably won't help much that 477 of the 507 "ligatures" are
    Arabic presentation forms. Of the remaining 30, six are Armenian, six
    are Cyrillic, five are Hebrew, and two are actually not ligatures at
    all, but paired combining marks intended to show that the two letters
    under them form a single sound.

    That leaves 11 Latin "ligatures" encoded in Unicode. The two IJ
    characters, U+0132 (IJ) and U+0133 (ij), aren't really ligatures, so they
    don't count. If we count the OE characters, U+0152 (Œ) and U+0153 (œ),
    as ligatures, then we also have to count the AE characters as well,
    U+00C6 (Æ) and U+00E6 (æ).

    That leaves U+FB00 through U+FB06 (ff fi fl ffi ffl ſt st).

    The problem, as Addison pointed out, is that if you use these forms in
    text, most searching and sorting operations will fail to recognize them.
    It is better to use the regular letters and let higher-end software
    ligate them as appropriate.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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