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Ligatures in Affinity Publisher latest update

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Hi everybody,

since the last update ligatures in Affinity Publisher (Version, Windows 10) only work properly if text is not justified. If I set text as left-, center- or right-aligned, ligatures like ff or fi are set correctly, but if I then set that same text as justified (last line left, centered, or right) the previously correctly set ligatures disintegrate into individual letters. The problem seems to exist independently of my choice of typeface.

Also relevant to this are the following points:

  1. A couple of days ago, my Windows 10 was updated to version 1909 (Build 18363.693), which  also included an update of Microsoft.NET.
  2. I have many German blackletter (fraktur) fonts developed by Gerhard Helzel that set the frequently used long s automatically, where this is appropriate.
  3. In addition, I have many (free) blackletter/fraktur and antiqua fonts from Ligafaktur (www.ligafaktur.de), all in the LOV-version, that set the long s and other ligatures automatically where appropriate.
  4. All fonts (ordinary antiqua, Helzel, and Ligafaktur) use the correct ligatures in Microsoft Word 2016, regardless of the paragraph alignment is left-aligned or justified.   
  5. Similarly, all fonts worked flawlessly in Affinity Publisher until the latest update (to Version

All fonts (ordinary antiqua, Helzel, and Ligafaktur) work flawlessly in Affinity Publisher if texts are simply set as left-, center- or right-aligned. If texts are justified (last line left, center, or right), however, all ligatures are dissolved into their individual components. The Helzel fonts still set the long s, where this is appropriate, but all other ligatures are dissolved. With the Ligafaktur fonts, all ligatures are dissolved and a round s is erroneously substituted for the long s.  

From this I conclude that the ligature problem lies with the newest update to Affinity Publisher (to Version I'm not qualified to speculate as to whether or not the contemporaneous update of Microsoft.NET is likely to have something to do with it. If I set kerning to "manual" or optical alignment to "none", there is no change.

Does anyone else have this issue? Does anyone know of a quick and simple fix to it?

Many thanks in advance.


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In justified text, the ligature is decomposed when the letter spacing becomes too large to make the ligature look appropriate. Concerning changes made recently, there was an issue where ligatures were not decomposing when they should that was resolved with the 1.7.2 release.

There was also an issue regarding ligatures in imported PDFs that was resolved in the recent 1.8 release.

If you have found an example of where ligatures are getting decomposed when they should not be, I recommend you upload a simple document that demonstrates the issue.

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Hi again,

I've prepared a sample document which I've uploaded both as an Affinity Publisher as well as a *.pdf-document which hopefully shows what I meant with ligatures becoming decomposed when paragraph alignment is justified last line left. This is in my world at least a new problem which I didn't have with the old AP Version 1.7.3.

Grateful for any tips or corrective steps, if possible. If you need the Mars-Fraktur for any reason, the OpenType-version of it can be downloaded here for free: http://www.fraktur.biz/MarsFrakturOT-Normal.zip

Sample of Incorrect Ligatures.pdf

Sample of Incorrect Ligatures.afpub

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46 minutes ago, Fahneflycht said:

I've prepared a sample document which ... hopefully shows what I meant with ligatures becoming decomposed when paragraph alignment is justified last line left. ...

It's not just you. My own fonts using longs, dligs, ligs, historical forms, etc., also breaks as your file & font demonstrates. They work fine in QXP, ID, etc.

@Dave Harris?

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Thank you for that sample file. It does indeed illustrate the problem. To illustrate, here is a quick comparison of beta on top and the same text in release 1.7.3 on the bottom.902996739_ScreenShot2020-03-04at1_45_36PM.thumb.png.cacc782aa1f1df8c10cfc5c264c503a2.png

@Fahneflycht You have done us a service by providing that demonstration file so Serif can easily see what the problem is.

(Note that the fl ligature apparently is not showing composed anywhere with the version of Times New Roman I have, not even in the left-aligned example.)

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I should add that this is happening on Mac as well, which is what my screenshot above came from. I don't remember how I found this in the Windows section, since I very rarely check here.

As far as I can remember, this is the last regression that is keeping me from officially moving beyond 1.7.3.

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  • Moderators

A fix for this problem will be in the beta on Mac and Windows (just released ) and the subsequent 1.8.2 release build. Thanks for reporting this, we do appreciate it.

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon


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