Re: CGJ for Two Greek Ligatures?

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Mar 05 2005 - 21:56:55 CST

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    Jon Hanna <jon at hackcraft dot net> wrote:

    > (As an aside, does anyone agree that the text in the Unicode Standard
    > would look nicer if they ligated fi?)

    Yes, I do.

    But I'll tell you something else: I wish to heaven that my
    text-processing tool of choice, Microsoft Word, would let me create
    ordinary, modern f-ligatures. I no longer even notice that they're
    missing in the Unicode Standard and other professionally typeset works,
    as I get more and more accustomed to not seeing them in otherwise
    attractive text created by Word and Acrobat.

    Direct use of the precomposed ligatures in the U+FB00 range is a not an
    option, of course, since they destroy searching and sorting. But the
    ligature *glyphs*, for "fi" and "fl" at least, are present in nearly
    every font in my collection, certainly in all the WGL4-compliant fonts.

    Reading Michael Everson's papers in 1998 about ZWJ and automatic
    ligation, I got the sense that such capabilities would be within my
    reach soon. For years, Word has been able to convert straight quotes
    into curly quotes, and convert text like *this* and _this_ into real
    italics and boldface. Why can't it display "field" and "flip" and
    "stuff" with f-ligatures?

    I'm not asking for ligatures for combinations like "fb" and "fh" (though
    I know they would be welcome in Irish), nor for arcane and quaint "ct"
    or "st" ligatures -- just "fi" and "fl" ligatures, and maybe "ff" and
    some combinations thereof.

    This is not a general flame against Microsoft or Word, just against this
    one non-existent feature. (And no, it is not a Unicode problem.)

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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