What exactly does the package showhyphens tell us about hyphenation points? According to its documentation, it "will show all possible hyphenation points".

But when the word contains a ligature, it will not only fail to tell us that there's a hyphenation point between the two characters of the ligature (presumably because the ligature is a single glyph in the .pdf), but it will also erroneously report that there's a hyphenation point elsewhere in the word that's not actually there.

Is there any way to get showhyphens to report the actual hyphenation breaks in words with ligatures?

office \parbox{0pt}{\hspace{0pt}office}

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  • You could try to contact the author of the package. There might be a bug in the package and bug reports are probably better addressed at the author directly.
    – topskip
    Sep 22, 2015 at 12:29
  • @topskip Yes, I've sent him an e-mail about it. I wasn't quite sure whether to post anything about it here or not, as it's not quite clear whether this is a package bug or not.
    – Sverre
    Sep 22, 2015 at 12:31
  • No, it's not related.
    – topskip
    Sep 22, 2015 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


The limitation of the package is what you have found out, it should be documented.

While it is possible to look inside the ffi ligature and find out where the original hyphen character was placed (between the first f and the following component fi), it is very hard to draw the line indicating the hyphenation point correctly. The ffi ligature is one opaque rectancgle. Drawing a line at the correct position is pure luck, and therefore out of the scope of the package.

The next update of the package will have a comment on the ligatures and it's limitation.

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