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I've been reading about "complex text layouts" on Wikipedia as part of an i18n review for some software that I help maintain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_text_layout

The examples provided focus on alphabets that I know very little about, making the core concept and ramifications of it a little difficult for me to relate to.

I am wondering if English has examples of complex text layouts?

Do all ligatures count as CTL? What about capitalisation rules? What about &?

EDIT: I understand that cursive hand writing would have lots of CTL examples, but for the purpose of this question, I'm just talking about standard printed text that you would commonly see on a computer screen, like Helvetica for example

  • Is there anything beyond curious wondering that gives you an indication that it might? – Helmar Aug 5 '16 at 8:07
  • From your link: Many scripts do not require CTL. For instance, the Latin alphabet or Chinese characters can be typeset by simply displaying each character one after another in straight rows or columns. Yes, exceptions are mentioned, like cursive writing, that you mentioned yourself. But the basic statement remains that CTL does not normally occur in the Latin alphabet (that English is usually rendered in - if you want to render English in Devanagari, you will have to deal with CTL!) – oerkelens Aug 5 '16 at 10:02
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    Ligatures, capitals and characters like & are just other characters that are rendered in the same way as other characters. Their use is more a matter of spelling than that it poses a rendering issue. – oerkelens Aug 5 '16 at 10:03
  • @oerkelens want to rephrase that as an answer? – David Meister Aug 6 '16 at 1:57
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From your link:

Many scripts do not require CTL. For instance, the Latin alphabet or Chinese characters can be typeset by simply displaying each character one after another in straight rows or columns.

Yes, exceptions are mentioned, like cursive writing, that you mentioned yourself.

But the basic statement remains that CTL does not normally occur in the Latin alphabet, that English is usually rendered in.

Of course, if you want to render English in Devanagari, you will have to deal with CTL! It seems more a matter of the alphabet / writing system that you want to render your text in, than of the language you want to render. If I would render Hindi in the Latin alphabet (which is not all that uncommon, think about transcribing names!) you will not have to deal with CTL.

When using the Latin alphabet, ligatures, capitals and characters like & are just other characters that are rendered in the same way as other characters. Their use is more a matter of spelling than that it poses a rendering issue.

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