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Old 01-15-2019, 10:26 AM   #1
Psymon
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Turn off ligatures (temporarily)?

Right now in my ebook I've got ligatures turned on everywhere with this bit in my CSS...

Code:
	-moz-font-feature-settings: "hist=1, liga=1, dlig=1";
	-ms-font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
	-webkit-font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
	-o-font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
	font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
...which works fine, but what would I change that to if I wanted to set up a class to just temporarily turn all ligs off for a word or phrase or something?
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psymon View Post
Right now in my ebook I've got ligatures turned on everywhere with this bit in my CSS...

Code:
	-moz-font-feature-settings: "hist=1, liga=1, dlig=1";
	-ms-font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
	-webkit-font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
	-o-font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
	font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
...which works fine, but what would I change that to if I wanted to set up a class to just temporarily turn all ligs off for a word or phrase or something?
Hey, Psymon:

I don't actually know how you turn off ligs, selectively, but I do want to warn you, if you publish to Amazon, that ligs can be death on wheels in the LITB. We had a client that had text disappearing, all ligature characters, in the LITB. Now, here's the "fun" part--we had not enabled ligatures, but the font we used, for her body, did have ligs. Even though it was not mandated--as you are not allowed to do that at Amazon--Amazon "enhanced typeset" it to INCLUDE ligatures, and then, when the book was uploaded at KDP, voila! Missing letters throughout, for every ligature pair.

We never enable ligatures, for all the obvious reasons--older readers and all that--but this is what happened when Amazon "helped us" with the ET. Just FYI.

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Old 01-15-2019, 06:58 PM   #3
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Oh, thanks, Hitch -- no worries about Amazon, as I gave up on designing for them (and publishing there) ages ago. I did one book for their platform and it was such a nightmare to do that I just said forget it, I'll bypass that market. I'm not out to make money -- I tried, and after a whole year I think I made a whopping $5 or something (all from sales to family, pretty much!) -- and so in the end I just decided to give my books away for free instead.

And to hell with Amazon -- let them go out of business without me.

Strange that there doesn't seem to be a way to turn ligs off, though? I did go a-googlin' before I posted my question, and found some stuff that seems geared for web design, but it doesn't seem to work in my ebooks (haven't tried it for a web page, maybe it doesn't even work there either).

Well, I did get around it before a rather kludgy way, so I guess I'll just leave it like that -- just wanted to do it the "right" way (I just don't know what that is!).

Thanks again for the reply, Hitch, and other input on Amazon, etc. from your experience!
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psymon View Post
Oh, thanks, Hitch -- no worries about Amazon, as I gave up on designing for them (and publishing there) ages ago. I did one book for their platform and it was such a nightmare to do that I just said forget it, I'll bypass that market. I'm not out to make money -- I tried, and after a whole year I think I made a whopping $5 or something (all from sales to family, pretty much!) -- and so in the end I just decided to give my books away for free instead.

And to hell with Amazon -- let them go out of business without me.

Strange that there doesn't seem to be a way to turn ligs off, though? I did go a-googlin' before I posted my question, and found some stuff that seems geared for web design, but it doesn't seem to work in my ebooks (haven't tried it for a web page, maybe it doesn't even work there either).

Well, I did get around it before a rather kludgy way, so I guess I'll just leave it like that -- just wanted to do it the "right" way (I just don't know what that is!).

Thanks again for the reply, Hitch, and other input on Amazon, etc. from your experience!
Well...if you don't use them, they're not turned "on." (Other than Amazon's LITB via ET, that is). Ligs are special characters, so you have to overtly use them. No?

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Old 01-15-2019, 09:52 PM   #5
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Well...if you don't use them, they're not turned "on." (Other than Amazon's LITB via ET, that is). Ligs are special characters, so you have to overtly use them. No?
Well, that's what I find a bit odd, too. I had to add in that code in order to get my ligs to work (and I need -- or want -- them to work pretty much everywhere except for just one spot), but since I've turned them "on" everywhere now I don't know how to turn them "off" where I might want to.

I guess I could re-do my CSS and then instead of turning on ligs globally I can just specify each and every tag where I want ligs turned on (which would be pretty much every single tag that's for text), but what if there's a device that does have ligs turned on by default, regardless of whether that code is there or not? Is there? I don't know.

It's just one little spot, in the title of my book that I want to turn them off -- but like I said, I did find a kludgy way of doing it, by simply inserting a space in-between the two characters that I don't want to "ligify," and then gave that space a size of 0.00001em (or something super-tiny like that) so you don't really notice that the space is there.

Couldn't think of another kludgy way to do it???
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:09 PM   #6
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If perchance you're curious to actually see what/where it was that I wanted to turn ligs off (and why), it was for this book of mine...

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh....php?p=3419678

I just uploaded a newly-revised version of it -- at least, the "revision" is that I spent these last few years learning type design, and now my book has my own fonts (5 of 'em!) used in it.

It's right in the main title that I wanted to turn off ligs, so that the long-"s" + "t" doesn't turn into the ligature for that. My code for that heading (with my tiny space kludge) is this...

Code:
<h1 class="large red sigil_not_in_toc" style="margin-top:0; margin-bottom: 0.14em; line-height:100%;"><i>&nbsp;Laſ<span style="font-size:0.000001em; line-height:10%;"> </span>t Folio.</i></h1>
You don't even have to trouble yourself to download the book if you want to see how that looks -- in the screenshots I provided in the post, one is of the title page, where you'll see in the main title, where it says "Laſt Folio," the long-"s" + "t" does NOT come out as a lig (as it otherwise would).

Wish I could just turn the ligs off temporarily in some easy way -- but oh well, perhaps the solution I came up with will help someone else out somehow, too.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
Well...if you don't use them, they're not turned "on." (Other than Amazon's LITB via ET, that is). Ligs are special characters, so you have to overtly use them. No?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psymon View Post
Well, that's what I find a bit odd, too. I had to add in that code in order to get my ligs to work (and I need -- or want -- them to work pretty much everywhere except for just one spot), but since I've turned them "on" everywhere now I don't know how to turn them "off" where I might want to. <snip> Couldn't think of another kludgy way to do it???
Are the two of you possibly talking at cross purposes?

Hitch, you seem to be talking about ligatures actually being present as special chars in the underlying HTML files.

Whereas I think Psymon may be talking about using CSS to tell the epub rendering app to combine ordinary chars into ligatures wherever possible - except when specifically asked not to.

My only experience is with epubs on Sony, Kobo, Android and kepub on Kobo.

For epub on any ADE-based epub rendering app then, for example, the standard 2-char 'fi' in the HTML will always be rendered in the app as the 1-char ligature 'fi' as long as the font being used actually contains that ligature. I don't know of anyway to stop that happening.

Kepubs on eink Kobos, however, are slightly different as they do not use the ADE epub renderer. They use a webkit-based renderer and behave pretty much like epub3. You can turn ligatures on/off in kepubs (default is off).

To turn ligatures (& kerning) on you can use CSS
Code:
text-rendering: optimizeLegibility;
To turn ligatures (& kerning) off you can use CSS
Code:
text-rendering: optimizeSpeed;
However, I don't know how many epub reading apps will take any notice of the CSS attribute 'text-rendering'.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
To turn ligatures (& kerning) on you can use CSS
Code:
text-rendering: optimizeLegibility;
To turn ligatures (& kerning) off you can use CSS
Code:
text-rendering: optimizeSpeed;
However, I don't know how many epub reading apps will take any notice of the CSS attribute 'text-rendering'.
Interesting, I've seen that optimizeLegibility (or optimizeSpeed) thing before, and thought I had that in my code, but it seems not -- it wouldn't hurt to add it in, I suppose.

I don't think it would work on all devices, however. It was somewhere in an earlier thread here from years ago (and via other tutorial websites on the 'net), when I first got into this, that I developed my CSS code to turn on ligs on as many platforms as possible -- in fact, I just today added in some extra stuff on top of what I had before, suited for web browsers, too, in case someone might end up looking at my book with a browser plugin or something (I have no idea if it will actually do anything -- ebooks in web browsers look like crap, from what I've seen -- but at the same time it does no harm to add it in).

This, from my CSS, turns off all hyphenation (since the English in my book is Elizabethan English, and I didn't want words breaking in ways they shouldn't) and should turn ligs -- and also kerning -- on in "everything"...

Code:
-webkit-hyphens:none;
-epub-hyphens:none;
-moz-hyphens:none;
hyphens:none;
-moz-font-feature-settings: "hist=1, liga=1, dlig=1";
-ms-font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
-webkit-font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
-o-font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
font-feature-settings: "hist", "liga", "dlig";
-webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; /* Chrome, Safari */
-moz-osx-font-smoothing: grayscale; /* Firefox */
-moz-font-feature-settings:    "kern" 1; 
-ms-font-feature-settings:     "kern" 1; 
-o-font-feature-settings:      "kern" 1; 
-webkit-font-feature-settings: "kern" 1; 
font-feature-settings: "kern" 1, "liga" 1;
font-kerning: normal;
How to turn it off, though? Pffft! That's why I'm here (with my query)!

I should probably add in that optimizeLegibility thing, too, like I said -- can't hurt, and thank you for that (even as a reminder).

Last edited by Psymon; 01-15-2019 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:55 PM   #9
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I did earlier come up with this potential "noligs" class before, which I thought might work -- and which you'd think should work -- but it doesn't seem to, my ligs still show up anyway (and oh, I see I did use that optimizeSpeed thing in there... to no avail)...

Code:
.noligs {
	-moz-font-feature-settings: "hist=0, liga=0, dlig=0";
	-ms-font-feature-settings: "hist" 0, "liga" 0, "dlig" 0;
	-webkit-font-feature-settings: "hist" 0, "liga" 0, "dlig" 0;
 	-o-font-feature-settings: "hist" 0, "liga" 0, "dlig" 0;
	font-feature-settings: "hist" 0, "liga" 0, "dlig" 0;
	font-feature-settings: "kern" 1, "liga" 0;
	font-kerning: normal;
	text-rendering: optimizeSpeed;
}
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_w View Post
Are the two of you possibly talking at cross purposes?

Hitch, you seem to be talking about ligatures actually being present as special chars in the underlying HTML files.

Whereas I think Psymon may be talking about using CSS to tell the epub rendering app to combine ordinary chars into ligatures wherever possible - except when specifically asked not to.

<snippage>
Yes, we are. I didn't realize--and in hindsight, I should have--that he was relying on the rendering software to "do it for him." See, we subset every book we do, thus, if ligs are not specifically called, through the use of the HTML characters, then they are removed via subsetting. Thus, if we had some sort of brain-damage, and turned ligs on, the file would be a mess, because the characters would be missing. (Having been removed, for being subset).

I'm exceedingly reluctant to rely on reading systems to render that sort of thing for me. Hell, we've all seen bizarro-world hyphenation, which one would think would be fairly well established by now; relying on reading systems/software to render ligatures sort of makes my blood run cold.

And, then, you get the problem that Psymon is running into--you can't control it very well, either.

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Old 01-16-2019, 10:26 AM   #11
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See, we subset every book we do, thus, if ligs are not specifically called, through the use of the HTML characters, then they are removed via subsetting. Thus, if we had some sort of brain-damage, and turned ligs on, the file would be a mess, because the characters would be missing. (Having been removed, for being subset).
Interesting. just as an experiment I used the Sigil subset plugin on my book, and all the ligs came out fine, and out of curiosity I then pulled those now-subset fonts out of my book and looked at them, and it seemed that the plugin did get rid of a lot of "extra" glyphs, but it did NOT get rid of any of my PUA characters (i.e. all my ligatures, etc.).

Were you using a different thing to subset your fonts?
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psymon View Post
Interesting. just as an experiment I used the Sigil subset plugin on my book, and all the ligs came out fine, and out of curiosity I then pulled those now-subset fonts out of my book and looked at them, and it seemed that the plugin did get rid of a lot of "extra" glyphs, but it did NOT get rid of any of my PUA characters (i.e. all my ligatures, etc.).

Were you using a different thing to subset your fonts?
We use whichever works for the environment that the bookmaker is working in. Toxaris' plugin (which addresses ligs); I'm not sure that the others remove ligatures.

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Old 01-16-2019, 10:50 AM   #13
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Yeah, I was rather pleasantly surprised to discover that my ligs didn't get chucked when I subset the fonts in my book -- although I ended up keeping the full fonts in there anyway. I think it was less than a meg that I saved on the total file size, and I also wanted to make my fonts available for others to use (in their "full," not subset, versions) in case they pulled them from the book rather than off my website.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Yeah, I was rather pleasantly surprised to discover that my ligs didn't get chucked when I subset the fonts in my book -- although I ended up keeping the full fonts in there anyway. I think it was less than a meg that I saved on the total file size, and I also wanted to make my fonts available for others to use (in their "full," not subset, versions) in case they pulled them from the book rather than off my website.
Based upon the drama with the book on Amazon, I actually asked Toxaris to address ligatures in his Font Subsetting tool. I asked him to make sure that they were removed, if not used, so...

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Old 01-16-2019, 11:44 AM   #15
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Oh, he must have done something "right" in that regard, because they did keep my ligs -- at least, as far as I can tell everything was rendering out just fine. Kudos to him on that!

I don't think I'll subset my fonts, though (not my own fonts, anyway), because even though I'm giving them away for free, I don't want subset versions floating around out there (if I can help it).
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