Learn about ligatures and where they are used.
- [Instructor] Something else you're going to come across in the world of typography are ligatures. Simply put, a ligature refers to two, or sometimes more, characters replaced by a specially designed single character. The actual characters are still there. It's just that they're optically replaced by the ligature. So if you copy pasted them into a basic text program or something like an HTML editor, for example, the original characters would be what you'd actually see there. The ligatures are a visual replacement in desktop publishing software. Simply put, a ligature refers to two or sometimes more characters replaced a specially designed single character that has been created primarily to improve the look of characters that may appear to collide or their proximity just looks awkward. The actual characters are still there. It's just that they are optically replaced by the ligature. So if you copy pasted them into a basic text program or something like an HTML editor, for example, the original characters would be just what you'd see there. The ligatures are a visual replacement made by desktop publishing software. If we look at the line of text we have here you could perhaps see that with their normal spacing the capital T and the lowercase H don't look comfortable together at all. And the F of fine, the last of the double F's in spiffing, they're only narrowly avoiding those tittles. That's the name of that little dot over the lowercase I's and J's. And the F and L in flower are bumping their ascenders together in a most undignified manner. Now compare that to a line of text that has ligature replacements for those typographic faux pas. And we can now also see there are some other ligatures present also. The ligatures you're seeing in the case of the T and the H, the F and the I, and the F and L together, they're known as standard ligatures and an application like InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop can make those substitutions automatically with open type fonts. The other kind of ligatures that you're seeing here are called discretionary ligatures and these offer a more decorative option for you to use, well, at your discretion. And if the font you're using has these and potentially others included, then you may decide to use those to enhance the optical flow of your text.
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- Designing graphics and documents in InDesign
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