Re: ligature usage - WAS: How do we find out what assigned code points aren't normally used in text?

From: Stephan Stiller <>
Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2011 17:32:53 -0700

Actually, I *was* talking about purely typographic/aesthetic ligatures
as well. I'm aware that which di-/trigraphs need to be considered from a
font design perspective is language-dependent. But the point is that I
observe that:
(a) aesthetic ligatures are not frequently seen in modern German print and
(b) the absence of such ligatures doesn't offend me (in modern German

It could be - and a quick visual check confirms this - that the fonts
used for printing of {novels, school textbooks, tech/science books, ...}
and the associated kerning tables don't necessitate ligatures or have
traditionally (fwiw) not been seen as necessitating them. Enough
professional publishing houses I _think_ don't use aesthetic ligatures,
so that, whenever I do see them in German text, they stand out to me. So
/de facto/ usage of aesthetic ligatures seems a bit like a locale
parameter to me.

That said - if I'm really factually wrong (and ligatures in modern
German text are just so subtle and pervasive that I never took notice),
people on the list please feel free to correct me.


On 9/9/2011 4:14 PM, Kent Karlsson wrote:
> I was talking about purely typographic ligatures, in particular
> ligatures used because the glyphs (normally spaced) would otherwise
> overlap in an unpleasing manner. If the glyphs don't overlap (or
> there is extra spacing, which is quite ugly in itself if used in
> "normal" text), no need to use a (purely typographic) ligature.
> So it is a font design issue. (And then there are also ornamental
> typographic ligatures, like the st ligature, but those are outside
> of what I was talking about here.) But of course, which pairs of
> letters (or indeed also punctuation) are likely to occur adjacently
> is language dependent.
> /Kent K
> Den 2011-09-09 23:45, skrev "Stephan Stiller"<>:
>> Pardon my asking, as this is not my specialty:
>>> There are several other ligatures
>>> that *should* be formed (automatically) by "run of the mill" fonts:
>>> for instance the "fj" ligature, just to mention one that I find
>>> particularly important (and that does not have a compatibility code
>>> point).
>> About the "should" - isn't this language-dependent? For example I recall
>> that ordinary German print literature barely uses any ligatures at all
>> these days (ie: I'm not talking about historical texts). And, has anyone
>> ever attempted to catalogue such ligature practices? (Is this suitable
>> for CLDR?)
>> (I also recall being taken aback by the odd look of ligatures in many
>> LaTeX-typeset English scientific documents, but I suspect that's rather
>> because some of the commonly used fonts there are lacking in aesthetic
>> design.)
>> Stephan
Received on Fri Sep 09 2011 - 19:37:06 CDT

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