# Can custom ligatures be defined by user?

I hope I was not wrong in assuming that such a question has never been posted, since I haven't checked.

Thinking about a girl, whose name is Gioia, and noticing that upper case G and and lower case a are similar in shape to 6, I tried to write her name as 6ioiX where X should be a vertically mirrored 6.

"Bando alle ciance", what I've drawn is this:

How do you suggest me to proceed?

I don't think it's difficult at all to mirror the first two chars, but I don't know if any ligature of the 6 with the i char exists... Neither I know if there is a special char having a 6-like shape which supports this ligature.

Is making custom ligature something that can be defined in LaTeX somehow?

Love. It makes me wanna do anything possible, or even impossible, ahahahah!

Being a collection of clipped and scaled glyphs, it is very font dependent. Obviously, this is not creating a ligature, but merely piecing together an image.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{stackengine,trimclip,graphicx}
\newcommand\Gi{\clipbox{0pt -.1ex .65ex -.1ex}{6}\stackengine{0pt}{%
\clipbox{.52ex -.1ex 0pt .4ex}{6}}{\scalebox{2}[1]{\clipbox{.52ex 1.1ex 0pt -.1ex}{6}}}%
{O}{l}{F}{F}{S}\kern-.75ex \i}
\newcommand\ia{\scalebox{-1}[1]{\Gi}}
\begin{document}
\Gi o\ia
\end{document}


A more complex clipping (different vertical scales of the pieces/parts), again in Computer Modern

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{stackengine,trimclip,graphicx}
\newcommand\Gi{\clipbox{0pt -.1ex .65ex -.1ex}{6}\stackengine{0pt}{%
\clipbox{.52ex -.1ex 0pt .45ex}{6}}{\scalebox{2}[1.22]{\clipbox{.55ex 1.14ex 0pt -.1ex}{6}}}%
{O}{l}{F}{F}{S}\kern-.75ex \i\kern-.1ex}
\newcommand\ia{\scalebox{-1}[1]{\Gi}}
\begin{document}
\Gi o\ia
\end{document}


and then using Baskervald (2 variants):

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{stackengine,trimclip,graphicx}
\newcommand\Gi{\clipbox{0pt -.1ex .77ex -.1ex}{6}\stackengine{0pt}{%
\clipbox{.50ex -.1ex 0pt .4ex}{6}}{\scalebox{1.7}[1.4]{\clipbox{.545ex 1.37ex 0pt -.1ex}{6}}}%
{O}{l}{F}{F}{S}\kern-.66ex \i\kern-.1ex}
\newcommand\ia{\scalebox{-1}[1]{\Gi}}
\begin{document}
\Gi o\ia

\renewcommand\Gi{\clipbox{0pt -.1ex .85ex -.1ex}{6}\stackengine{0pt}{%
\clipbox{.42ex -.1ex 0pt .49ex}{6}}{\scalebox{1.83}[1.83]{\clipbox{.49ex 1.377ex 0pt -.1ex}{6}}}%
{O}{l}{F}{F}{S}\kern-.68ex \i\kern-.1ex}

\Gi o\ia
\end{document}


• An undoubtedly nice solution. I'll check the code as soon as I can, so that I can appreciate it and possibly ask you to help me "trim" it a little bit :D – Enrico Maria De Angelis Jul 14 '17 at 13:17

Maybe this?

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\begin{document}
\rotatebox[origin=b]{-25}{\large6}%
\kern-.3em\i\kern-.05em o\kern-.05em%
\reflectbox{\rotatebox[origin=b]{-25}{\large6}\kern-.3em\i}
\end{document}

• I have to admit that the rotate box trick is excelent and effective. This way the two 6s have a perfect ligature with the is. The only thing I don't like is that the two sides or the round part of the 6s is inclined. – Enrico Maria De Angelis Jul 14 '17 at 18:12

Today I've had time to search on TeXSE for the most proper tools to produce that "ligature-like" arrangement of chars.

I've just run into this answer, which gave me the the idea to improve (imho, obviously!) @Fran's answer, which I found very very smart!

The final code is the following,

\documentclass{standalone}

\usepackage{tikz}

\def\slant#1#2{%
\tikz[baseline=(X.base), xslant=tan(#1)]
\node[inner sep=0pt, xslant=tan(#1)](X){#2};%
}
\def\resize#1#2{%
\tikz[baseline=(X.base), yscale=#1]
\node[inner sep=0pt, yscale=#1](X){#2};%
}

\newcommand{\gi}{\resize{.94}{\slant{30}{6}}\hskip-3.8pt\slant{10}{i}}
\newcommand{\ia}{\scalebox{-1}[1]{\gi}}

\begin{document}

\gi\hskip-1.5pt o\hskip-1.5pt\ia

\end{document}


which produces a quite good result:

I would have preferred an upright text, like the last example by @Steven, which gives a good result too. But maybe obtaining a perfect result concerns creating a symbol from scratch, and that'd be not LaTeX.

I'll wait some day more for a visionary guy to answer! :D

• I've waited for someone taking the TikZ sledgehammer :) – TeXnician Jul 15 '17 at 9:14
• Sledgehammer! Ahahahahah, please, tag Till Tantau and Christian Feuersänger, since they will surely appreciate this comment! Man, you litterally "laid me on the ground"! – Enrico Maria De Angelis Jul 15 '17 at 9:25