I'm using the Typeface Rubik. It's semibold font face has problematic default kerning between the "f" and "i" characters(picture below.) Does anyone know a way to change the default font, so that there's more kerning between f and i whenever typed?

An image showing the word figure, the seconds is properly kerned

Thanks ahead for your help.

  • 3
    The first looks like a ligature rather than fi - That may not show properly in the SE font substitution, but copy/paste them both to see the difference. The first is a single char, the 2nd is 2 distinct chars.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 20, 2021 at 16:47
  • 2
    That's definitely a ligature. What software are you using to type it? You should switch off ligatures in whatever software you are using. Then when you type, it won't insert a ligature. Each software has different options/ways to do that. You'll need to search for it.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 20, 2021 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


What you see is an fi ligature (U+FB01). This is a deliberate feature of the font.

There are some letters pairs which tend to get too close to each other or even overlap. Increasing kerning will make them look too far apart. Ligatures are two (or more) letters combined into one glyph. They are used to make the typesetting look nicer and more professional.

Wikipedia article on ligatures.

If you want to avoid ligatures there is no need to change the font! Instead simply change the settings in your layout application.

For example, in InDesign you can turn ligatures on and off under the Basic Character Formats in the Paragraph Style.

  • 1
    Gotta be honest, I have never once found a situation where I felt “[made] the typesetting look nicer and more professional.” It always looks awkward to me.
    – KRyan
    Sep 21, 2021 at 14:15
  • 1
    @KRyan, well luckily you are free to decide. I agree it can look a bit weird sometimes. In large headings for example. And I like it better in serif than in sans-serif. In body text I don't think it's really noticeable, but just serves as a nifty little detail and can make the kerning look a tiny bit nicer.
    – Wolff
    Sep 21, 2021 at 15:22

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