Being new to Fontlab Studio 5, I'm creating a Tifinagh font using its Unicode block...

I created all the letters for my font, now I need to add a ligature (if this is the right word?) to certain characters like as shown below;

Tifinagh combine two letters into one

So when user types the sequence of the two letters; the output should be a combined letter as shown in the image.

I tryed the Glyph menu and Generate Glyphs but doesn't seem to work :)

Is that possible at all or I'm missing something?


  • I do not know that program, but just so you know the alternative: Besides ligatures, i.e., creating a distinct glyph for each character–mark combination (what you are trying to do), you can also realise such characters with anchors: You position anchors around letters, which describe where marks of a certain type are to be positioned and the character–mark combination will be assembled when a text is actually rendered. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, but judging from your example, anchors are probably better suited for your project.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Dec 27, 2014 at 1:04
  • Thanks @Wrzlprmft but unfortunatly I couldn't understand what you mean :( Fontlab is a software to create fonts by designing Glyphs or importing Adobe Illustrator shapes (or svg..) and each character have a Unicode block reserved to it..
    – numediaweb
    Dec 27, 2014 at 13:38
  • According to a quick Internet search, Fontlab supports anchors, so it should be easy to find a documentation on this.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Dec 27, 2014 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


The term "ligature" in typography usually refers to combining two or more letters when they appear in a defined sequence as shown here:

enter image description here

In your question though you seem to ask about creating accented characters, these aren't created with the otf ligature functionality, There are several ways to create them:

  1. Find the right Unicode character, let's say Ǎ - Latin Capital Letter a with Caron: U+01CD, and draw into it the capital A and the Caron (There might be a way to use anchors and components to ease the task of completing all the relevant characters but that depends on the software you use and I don't know the one you mentioned), this way when someone with the right keyboard type that letter it will show up without the need of the ligature functionality.
  2. Use Combining characters. this is quite a rare functionality I have no experience with and with reportedly lots of disadvantages.
  3. Some font creators have developed simple means to create the accented characters, one is Fontark.net on which you can draw the diacritical marks once and it automates the combining of them with all the relevant characters, you can see how it works here.
  • I would use the ccmp tag nevertheless. It takes only a small feature script, and works flawlessly in the OpenType-aware software I use (all Adobe's). Can you list a few of the disadvantages you've heard?
    – Jongware
    Dec 28, 2014 at 2:15
  • Besides open type dependency I think there's a positioning problem when applying the same diacritical mark to characters that don't have the same width/bearings, i.e. A is wider than C, and maybe upper/lower case fitting issues. Better ask some Fontlab experts on typophile.com (and bring the answer here ;)
    – Derrick
    Dec 28, 2014 at 17:15

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