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Finding Fonts for Internationalization FAQ

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Archive-name: internationalization/font-faq
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                        International Fonts,
			Fonts for ISO 8859-X


If you have any further information about *free* fonts which may be
useful to others, please use the following URL to add a font to the

Please try to fill out the form as accurately as you can!

This document only covers fonts which are available free of charge,
via the internet.  This is NOT a free advertisement for commercial
font founderies.  (So if you are a commercial foundery, don't bother
me about including pointers to your commercial products!)

Unfortunately archives move a lot, appear or disappear.  I cannot keep
track of everything, so please let me know if you find errors.  Also,
since the material changes so often, formatting is not always up to
snuff.  (This is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, not to
win any editing prizes...)

1. Which coding should I use for accented characters?
Use the internationally standardized ISO-8859-X character sets to type
accented characters.

8859-1 is also used by MS-Windows (Actually, MS-Windows
uses UNICODE (ISO 10646) truncated to 8 bit, which gives an equivalent
encoding.), VMS and (practically all) UNIX implementations. MS-DOS
uses a different character set and is not compatible with this
character set. (It can, however, be translated to this format with
various tools. See section 7.)

ISO 8859-1 supports the following languages:
Afrikaans, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, Faeroese, Finnish, French,
German, Galician, Irish, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese,
Spanish and Swedish. 

(It has been called to my attention that Albanian can be written with
ISO 8859-1 also.  However, from a standards point of view, ISO 8859-2
is the appropriate character set for Balkan countries.)

ISO 8859-1 is just one part of the ISO-8859 standard, which specifies
several character sets, e.g.:
8859-1	Europe, Latin America
8859-2  Eastern Europe
8859-3  SE Europe 
8859-4  Scandinavia (mostly covered by 8859-1 also)
8859-5  Cyrillic
8859-6  Arabic
8859-7  Greek 
8859-8  Hebrew
8859-9  Latin5, same as 8859-1 except for Turkish instead of Icelandic
8859-10 Latin6, for Eskimo/Scandinavian languages

For an overview of these fonts, see

2. Font conversions

Most of the font formats discussed here can be converted to the other
formats in this FAQ.  For information on how to achieve this check out
the font FAQ posted regularly in comp.fonts and the comp.font www
home page at

3. Availability for the X Window System

An overview of the ISO 8859-X fonts is available at  You can also down-load
these fonts as bdf fonts to install on your X window system.

X Windows has several ISO 8859-1 character sets in the standard
distribution (those whose names end in iso8859-1).  If you are using
X11R5, note that some fonts are labeled as ISO compliant fonts which
they are not.

The X11R6 release contains a font for this cxharacter set.  More fonts
can be found at URLs
<>   X11
<>			various operation systems
<>		mostly Unix/X11
<>     (mirror of almos)
<>	mostly Unix/X11 has X
fonts for 8859-2 and Linux support for the Czech language.

You can find fonts for 8859-3 at URL  Not all the fonts
are Latin-3.  At least "adobe3.tar.gz" and "l3-tiparoj.tar.gz" contain
Latin-3 BDF fonts.

Also, there are fonts  at URL

8859-4 through 8859-10
You can find fonts for these character sets at URL  

Check out the
(esp. subdirectories .../fonts and .../xwin).  It has a host of
Russian fonts.  Also, check out the fonts in  This archive contains ISO
8859-5, Koi8 and Alt fonts (Alt is very popular on PCs.).  If you use
emacs, russian.el allows you to use one font for the buffer and
another for the display.
More fonts for Cyrillic scripts can be found at 

ISO 8859-6 fonts (insofar as glyph-encoded fonts can represent an
abstract character set) are available from

a set of Helvetica and Courier fonts can be found at 

Additional Unix fonts for Greek are available via

Several fonts for this character set family can be found in the
metamail package.  The `metamail' package is available via anonymous
ftp from in /pub/nsb.  These fonts are in bdf
format and can be found in <metamail-root>/src/fonts.  You will also
need software which supports right-to-left writing, such as the MULE
system for emacs.  Information about MULE can be found on in /pub/8bit/MULE.

Fonts can also be found at

There are a couple versions of an ISO_8859-10 font for X, the first
version of which was based on the ECMA-144 standard and its depictions
of the characters.  The second version of this font was a revision of
the first to improve the appearance of certain accented characters,
and to modify the appearance of some of the Latin-6-specific characters
to reflect their appearances from what printed material the author
could find.

    Both of these BDF font files can be found by anonymous FTP

These fonts should also end up at the X Consortium ftp server

Other Fonts

Languages	Character set	Font
Thai		TIS620		<MULE-root>/fonts/ETL.tar.gz
Vietnamese	VISCII
Vietnamese	VISCII		<MULE-root>/fonts/ETL.tar.gz
Arabic		MULE-ETL	<MULE-root>/fonts/ETL.tar.gz
Persian		MULE-ETL	<MULE-root>/fonts/ETL.tar.gz
Persian		?
IPA		MULE-ETL	<MULE-root>/fonts/ETL.tar.gz

MULE-ETL is a MULE-specific character set, IPA stands for
International Phonetic Alphabet.  <MULE-root> refers to the root where
you have installed MULE (MULE is a MULtilingual Enhancement to GNU
Emacs).  More information on MULE and the MULE package can be found on

4. DOS
IBM code page 819 is the same as ISO 8859-1. I believe that 850 is the
code page that has all of the characters in different positions.

IBM code page 912 is the same as ISO 8859-2, but 852 is the one that
comes with (all versions of) DOS, which has all of ISO 8859-2's
characters in different positions.

Alternatively, you can reconfigure your MS-DOS PC to use publicly
available, free ISO-8859-X code pages.  Check out the anonymous ftp
archive, which contains data on how to do this
(and other ISO-related stuff) in /pub/doc/ISO/charsets.  The README
file contains an index of the files you need.

5. MS-Windows 

There are different Windows code pages, just as there are different
DOS code pages. The one used for western European languages is 1252,
which is a superset of ISO 8859-1 (1252 makes use of the control
characters from 0x80 to 0x9F). Similarly, 1250 is a superset of ISO
8859-2. (Some characters actually seem to have changed character code
position, so it is not fully compatible!) 

"   Unfortunately, there are significant diffrences between ISO 8859-2
and the Windoze CP1250.  While most of the characters are identical,
there are maybe a dozen that appear in different positions in CP1250
when viewing an iso-8859-2-encoded text, so once cannot say that it is
truly a superset -- some translations still need to be done.
    The problem will be noticed if using, say, Netscape2.x for Windows
and viewing a page which is delivered with ISO-8859-2 MIME charset tagging,
when one has selected a CE (CP1250) font.  The present beta versions of
Netscape2.0 do not incorporate translation, nor do they recognize any
Central European MIME charsets other than ISO-8859-2 and an unregistered
Mac charset."

There are also versions for Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, and Turkish,
corresponding to ISO 8859-6, -7, -8, and -9.  (The encoding of
Cyrillic may be non-ISO-8859.)

contains several TTF fonts in Latin-3, as well as some keyboard 
utilities for MS-Windows.

Greek Fonts This is part of the Hellenic Resources
Network web site and contains a host of information and free
material(fonts, software) for use with Greek character sets.

Hebrew fonts (8859-8)

IPA International Phonetic Alphabet fonts will get you to the Summer Institute of Linguistics, who
have IPA fonts in both T1 and TT.

Various fonts

This is a demo version of Accent. But after installing (and deleting)
the demo you still have four TrueType fonts: East European (Latin 2),
Greek, Cyrillic, Turkish (Latin 5).

Geaorgian Fonts

Tibetan Font & Keyboard Software for PC's 
(Christopher J Fynn <>)
My TibKey software (a context sensitive Tibetan Keyboard for 
Windows 3.1x and '95), and one of my Tibetan fonts in TrueType 
format, along with associated documentation can be found at:
This software and font will allow you to enter Tibetan in most
Windows applications. Freeware.

Bengali Font
A shareware Bengali TrueType font for Windows, available by FTP is at

Indic Languages
Roman Fonts with diacritics for transliterating Indic languages
(Hindi, Sanskrit, Nepali, Bengali, etc., etc.):
> I have spent some hours recently making up a CS (Computer
> Sanskrit) version of Adobe's font "Utopia".  It is quite a nice
> font, perhaps a little more of a "book-face" than the Bitstream
> Charter that has been available for some time in CS encoding.
> The Utopia font is a professionally designed typeface which has
> been officially released by Adobe Inc. for free distribution.
> I have made the following files available:
> adobe-utopia-font-CS-encoding-PS-10.readme
>    and 
> adobe-utopia-font-CS-encoding-TTF-10.readme
> adobe-utopia-font-CS-encoding-TTF-10.readme
> by anonymous ftp from
> in /pub/users/ucgadkw/indology/software
> or via your web browser at URL
> (follow the links to INDOLOGY supplementary gopher -- software)
2. ===
> In the fonts directory you will be able to find Bitstream Charter 
> in Postscript (type 1) format, and some Macintosh True Type Fonts with 
> all the diacritics for Devanagari.

Pinyin Fonts for Windows
Pinyin TT fonts are availble at 

Egyptian Hieroglyphics
There is a computer-assisted Egyptology centre at the University of
Utrecht's Faculty of Theology. They have a WWW site offering
hieroglyphics fonts for both Mac and PC (TrueType). About 900 glyphs
are included.  Their URL is

VISCII TrueType/Type1 in 
(,, t1font1x.exe, ...)

Cyrillic or

Chinese True Type 

unknown encoding and whether simplified/traditional:

these are traditional Chinese for the Mac encoded in BIG5

Korean (Hangul) Type 1 font
also has a hangul to PS converter (h2ps) has an extensive set of  X11 and
PS fonts. At the same archive, there's another Hangul to PS translator
hpscat in /incoming/hangul and /pub/hangul/print.(KAIST archive is
mirrored at in the US, in Korea
and in Germany). Hangul
fonts for TeX are available at CTAN archives(e.g and throughout the world in ~ctan-archive/font/korean
where there are PS,metafont and PK images of several typefaces. 31 sets
of Hangul fonts for TeX are also available at 
(mirrored at ). On top
of that, X11 R5 or later comes with three Hangul fonts in BDF format.
Check out the Yamada library on

6. Printing

6.1 Adobe PS fonts

To print text files on Postscript printers, you first have to
translate them to Postscript programs.  A number of utility programs
exist which can perform this job.

A very popular filter to perform this job is a2ps, which support files
in ISO 8859-1 encoding when invoked with the -8 switch.  There are a
number of variants fopund on the net which support other encodings,
such as Cyrillic.

An alternative is to use the GNU enscript (genscript) program, which
supports multiple character sets in one binary.  genscript is found
on the GNU mirror next to you.

Alas, these filters rely on your Postscript fonts containing all the
right characters.  While most any font available today supports the
full Latin1 set, East Block users are less fortunate.  Most fonts
found in printers do not support all their special characters.  Two
solutions exist:

*  you can download a font which does support all the right characters
(the IBM Courier font which is publically available (e.g., in the
X11R6 distributio contains all the required characters)

* or you can assemble your own special characters.  Note that most any
Adobe font contains all the required accents marks, so all you have to
do is tell the printer to put the right accent mark on the right

So far, so good.  The principle is simple though the job does require
considerable Postscript experience if you have to start from scratch.
Alternatively, you can pick up all the tools you need to assemble your
very own font from 
which will take care of all the low-level Postscript stuff so that
indeed all you have to say is how to put what accent mark where.

6.1.1 IPA Adobe Type1
* IPA fonts can be found on

6.2 Printing with MULE 
To print various characters supported by Mule, we provide a
program `m2ps' which will be installed automatically while
installing mule (just as etags, emacsclient).  `m2ps'
converts Mule's text to PostScript by using BDF files for
getting glyphs of characters.

This utility allows printing of all character sets supported by either
your X11 distribution or found in the MULE distribution.

7. Latex

For ISO 8859-1, you should use the inputenv package with the latin1

If you use pre 2e version of Latex, use isolatin.sty or isolatin1.sty
instead.  These are available from URL 

The ISO 8859-2 character set (ex-East Block), is supported by
`latin2.sty': latin2.sty is available by ftp from the host as `/pub/tex/macros/latex/contrib/latin2.sty'.

If you need a Fraktur font, check out which contains a TeX/MF
fraktur font.

Vietnamese VISCII
(Also contains groff fonts in .../groff_font.tar.Z)

8. ISO 10646
Everson Mono is a simple, elegant, monowidth font. I designed it
primarily to make glyphs available in support of _all_ the non-Han
characters in the Basic Multilingual Plane of ISO/IEC 10646-1
(BMP = Unicode, if you prefer), though I hope that users may find
it a pleasant alternative to Courier and Monaco for general
purposes, e-mail, and so forth. I have found it quite legible at
sizes as small as 4 points. It is lighter and a bit looser than

At the present time, these glyphs are available in 8-bit font
modules. However, I have configured the font editor I use (Altsys'
excellent Fontographer) to output TrueType fonts with correct
16-bit hex addresses, and the PostScript fonts with name unique,
unambiguous aliases to 10646. The first half of each fonts is
ASCII (Table 1, Basic Latin); I have had to resort to this
(arguably wasteful) method of encoding because many applications
display a font in its own face, rather than simply by name,
potentially rendering the font name illegible. As 16-bit
compatible technology becomes more available, I will be reencoding
these glyphs to more convenient formats. (On the other hand, you
could consider all these to be micro-subsets of 10646, and since
subsets have to include Table 1, they're all conformant....)

Everson Mono is also available in all Macintosh character set
formats, suitable for use with Apple's WorldScript technology.

Everson Mono is available as PostScript and TrueType fonts in
Macintosh and PC formats, and as PostScript fonts in NeXT and Sun
formats. Hand-tooled bitmaps for alphabetic characters are
available in 9-, 10-, and 12-point sizes; hand-tooled 12-point
bitmaps only may be available for some of the symbol characters.

Everson Mono fonts are available by anonymous ftp at:        /CEN/TC304/EversonMono10646    /mgunn/everson/EversonMono10646 /pub/i18n/ucs/EversonMono10646      

The most current version will always be on the Danish server.

As of this announcement (1995-06-05) only the Macintosh (TT/PS),
NeXT (PS), and Sun (PS) formats are available. The PC (TT/PS)
fonts are not yet available because I am still trying to figure
out just how the draconian xxxxxxxx.yyy naming conventions are
supposed to work for all these outline and bitmap files. I will
upload them as soon as I can. After that then each set of new
Everson Mono fonts will be uploaded in all four formats.

Another Unicode char set is at

xfed, bdftopcf, mkfontdir, fs, xset fp+ [fontpath], xset fp rehash

9. Character Set Names
A list of official character set names (for MIME and other internet
purposes) can be found as RFC 1345 on

10. Other sources for fonts
The Multiplingual PC Directory discusses internet font sites under URL  The fonts indexed
there come in various fromats, but most can be adapted to whatever is
needed by referring to the conversion methods described in the
comp.fonts FAQ (URL 

The Internet font archive is at

11. Home location
11.1 www
You can find this and other i18n documents under URL

The comp.fonts home page is at

11.2 ftp
This document is available via anonymous ftp from as /pub/8bit/i18n-fonts.


Copyright © 1994,1995,1996 Michael Gschwind (

This document may be copied for non-commercial purposes, provided this
copyright notice appears.  Publication in any other form requires the
author's consent. (Distribution or publication with a product requires
the author's consent, as does publication in any book, journal or
other work.)

Dieses Dokument darf unter Angabe dieser urheberrechtlichen
Bestimmungen zum Zwecke der nicht-kommerziellen Nutzung beliebig
vervielfältigt werden.  Die Publikation in jeglicher anderer Form
erfordert die Zustimmung des Autors.  (Verteilung oder Publikation mit
einem Produkt erfordert die Zustimmung des Autors, wie auch die
Veröffentlichung in Büchern, Zeitschriften, oder anderen Werken.)

Michael Gschwind, PhD, Institut f. Technische Informatik, TU Wien
snail: Treitlstraße 1-182-2 || A-1040 Wien || Austria
email:   PGP key available via www (or email)
www  : URL:
phone: +(43)(1)58801 8156	   fax: +(43)(1)586 9697

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM