Preserve ligature when half is coloured differently?

If I have a ligature, say ‘AB’, and I use Pages and I select B and make it blue, while A is still black, then the ligature doesn’t work anymore. It gives A and B separately. How can I remedy this? Can I make it ignore all changes such as colour change or going to bold or italic (I did not test those last two but I guess it might do same as colour changing - split the ligature?)

If not, then can I make a ligature for A(in black)+B(in red)? How?


Applying color is done entirely by the application and fonts can influence it.

Some applications (like in this case) will break text runs when color changes (not only ligatures, but also kerning and other OpenType features), others will ignore the color changes when it partially applies to characters in a glyphs, and others will try to be smart and apply the color only to half of the ligature (Firefox does this).

It’s logical, since you can’t half-color a glyph. What you could do, is preserve the separation of the glyphs by using two fitting contextual alternates rather than an actual ligature. That way you could preserve a 1:1 ratio between characters and glyphs. There is no guarantee this will work in Pages though when you color one half. Entirely possible that OT substitutions will only work inside a style run. (Would actually even make sense.)

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Another option is to design two separated glyohs but looking how you want it then activate them via “Stylistic set” or “Stylistic Alternate” If you want just to get a fullcolor visual result only.

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