Adobe Minion pro partial set of ligaturesAdobe Minion Pro offers a large selection of ligatures.

The ampersand is the best-known ligature, but there are other commonly conjoined letters. Beyond the five standard Roman ligatures, many type families offer more extensive sets of connected characters. Open Type now makes the use of ligatures effortless, and many typefaces offer an array of ligatures. In many typefaces, the lowercase f runs into letters that follow, so Renaissance type foundries solved the problem by creating individual sorts for the five most common problems (ff, fi, fl, ffl and ffi).

 

Etymology: the Latin verb ligare, to bind, gives us the typographic term ligature for connected letters. Common cognates would be league, ligament, and ligate (to tie off an artery).