How to Use Ligatures in Open Type Font with Windows Character Map

There are a lot of fun fonts out there with ligatures, but not every program has the capacity to use them. This is an easy tutorial that shows how to insert those ligatures into pretty much any Windows program.  Launch the Windows Character Map. If you are using and earlier version of Windows you can just find it from the start menu. If you are using Windows 8 just type in Character Map in the windows search field. We are using one of LD's Smart Fonts,  ZP Mother Interlock.

Find ZP Mother Interlock in the list of fonts:

Using fonts with ligatures

Next click advanced view:Using fonts with ligatures

Next go to "Group By" and click on "Unicode Subrange:"Using fonts with ligatures

Now set the subrange to "Private Use Characters." 
Using fonts with ligaturesYou will now see all the extra ligatures available.Using fonts with ligatures

Select the ligature you would like to use by clicking on it and pressing the "Select" button. Now highlight the character and press "Control + C" to copy the ligature. Do no use the copy button as it does not work in all programs.

Using fonts with ligatures

Now go to the program you want to use it in, we will show 3 different ones.

Silhouette Design Studio:

Open up Design Studio and Use the Text Style tool. First select the font you are using, then if you are using additional letters in front of the ligature go ahead and start typing them in, then when you are ready for the ligature press "Control + V" to paste the ligature in place as shown:Using fonts with ligatures

Make-The Cut:

Open up Make-The-Cut and select the Text and Fonts on the far right of the screen. Select your font and click on the text box to begin typing. The when you are ready for your ligature press "Control + V" to paste the ligature in place.

Office Libre (much like Word):

Open your document and select your font. Begin typing then press "control + V" to paste the ligature into place.Using fonts with ligatures

Shop for Smart Fonts on LD.

Posted by Lettering Delights

Related Articles

OTF (Open Type Font) are cross-platform (Mac and PC) fonts. They typically have a smaller file size which allows for a quicker download. They support expanded characters which allows for alternate characters and ligatures.

TTF (True Type Font) are similar to OTF fonts but they require separate files for each instance of the font. For example, a separate .ttf file is needed for bold, italics, or bold italics.

For most intent and purposes, it will make little difference to use one or the other file type when downloading fonts from LD.

Using fonts with ligatures

A Smart Font is a .OTF font that has alternate characters and ligatures.  A ligature is where two or more graphemes or letters are joined as a single glyph.  It is common to see AE or OE as a ligature (Æ or Œ ).  When you use a regular font, you have to type a code to create a ligature.  For AE you must type alt + 0198 in Windows.  But when you use a .OTF Smart Font, as soon as you type AE it will automatically be replaced with Æ if that was one of the characters in the Smart Font.  

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