# Can ligatures be enabled for Palatino and pdflatex?

Can I enable ligatures for the Palatino font or can I somehow find out if they are in the package for pdflatex in the first place?

Edit: MWE

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{mathpazo}

\begin{document}
ff ct st fl fi ffi
\end{document}


produces

Edit2: I also tried the suggestion with \fonttable{} and there are no ligatures (I changed the argument to pplr7t).

So, are the no ligatures in Palatino/mathpazo?

The ligatures are used by default, however that do not look very much like ligatures

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{mathpazo}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

\begin{document}
fi ffi
\end{document}


(The palatino package is obselete, as the documentation psnfss2e.pdf will tell you.) Inserting

\usepackage[loading]{tracefnt}


the log file will tell you near the end

LaTeX Font Info:    External font pplr8t at10.0pt' loaded as
(Font)              T1/ppl/m/n/10  on input line 7.


Running

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{fonttable}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

\begin{document}

\fonttable{pplr8t}

\end{document}


through pdflatex will give a table of characters in the font and you will see there are ligatures provided for ff, fi, fl, ffi and ffl - but they look very much like the composite letters (the most obvious difference is the reduced space in the ff combinations compared to f\/f).

Furthermore it should be mentioned that there are other fonts in the palatino bundle under psnsfss2e. mathpazo can be loaded with the [sc] option or the [osf] option. The first provides true small caps, the second provides additionally old style numbers. Finally you can omit the T1 fontenc and get OT1 instead, but psnfss2e.pdf recommands T1.

In all cases the ligatures in the corresponding font tables appear the same - the psnfss2e documentation says that all are Palatino-Roman.

• Sorry, but mathptmx provides Times, not Palatino. Probably you meant mathpazo. Jan 18 '13 at 22:50
• Unfortunately I cannot produce ligatures with your example code and egreg's mathpazo. Will add MWE later (although it is almost exactly what you wrote)... Jan 20 '13 at 18:10
• What do I need to change the line \fonttable{...} to, to produce a table for Palatinno? Jan 20 '13 at 19:48
• @egreg Indeed! Many thanks. I have now rewritten my answer. Jan 20 '13 at 22:09
• @BandGap Good question. My updated answer tells you how to find the fontname via the tracefnt package, which is easier that working through the loaded packages and fd files, which is what I originally did. Jan 20 '13 at 22:10

use the TeXGyre Pagella instead, it is the URW Palatino with ligatures and math support (the OpenType version):

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{mathpazo}
\usepackage{tgpagella}

\begin{document}\huge
\noindent
fi\makebox(0,0){\rule{0.5pt}{4em}} ffi\makebox(0,0){\rule{0.5pt}{4em}}\\
f\/i f\/f\/i
\end{document}


The original design of Palatino by Hermann Zapf doesn't have "f ligatures" because it doesn't need them. In particular the design of the "f" and the "i" makes them not clash with each other as it happens for other fonts.

Here are three realizations of Palatino; the first is Apple provided Palatino (from Linotype), the second is TeX Gyre Pagella, the third is URW Palladio (the one used by mathpazo):

As one can see, only TeX Gyre Pagella has an "ff" ligature, which doesn't seem necessary. Perhaps a tiny kerning in "fl" might be used. Here's an image from "Anatomy of a Typeface", by Alexander S. Lawson (link to Google Books); we might infer from it that perhaps TeX Gyre Pagella is right on the "ff" ligature (but the design of the "f" is rather different anyway).

• @MarkvanAtten It's hard to tell, from the image in the book I quoted if ff is a ligature or just a result of kerning; surely fi` isn't a ligature. Can you point to an image from the book? Jan 30 '17 at 16:38
• I think I was just wrong. Jan 30 '17 at 16:59
• I assume the answer can be found in Robert Bringhurst's monograph Palatino: The Natural History of a Typeface (2016). I don't have a copy at hand, but maybe someone else does? Jan 30 '17 at 18:59
• Bringhurst's book states on p33 that, after a Text Roman trial cutting (10 and 12 Didot pt), the first small Palatino foundry roman (5, 6, 8, 9, 10 & 12 pt) was cut and cast in 1949-1950, and "includes Qu, ch, ck, ff, fi, fl, tt, and tz ligatures, but no ffi or ffl". Page 20 shows the four matrices of the ff, fi, ft and fl ligatures in the 72 pt foundry Roman of 1950, and these are all connected; I assume in exactly the same way at the smaller sizes. NB As he remarks in The Elements of Typographic Style, Palatino is among the typefaces that "set handsomely without ligatures" (p52). Feb 16 '17 at 21:46
• Page 20 can be seen at letterology.com/2016/04/the-natural-history-of-palatino.html Feb 18 '17 at 15:31