Ligature Support / Potential Fix

Jacob - Sumner Photography's Avatar

Jacob - Sumner Photography

20 Nov, 2018 11:56 PM

Timestone has a very hard time displaying/ripping/encoding fonts that contain ligatures. The only exception is that is usually works with Type1 fonts which are hard to come by, typically more expensive, and are EOL as of windows 10 and not supported in some newer print drivers.

For example, consider the text "Deerfield High School". Normally the "fi" character set would be substituted for whatever your font's "fi" ligature was because on many fonts the dot of the "i" character would otherwise touch the "f" character and look like a mess. Sometimes there is no substitution because a given font does not use a ligature. In this case timestone renders it fine.

In the case of a font like "Roboto", it tries to substitute the fi ligature, which does exist, and that leads to the kerning/tracking of the font being wildly incorrect/misinterpreted.

We've been over all this before, however, I've found something interesting. If we manually substitute the offending characters with the appropriate ligature, the font renders fine.

In the case of the "fi" ligature, we can open up the windows character map tool, hold "alt" and type 64257 into the "characters to copy" box, and it'll give us a nice standalone ligature that we can then use to substitute the offending characters in timestone.

So this "Deerfield High School"
Becomes this "Deerfield High School"

I've included samples of what it looks like with and without ligatures to save you the trouble of creating a template to test this with.
(It isn't going to look any different with the font used in this forum, but will likely copy/paste into timestone and display properly if you're using a font like roboto)

My guess is that the ligature issue isn't due to the windows font handling, but due to timestone not substituting ligatures properly or some interaction between the two. The good news is, the manual fix above works in all the instances I've ran into so far.

  1. 1 Posted by Jack on 29 Nov, 2018 02:02 PM

    Jack's Avatar

    Thanks for the shared article. I hope that has a couple of important suggestions for you to consider.

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