[Scribus] quotes and ligatures

John Jordan johnxj
Mon Jul 4 21:23:26 CEST 2005

On 4 Jul 2005, at 19:03, Craig Bradney wrote:

> On Monday 04 July 2005 17:43, David Soukal wrote:
> >
> > while reading the discussion of the automation of quotation mark
> > replacement, I realized that it would also be nice if Scribus could
> > (automatically or on demand) replace ligatures.
> >
> > This is a not a big deal since one can use "Find and replace" to do
> > the job. However, for larger amount of text this can be tedious.
> > Also, not all groups of "ff" and "fl" should be replaced. In the
> > final product, :) it would be nice to have some sort of dictionary
> > for words in which groups of letters are not ligatures...

The big problem with search and replace is that you have to do it at 
the very last minute. Otherwise, good luck if you need to run the 
spell checker. And good lucking getting hyphenation to work.

> > And there's the problem that not all fonts have ligatures so the
> > question is, what should happen when user switches from one font to
> > another; one that has ligatures to another that does not (or vice
> > versa).

If the font is Unicode complinat, the ligature-replacement function 
can just do it as long as the ligature exists in the font. If the slot is 
empty, move on to the next possible ligature slot.

> Yes, we will enhance the S&R, but we plan for ligature replacement
> with an evolution/replacement of the text layouter.
> From what I understand tho, ligature "replacement" is not really the
> correct word anyway. IE, its a rendering issue, and not a character
> issue. IE, you may render the ffl ligature, but the text still
> contains the 3 characters ffl.

That's how Adobe did it in InDesign. The text is held internally 
without ligatures. Thus, copying and pasting it to another 
application pastes the non-ligatured text. Hyphenation and spelling 
still work because they work on the internal text. The ligatures are 
there just for display and printing (including PDF export).

Adobe did it so cleverly that the hyphenation changes even when 
you have a ligature that needs to change to another ligature. E.g, 
suppose you have a line ending in "official," but it's all on the same 
line, so the ligature displayed is "ffi." You add a word in the middle 
of the line and suddenly it needs to break as of-ficial. The line will 
then end on of-, and the rest of the word on the next line will start 
with the fi ligature, followed by "cial."

Getting back to the original issue in this thread, automating true 
typographer's quotes, would it not be simpler just to look into the 
source for OpenOffice.org Writer and see how they did it? Because 
it works a treat in Writer. The only time it messes up is if you really 
do need a foot or inch mark. Then you have to change it manually. 
Even that could be fixed. I know because WordPerfect senses if 
the quote follows a numeral and then uses the inch or foot mark. 
It's just a bit more code to write.

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