Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using Ligatures and Other Fine Typography Effects
Using Ligatures and Other Fine Typography Effects
Traditional typesetting uses several subtle techniques that make typeset documents look
better than anything produced by a word-processing program. These techniques have
been used throughout the history of typesetting—in hand-set type, hot metal,
phototypesetting, and (more recently) desktop publishing programs. When these techniques are used,
graphic designers and typographers can spot the difference at a glance, whereas others
might recognize that the text looks better and “more professional,” but they can’t tell you
why. Now, with Word 2010, many of these features are available in word-processing
documents, including:
Ligatures A ligature is two or three letters that are combined into a single character
because the shapes of the letters are more aesthetically pleasing when combined
this way.
Historical ligature
No ligatures
Standard ligatures
Whether a particular font has ligatures in a particular category (as defined by the
OpenType specification) is up to the font’s designer, and that decision determines
which ligatures are used when any of these options is selected in Word:
Standard Only Standard ligatures vary by language. In English, common
ligatures combine an f , l , or i when it follows an f , but other combinations exist
in some fonts.
Standard And Contextual In addition to standard ligatures, this setting
includes character combinations that the font designer thinks are appropriate
for a particular font, perhaps due to the unusual shapes of some letters.
Historical And Discretionary Historical ligatures are ones that were once
standard ( ct and st combinations, for example, often have a small swash tying
the letters together).
Number Forms Old-style numbers have varying heights and are often used when
numbers appear within text because the numbers align well with mixed-case text.
Modern numbers (called Lining in Word) align on the baseline and are of uniform
height; these are best for numerical data. Each font has a default setting based on
the font’s typical usage. For example, the default for Candara, Constantia, and Corbel
is old-style, whereas Cambria, Calibri, and Consolas use lining as the default
number form.
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