Faking ff ligatures

Rebecca and Rowland rebecca@astrid.u-net.com
Thu, 24 Sep 1998 15:21:42 +0100

>> \movert{\neg{\scale{\width{f}}{250}}}
>This _is_ absolutely insane.


>Don't mismatch `faking' the ligature ff, which is an impossible task
>(if it was possible, the whole ligature business would have vanished
>in occidental typography, don't you believe?), and filling-in the ff
>slot in O/T1 encodings for (??) compatibility or strict
>compliance. What fontinst does is rather perverse: use tex's
>auto-ligaturing mechanism + VPL power to automagically replace the
>string ff by ... the same string exactly how it would have been printed
>without the TeX+VF power!

Ah...  I see.  So in those cases where I have horrible-looking combinations
of ffl and ffi, I would have got exactly the same appearance without the
ffl and ffi faked ligatures.  The solution seems to me to be this: in those
cases where a fount ends up with horrible-looking ffl and ffi `ligatures'
made up of a real fi or fl ligature preceded by an `f', the best fix is to
replace the `fi' and `fl' ligatures (in ffl and ffi only) with `f' `i' and
`f' `l'.

>Now mileage does vary among foundries about how the string ff should
>look like when no actual ligature is available. For instance, Adobe
>makes its best to fake an horrible fi ligature by kerning a lot that
>pair. On the other hand, URW is very sane in considering that
>legibility requires to add space between those two glyphs (compare ptm
>& utm, e.g.).


>Anyway, you can't programmatically find a generic kerning that would
>fake a reasonnable ligature,

I was assuming this; I was considering playing around with the kerning in a
TeX file until I'd found something that looked okay, and then using *that*
kerning for *that* fount only.

> fontinst's complex way of doing nothing
>is the only sane line here.

Righto - so it seems to me that the sensible thing to do in this case is to
fill the ffi and ffl ligature slots with `f' `f' `l'  rather than `f' `fl'
ligature (etc).

I reckon the appropriate modification is writing a file ffl+ffi_hack.mtx
and putting this in it:



and then saying something like:

\installfont    {pgslhr8t} {pgslh8r,latin,ffi+ffl_hack}
                                               {T1} {T1}{pgslh}{m}{n}{}

Is this less mad?