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The final kind of special character I want to talk about are ligatures. Now I'm going to turn these Invisibles off real quick and zoom into this text right here. Because here we see an fi that actually has been converted automatically into a ligature in QuarkXPress. Now what is a ligature? A ligature is a single character that replaces two or three characters that are otherwise in your typeface that would maybe bump into each other. Fi, fl are great examples of this. You turn ligatures on and off for selected text, which means for the first time now, you can have ligatures on or off in headlines and have that setting separate from ligatures in body copy.
In fact, ligatures is part of style sheet definitions, so you can have particular style sheets with ligatures turned on and others with ligatures turned off. Down in the Measurements palette, if you go to the Character Attributes tab, you'll see the Enable Ligatures checkbox. When I turn it off, you'll see the fi become separate characters, when I turn it on, they become one. Now that doesn't affect your text flow. If the fi needs to break, XPress will break it into f and i at the end of a line. Otherwise it stays as one glyph, the ligature for fi.
Now because I like my type to always be as professional looking as possible, I keep ligatures turned on all the time, everywhere. So if we go to style sheets, for example, and I click on Stories and edit it, you'll see when I choose Character Style, Edit Ligatures is turned on. That means that everywhere I use the Stories style, ligatures would be turned on. If you're not using style sheets and you want to just apply ligatures to all the text in your document, first, just select all the text. I'll zoom out so that we can see what's going on here.
Unfortunately, you have to select it per story and then you can turn on, Enable Ligatures. If you do that with every story in your document, then ligatures will be turned on everywhere they can be. Type is a funny thing. Because it involves both sides of our brain to understand what's happening, we see it not only as a source of information that's linear, we also understand it as a graphic element that affects our emotions as we see the text on the page. Based on our experience and our ability to understand and appreciate the finer features of typography, if we use the more advanced typography features such as Ligatures and Alternate and Swash Characters from the Glyphs palette, our documents can impart a sense of sophistication, elegance and even intelligence that otherwise simply wouldn't be there.
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