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How do I create a ligature for a certain glyph / code-point?

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:36 pm
by Roberto

Amazing: FontCreator menus, help, manual... I cannot find any support about creating ligatures.
Can someone explain how to create a ligature for a certain glyph / code point?

Example: one single glyph (non-keyboard range) looks like the word "Goto"; I'd like to type "gO" in a text editor in order for those two letters automatically being replaced by the single glyph "Goto". I intend to create multiple ligatures based on two and three letter abbreviations, all with the second character in uppercase.


Re: How do I create a ligature for a certain glyph / code-point?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:04 am
by Bhikkhu Pesala
I have added a section to the tutorial on Adding OpenType Features about adding standard ligatures.

Many fonts will have glyph substitutions to replace f+i with the fi ligature found in Alphabetic Presentation forms, and f+f with the ff ligature, f+f+i with the ffi ligature, etc.

Because OpenType features do not require code-points, but work with glyph names, you don't need to map your non-standard ligatures to any code-point, but if you wish to be able to insert them in applications that do not support OpenType features, you will need to find an unused code-point in the Private Use Area or elsewhere.

The lookup table for your font would look something like this:

sub g O -> goto
sub s I n -> sin
sub c O s -> cos


Re: How do I create a ligature for a certain glyph / code-point?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:58 pm
by Roberto
Hi Bhikkhu,

Thank you so much for the informative tutorial and as you said for having extended it with another 'chapter' :-P

Definitely looks something to get familiar with and experiment with first.

I suspected the ligatures conversion thing would be a table-like feature because it makes so much sense. I read somewhere about a ligatures-related .dat file or whatever but somehow neither a saved FontCreator file nor an exported ttf comes with additional files. At least not where those files are custom stored to.

Despite your tutorial and the FC manual, it took me a while to find how to open the Open Type Designer! Started to think it was a pro feature stripped from the standard edition but finally, I found the corresponding button. At further investigation, I found it in the menus as well! Must have considered it irrelevant for ligature creation upon browsing through the menus earlier.

The more I sight-see in FontCreator as pretty much still a greenhorn the more I get the impression it's too pro for me! So many features one hardly can imagine being involved with just creating fonts: images showing upon keyboard button strokes :-) Creating some fonts was just intended to go between other tasks but now looking at it, it seems to involve a study first! Oh well, I started years ago, still plan to fix the files I once messed up and additionally like to implement the new idea of adding ligatures. Good work always takes time and this certainly is no exception! :-P

Ironic that I get the help I need from someone far away, help related to software created and sold by someone living less than 100km away from where I live :roll:

Well, it looks like there's quite a bit of some self-education left based on your tutorial and first impression of 'pretty complex' but perhaps it's easier than it looks. Probably something for the weekend allowing me better/lengthier nights of sleep :D

Thanks again for the head-start, Bhikkhu, you dedicated PagePlus and FontCreator educator :wink:


Re: How do I create a ligature for a certain glyph / code-point?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:21 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
If your font currently contains no OpenType Features, click the Code Editor Button to create some default features based on the existing glyphs in your font.
Create Features Automatically.png
Create Features Automatically.png (5.82 KiB) Viewed 567 times
You can also Clear the existing features to start over.
Clear All.png
Clear All.png (6.02 KiB) Viewed 567 times