{microtype} is a package that provides a LaTeX interface to the micro-typographic features of pdfTeX, LuaTeX and XeTeX, most prominently, character protrusion and font expansion.

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How can I completely suppress ligatures?

The microtype package allows to completely suppress ligatures. However, this feature requires pdfTeX 1.30 or newer. That's unfortunate if I'm using LaTeX or XeLaTeX while having to avoid ligatures. ...