ligatures not recognized in typeset pdf

hanmon's picture


Hi all, 

I use the Standard “LaTeX\Standard LaTeX Article” shell and I have a problem. When I “typeset PDF preview “ my SW-document and then use the “find” function in the pdf (ctrl + f), ligatures are not recognized by Adobe Acrobat.

Specifically, when I search for the word “conflict” in my thesis, it does not find it even though it is present in many parts of the text. Search for “conict” however, i.e., cutting out the ligature “fl”, will find the word.

Can anyone give me advice on how to make the pdf find “fl”s after typesetting my document? Thank you guys in advance.

This may well be an Adobe specific problem, I searched the internet. Everything I found seemed really complicated to implement, so I was looking for an easier way out.

I am happy for any kind of suggestions.




I think this is an issue with

I think this is an issue with the PDF viewer program.  The PDF file contains the ligature character, but in the version of Acrobat Reader that I'm using you cannot enter the ligature character as a character to search for.

hanmon's picture

 Hi George, Thank you for

 Hi George,

Thank you for your reply. So, did you just accept that you cannot search for certain words or did you come up with a way to circumvent/solve the problem?

Aprreciate your comments,


hanmon's picture

 Hi it's me again. Still have

 Hi it's me again.

Still have not solved the problem. Does anyone hava an idea of how I can "typeset pdf preview" my document such that ligatures will be searchable/non-existent in the pdf??

Thank you


To make the ligatures

To make the ligatures non-existent you would need to revise the document and insert a zero space between the letters that from the ligature.

I don't know if it's possible to create a document where ligatures are searchable.  Searching the user group comp.text.tex might allow you to locate information on this topic.

pviton's picture

Did it work?  Is it possible

Did it work? 

Is it possible that the problem is typeface-related? I have a document produced with SWP's Times setup, and words containing ligatures are found (eg "justification"). I then re-created it using the default Computer Modern (actually, dc) fonts, and acrobat didn't find this word. So one possibility, if you can, might be to switch to Times.