RE: Unworkable Fonts

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Fri Jul 05 2002 - 15:51:12 EDT

Tom Gewecke wrote:
> Marco wrote:
> >For several scripts in modern usage, there are practically
> no workable
> >Unicode fonts in existence: Bengali, Gujarati, Gurmukhi,
> Kannada, Khmer,
> >Lao, Malayalam, Mongolian, Myanmar, Oriya, Sinhala, Telugu,
> Thaana, Tibetan.
> >Please contradict me, I'll be happy to be wrong!
> I think Alan Wood's site does list fonts for all these except
> Mongolian and
> Sinhala. Could you elaborate for those not intimate with
> these scripts why
> the existing fonts are not "workable" for web page display at least?

The only fonts I know in Alan Wood's Indic entries, are Arial Unicode MS and
Code2000. I'd be glad to know more about the other fonts listed: their
features and availability.

So far I had no success using those two fonts to display the above scripts.
I tried on Win NT and Win 2000.

Both fonts contain the "nominal" glyphs for all or most Indic scripts, but
they don't seem to contain all the extra glyphs and OpenType substitution
rules needed to produce valid output. My impression is that they only
support Devanagari (Hindi), Tamil, and Thai.

I seem to remember that Microsoft said they did not support any Indic
scripts apart Devanagari and Tamil. But perhaps now the status is different,
and they'll let us know.

As for James Kass, the author of Code2000, he is a member of this list.
Perhaps he can be more precise about the status of his font and his future

Beside that, the last time I checked, Arial Unicode MS was distributed as
part of MS Office, which implies that the pricing may not be affordable for
many people in the area.

So, as far as I know, James Kass's shareware font remains the only
pan-Unicode font with a reasonable price tag.

(I know! I am not asking Unicode or Microsoft to solve the economic problems
of the world. Anyway, ignoring the $$$ factor does not help understanding
why things go the way they go).


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