Re: Where is UTF-8 Font

From: Markus Kuhn (
Date: Wed Apr 14 1999 - 15:11:26 EDT

Brent Welch wrote on 1999-04-14 17:34 UTC:
> Can someone give me an up-to-date pointer to the UTF-8 font?

In case you mean my ISO 10646-1 extension of the X11 6x13 "fixed" font.

You can download it from

where you will also find links to some other Unicode fonts and related
information. This ISO 10646-1 fixed font will most likely be shipped
with XFree86 4.0 in a few weeks, so it will hopefully soon be available
by default on millions of X servers out there. The other major X11 BDF
fonts available apart from 6x13 (fixed-width) are Roman's unifont
(biwidth) and Mark's ClearlyU (proportional).

By the way: "UTF-8 font" is a somewhat strange term, because the
character set that the font covers is called either Unicode, UCS
(Universal Character Set), or ISO 10646-1. UTF-8 is just an encoding
that allows you to put Unicode characters in an ASCII compatible way
into files, mails, etc. So the term "UTF-8 font" sounds a bit as strange
as a "base64 font". UTF-8 is defined in ISO/IEC 10646-1 Annex R and
also in RFC 2279. A quick summary is also the utf-8 Linux man page on

> My understanding is that it displays most/all of the Unicode
> character space?

Unicode and ISO 10646 have around 40000 characters at the moment,
however only around 2800 of them make actually sense to be implemented
in a 6x13 pixel character cell size. The 6x13 font implements this
subset. It does not contain Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indic, and a few
other scripts. It does cover all letters that are even remotely related
to the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts, as well as practically all
the block graphics, mathematics, technical, etc. characters.

> I always run into font conversion issues when
> I try to grab fonts, so if you have pointers to deal with fonts
> on Windows and Unix, please let me know, too.

Again, examine the links on

and you will quickly get to all the major web sources on this topic. Let
me know if you have any specific problems.

> The context of
> this is Tcl 8.1, which has nice I18l support, and exmh, a mail
> reader that is already aware of character set encodings.

I love exmh and it would be very neat if it could display received UTF-8
mail directly with some ISO 10646-1 font.


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at,  WWW: <>

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