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The font-variant-ligatures CSS property controls which ligatures and contextual forms are used in textual content of the elements it applies to. This leads to more harmonized forms in the resulting text.

Initial valuenormal
Applies toall elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Computed valueas specified
Canonical orderorder of appearance in the formal grammar of the values


font-variant-ligatures: normal;
font-variant-ligatures: none;
font-variant-ligatures: common-ligatures;           /* <common-lig-values> */
font-variant-ligatures: no-common-ligatures;        /* <common-lig-values> */
font-variant-ligatures: discretionary-ligatures;    /* <discretionary-lig-values> */
font-variant-ligatures: no-discretionary-ligatures; /* <discretionary-lig-values> */
font-variant-ligatures: historical-ligatures;       /* <historical-lig-values> */
font-variant-ligatures: no-historical-ligatures;    /* <historical-lig-values> */
font-variant-ligatures: contextual;                 /* <contextual-alt-values> */
font-variant-ligatures: no-contextual;              /* <contextual-alt-values> */
font-variant-ligatures: contextual;                 /* <no-historical-ligatures> <common-ligatures> */

/* Global values */
font-variant-ligatures: inherit;
font-variant-ligatures: initial;
font-variant-ligatures: unset;


This keyword leads to the activation of the usual ligatures and contextual forms needed for correct rendering. The ligatures and forms activated depend on the font, language and kind of script. This is the default value.
This keyword specifies that all ligatures and contextual forms are disabled, even common ones.
These values control the most common ligatures, like for fi, ffi, th or similar. They correspond to the OpenType values liga and clig. Two values are possible:
  • common-ligatures activating these ligatures. Note that the keyword normal activates these ligatures.
  • no-common-ligatures deactivating these ligatures.
These values control specific ligatures, specific to the font and defined by the type designer. They correspond to the OpenType values dlig. Two values are possible:
  • discretionary-ligatures activating these ligatures.
  • no-discretionary-ligatures deactivating the ligatures. Note that the keyword normal usually deactivates these ligatures.
These values control the ligatures used historically, in old books, like the German tz digraph being displayed ß. They correspond to the OpenType values hlig. Two values are possible:
  • historical-ligatures activating these ligatures.
  • no-historical-ligatures deactivating the ligatures. Note that the keyword normal usually deactivates these ligatures.
These values control whether letters adapt to their context—that is, whether they adapt to the surrounding letters. These values correspond to the OpenType values calt. Two values are possible:
  • contextual specifies that the contextual alternates are to be used. Note that the keyword normal usually activates these ligatures too.
  • no-contextual prevents their use.

Formal syntax

normal | none | [ <common-lig-values> || <discretionary-lig-values> || <historical-lig-values> || <contextual-alt-values> ]

<common-lig-values> = [ common-ligatures | no-common-ligatures ]
<discretionary-lig-values> = [ discretionary-ligatures | no-discretionary-ligatures ]
<historical-lig-values> = [ historical-ligatures | no-historical-ligatures ]
<contextual-alt-values> = [ contextual | no-contextual ]


p {
  font-variant-ligatures: none;


Specification Status Comment
CSS Fonts Module Level 3
The definition of 'font-variant-ligatures' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition

Browser Compatibility

Feature Firefox (Gecko) Chrome Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 34 (34) [1] 31 -webkit
10.0 19.0-webkit 7.0-webkit
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 4.4 -webkit 34.0 (34)[1] ? ? 7.0-webkit

[1] Experimental implementation was available since Gecko 24. It was governed by the preference layout.css.font-features.enabled defaulting to true on Nightly and Aurora only. The none keyword has been added in Gecko 28.

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: vapier,