Ligatures and special character combinations

Some fonts, like versions of Garamond, have fancy characters called ligatures. In other programs, like Adobe Illustrator, when you type a combination of characters like “fi” as in “fixed” or “fl” as in “flexible”, those combinations trigger the ligature that connects the two characters together. When I moved a PDF to LibreOffice Draw to add forms, all these combination characters just dropped out completely and I had to re-type them, and they are separated characters now, not the beautiful typography originally designed. There are other character combinations too that I don’t know off hand.

Is it possible to get LibreOffice to use the ligatures that are in the font? How would I do that? I tried the Typography Toolbar (, but even after I downloaded and enabled the extension the toolbar wouldn’t show up under View > Toolbars - and I’m not even sure if it’ll work.

EDIT: I’m using LibreOffice 4.1 on Windows 7.

EDIT Again: Also, I know some ligatures are UNICODE characters that you can find in the Special Characters menu in Windows, but not all of them. For example, in the typeface I’m using, there’s a ligature combination for ‘Th’, but for this and other ligatures there is no such UNICODE character. I can find this character in a font menu in Adobe Illustrator - is there any analog to this in LibreOffice Draw?


Can you please provide a sample like print-screen in Adobe Illustrator that we can see how does this looks like… You probably don’t have enough karma to upload images here at forum, but you can upload it for example to: on the right site click on “Computer” icon and then select image from local disk.

Here’s a link to an image of what I’m looking to achieve:
Note how in the bottom example, the ‘fi’ of ‘fixed’ and the ‘fl’ of flexible are shown as individual characters and it looks ugly because they come so close together. That’s why the designer made a merged character that makes them flow together - like when a person hand writes a pair of t’s like in ‘letter’ and crosses both of them in one stroke.


The use of ligatures is essentially a matter of the font technology (Graphite, OpenType, AAT) being used and whether LO supports these features (e.g., liga in OpenType) for your operating system. This thread indicates that LO v4.1 supports contextual ligatures under Linux and MacOS, but the very last comment states:

I have no idea about Windows XP specifically. What I do know is that, on Windows, the modern and “correct” way to implement OpenType is with Windows Presentation Foundation, which is a .NET technology. An alternate way of implementing OpenType is possible, but I am not aware of many applications that implement advanced OpenType features on Windows besides Adobe’s suite.

It would appear that the Windows build of LO may not have support for this feature at this point.

At this time font-features like font variants and ligatures are fully supported and configurable in many programs on Windows 8, including Microsoft Office, but also most modern browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorere.

When will configuring font-features be available in LibreOffice?

Hi - You can use Libertine Open Fonts (release notes 3.5) on Windows and get these results: ligatures.odt.

See also: Libertine & Biolinum.

And you can get rid of the “Th” ligature (while keeping the others) with “Linux Libertine G:lith=0” - that’s an important one. :slight_smile: