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I have a paper written and edited in LyX.

On a printing today I noticed that all 'fi' combinations are not visible.

The characters are in the document and displays in the PDF but doesn't print.

Is this a printer, LyX or PDF problem?

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  • Ok. Interesting bit. On using pdflatex to create the final document, the 'fi' as in beneFIts displays correctly. On printing though the characters go missing. Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 12:09
  • On exporting to PS and directly printing the .ps file, everything works fine. I can print my docs now, but would be interesting to solve this puzzle. Bug in pdflatex? Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 12:09
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    Sounds like a font problem: one of your ligatures has gone walkabout...
    – Seamus
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 12:13
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    Can you see if the fonts are embedded? If you have access to Xpdf, the pdffonts utility will tell you which fonts are embedded. Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 14:46
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    @Forkrul: that is a default behaviour, when your embedded fonts have no ligatures. Which font setting do you have? Convert your LyX document to latex and look at the beginning of the source.
    – user2478
    Commented Feb 6, 2011 at 18:43

1 Answer 1

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This is a font problem, but might be also related to your printer/its driver.

The 'fi' character (+ 'ff', 'fl', ...) is a ligature, i.e. a combination of two characters created to optimize the space between the characters. Some fonts do not include these special characters and they also tend to go missing in conversions. Your printer driver might convert the PDF to Postscript for printing and something gets messed out at this point. Maybe your font is not Postscript compatible. Should you load any kind of font packages try to disable them and see if the print-out changes.

You should also ensure that you use the font with a proper encoding, e.g. by loading:

 \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

in the preamble.

You might try to use another (at best PostScript) fonts which have the ligatures included. Some possible choices would be psnfss (Postscript New Font Selection Scheme), pxfonts (Palatino style) or txfonts (Times style). Simply load them like packages, e.g. \usepackage{psnfss}.

The ligatures can also be disabled globally using: (needs pdflatex)

\usepackage{microtype}
\DisableLigatures{encoding=*,family=*}
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    One should add that disabling the ligatures is strongly discouraged. The handling of ligatures is one of TeX's achievements. Commented Feb 7, 2011 at 9:05
  • Yes @Hendrik I should have mentioned that. That's also the reason I'm first suggested changing the font. Unfortunately many people are used to MS Word documents and will not even see ligatures, and if they do normally think it is a print error :-( Commented Feb 7, 2011 at 9:10
  • \DisableLigatures also disables en-dashes (--) and em-dashes (---). Workaround: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/57718/ligatures-disabling
    – marcin
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 11:54

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