Why some fonts have the 'f' and 'i' joined


Question

I noticed today that when I type a word with the character pair fi in it, the f changes when the i is typed to have a longer top and the dot above the i is removed.

I was wondering if this occurrence has a name and, additionally, do fonts that support this functionality have a categorical name?

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1/29/2017 4:38:00 PM

Accepted Answer

This is called ligature.

In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes or letters are joined as a single glyph.

Many ligatures combine f with an adjacent letter. The most prominent example is fi (or f‌i, rendered with two normal letters). The tittle of the i in many typefaces collides with the hood of the f when placed beside each other in a word, and are combined into a single glyph with the tittle absorbed into the f.

fi as example for ligatures

  • Further reading: there is already a question on graphicdesign.stackexchange about when someone should use ligatures, where at least the accepted answer is worth reading.
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4/13/2017 12:46:00 PM

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