characters getting swallowed

I am new to latex and am trying to get my first document working. In my document I have an itemized list and in some of the items I have the word file. When I compile it to a pdf document using pdflatex version 2.9.2 from MiKTeX 2.9.2 updated to latest packages last night,, the "fi" from the word file or profile does not show up when I view the pdf

A sample document with this problem:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\title{Just a test document}
\author{DRTechie}
\maketitle
\begin{itemize}
\item Use a file containing 100 lines of text.
\item Read the file and compute the md5 checksum.
\item This is my profile.
\end{itemize}
\end{document}


Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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"does not show up" on paper or using a PDF viewer? –  Thruston Jun 28 at 20:45
Welcome to TeX.SX! You probably have the same problem as in LaTeX does not print words correctly: inputenc/fontenc problem –  egreg Jun 28 at 20:46
The code compiles as normally here. I can't reproduce your issue. :-( –  1010011010 Jun 28 at 20:46
To expand a little on @egreg's comment, fi is converted to a ligature in many fonts. Sounds like something's wrong with the font that would contain that ligature. –  Tom Zych Jun 28 at 22:45
I tried the workarounds specified in the link given by @egreg, but they didn't help. –  user56278 Jun 29 at 0:59

Your example probably doesn't say the truth about your document. I guess (as egreg in his comment) that in your document you don't have the two chars f + i but the ﬁ glyph and this would disappear as you are using the default font encoding OT1, and this encoding doesn't have glyphs on every position.

Copy this here in an utf8-encoded file and compile:

\documentclass{article}
%\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}     %step 1
%\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}  %step 2
%\usepackage{newunicodechar}  %step 4
%\newunicodechar{ﬁ}{fi}       %step 4

\begin{document}
\symbol{65}=A

\symbol{66}=B

\symbol{228}=ä

% ﬁ=fi                         %step 3
\end{document}


the 228-Symbol and the ä will not be there:

step 1: Now uncomment the fontenc-line: the symbol will apppear, but the ä won't be printed correctly.

step 2: Uncomment the inputenc line and now the ä will be okay.

step 3: Uncomment the ﬁ line: You will get an error, as latex doesn't know this input glyph.

step 4: Uncomment the last two line in the preamble: now the ﬁ works too.

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Great this worked fine. I actually just had to uncomment the first line to get my file to compile properly, but I left the other lines in place to have for documentation purposes. –  user56278 Jun 29 at 20:14