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Many modern OpenType fonts include typographical ligatures, which allow pairs or sequences of consecutive characters in text to be displayed with a single glyph. They are used to improve the legibility and presentation of text and to introduce stylistic flourishes. The linked sequences of characters then appear as a single glyph. Ligatures where they exist, are contained within the font file and can be displayed according to the settings on the Open Type Ligatures button on the InfoBar. The ligature settings can be used in text styles just like other text attributes

Some fonts have very few or no ligatures, others have many and may also include multiple Stylistic Sets (see below). Ligatures are organised into the following groups and you can choose which groups to turn on or off independently for any range of characters. Select a character range in the Text Tool and then click on the button on the end of the Advanced Text bar, to access the ligature option:

Under the Open Type Ligatures option, you can select any or all of the following groups, for the current selected characters:

  • Standard

    The default set of ligatures the font designer has provided

  • Discretionary

    Discretionary ligatures are usually decorative - to be applied at the discretion of the user.

  • Historical

    Historical ligatures are mainly ornamental suggesting a historical context.

  • Select All

    All available ligatures for a particular font will be displayed.

  • Clear All

    No ligatures will be displayed.

There is a further option, Stylistic Sets - some fonts include alternative sets of ligature characters that the user can choose from, allowing more flexibility. If any sets are available for any of the characters in the current text selection, they are listed under the Stylistic Sets sub-menu, where they can be turned on and off independently

Updates from version

We've made some further improvements to OpenType ligatures

Live preview - hovering over a stylistic set will render your text with that set

Contextual Alternatives - Some fonts provide alternative glyph designs for the same ligatures. Use the Contextual Alternates toggle button on the infobar to turn the alternates on and off for any character selection. In this example you can see the different glyphs used in the same word

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  1. Robert Turner

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