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Combined/Melted characters [message #1815354] Tue, 01 October 2019 10:15 Go to next message
Michael N. Lipp is currently offline Michael N. LippFriend
Messages: 10
Registered: July 2009
Junior Member
After updating to 2019-09, the multi-character operator <= is displayed as a single glyph as we know it from mathematics. Some people may like this, I don't. Where can I turn this behavior off?

I've search around using the terms from above, but probably these aren't the proper names because I didn't find anything. I've also looked at most of the prefernces settings in eclipse (I'd never claim to have gone though all setting) but to no avail.

Any help appreciated.

- Michael
Re: Combined/Melted characters [message #1815362 is a reply to message #1815354] Tue, 01 October 2019 11:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ed Merks is currently offline Ed MerksFriend
Messages: 30691
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Which OS are you on? Is this in Java code? I've seen someone complain about this before, but I don't remember where or how that turned out. Of course we don't all see this (in our Java editors) or we would pretty much all freak out. I would hate it too!
Re: Combined/Melted characters [message #1815363 is a reply to message #1815362] Tue, 01 October 2019 12:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michael N. Lipp is currently offline Michael N. LippFriend
Messages: 10
Registered: July 2009
Junior Member
Thanks for the hint that not everybody experiences this. This made me take another approach. It's not Eclipse's "fault", it's a "feature" of the Inconsolata font (which I only use in Eclipse). It makes use of the orthographic ligature feature (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthographic_ligature) in the font definition to achieve this somewhat surprising effect. (Noticing this after the 2019-09 update was obviously a coincidence.)
Re: Combined/Melted characters [message #1815369 is a reply to message #1815363] Tue, 01 October 2019 13:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ed Merks is currently offline Ed MerksFriend
Messages: 30691
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Thanks for posting your findings for the benefit of the next person to encounter this. Maybe this time I'll remember where I heard of the problem before. :-P
Re: Combined/Melted characters [message #1815586 is a reply to message #1815369] Sun, 06 October 2019 14:37 Go to previous message
DI V is currently offline DI VFriend
Messages: 20
Registered: October 2019
Junior Member
Good detective work, Michael N. Lipp!
It might be good for font creators to be aware of this usage case.

In word processing software (such as Microsoft Word) it is possible to enable or disable ligatures (for all characters) in selected text (or the whole document).
Desktop publishing applications and graphic design software may provide even more control.

This suggests that it might be possible for Eclipse to implement an advanced option to turn it off. Although, to be frank, they'd probably be better off with a blanket disabling of ligatures by default.
Having said that, there are different ways that the behaviour you're describing can be implemented using OpenType features, and formal declaration of the feature as a "ligature" within the font is only one of several possible implementations. I believe that the other possible implementations cannot (readily) be disabled.

With your Inconsolata font have you noticed any other apparent ligatures? The most common in English would include

  • [default font]: "fi" for "fi", "ij" for "ij", "ff" for "ff" and "fl" for "fl".
  • Arial: "fi" for "fi", "ij" for "ij", and "fl" for "fl".
  • Times: "fi" for "fi", "ij" for "ij", and "fl" for "fl".
  • Courier: "fi" for "fi", "ij" for "ij", and "fl" for "fl".
  • Century: "fi" for "fi", "ij" for "ij", and "fl" for "fl".


(You will need to look closely to spot the differences. Notice that the "i" has no dot in some of the ligatures in which it follows "f". In some of the ligatures the bar of the "f" is extended to touch the following "l" or "f". In Courier the letters are noticeably closer in all ligatures. When you try to select the text, the ligature usually acts as a single character.)

--DIV
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