[INDOLOGY] Devanagari font adequacy

Nityanand Misra nmisra at gmail.com
Mon Jun 20 05:52:44 UTC 2016

The last I checked Murty Hindi was also single weight (no boldface, italic
or bold italic). Has that changed?

Plus you cannot use it for publishing a book (as it would be commercial
use) without permission.

On 20 June 2016 at 03:38, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com> wrote:

> Another font to take seriously is the new Murty Hindi
> <http://www.murtylibrary.com/mcli-fonts.php>, which is pretty good for
> Skt too.   It's a font that, to my eye, looks a lot better on paper than on
> the screen.
> Nota bene also an interesting new Devanagari font created  by Alessandro
> Graheli, that can be seen in his recent publication *History and
> Transmission of the Nyāyamañjarī. Critical Edition of the Section on the
> Sphoṭa *
> (Vienna: ​​
> Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2015
> <http://www.ikga.oeaw.ac.at/Mitarbeiter/Graheli>
> ​) <http://www.ikga.oeaw.ac.at/Mitarbeiter/Graheli>​.  Alessandro has
> been strongly influenced by his long experience with Sanskrit manuscripts,
> and his font reflects the influence of scribal traditions, for example the
> interrupted akṣara-by-akṣara mātrā line.  It's subtle.
> Best,
> Dominik
> --
> Professor Dominik Wujastyk* <http://ualberta.Academia.edu/DominikWujastyk>
> Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity
> Department of History and Classics
> <http://historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/>
> University of Alberta, Canada
> On 18 June 2016 at 22:31, Nityanand Misra <nmisra at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dear Prof. Scharf
>> Are the .tex files available for reference? Would be helpful to use them.
>> Some of the conjuncts in Ulrich Stiehl's list are absent in Sanskrit. For
>> example झ्झ (conjunct # 572 in Stiehl's list) would be impossible in
>> Sanskrit due to झलां जश् झशि.
>> As for the five recommended fonts, how many have bold, bold italic, and
>> italic weights? I know that Chandas, Sanskrit 2003, (and most probably
>> Uttara too) have only one weight. It is impractical to typeset a book in a
>> single weight. One can resort to AutoFakeBold and AutoFakeSlant options in
>> LaTeX but the result would be unprofessional. Another thing is that fonts
>> like Chandas are good for screen, but when printed they look synthetic. The
>> two strokes in र of Chandas are both straight lines, looks very unnatural.
>> The font I have settled for with use in LaTeX is Chanakya Sanskrit by
>> Summit Information Technology Pvt Ltd based in Gurgaon. This is the
>> extension of the legacy Chanakya font that is used by all standard Indian
>> publishers like Gita Press. Beautiful, artistic, and with four weights. It
>> is expensive to buy, but worth the money if one wants to use the fonts to
>> publish books. Sample pages of a book I recently designed and typeset in
>> XeLaTeX using Chanakya Pro (Chanakya Sanskrit is a superset of Chanakya
>> Pro) are attached.
>> PS: Chanakya Pro and Chanakya Sanskrit are both without Vedic accents.
>> This is a limitation.
>> PPS: I stopped using skt package long ago, since XeLaTeX allows direct
>> Unicode input. For four years now I have used XeLaTeX with polyglossia to
>> typeset books in Sanskrit and Hindi.
>> Thanks, Nityanand
>> On 18 June 2016 at 00:58, Peter Scharf <scharfpm7 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Dear Indologists,
>>> I have just completed a comparison of the ligature formation produced by
>>> several Devanagari fonts and thought it might be useful to share the
>>> results of the comparison.  I compared 1260 ligatures formed by the LaTeX
>>> Skt package with seven Unicode fonts.  The ligatures compared were the
>>> combined set of all those listed by Ulrich Stiehl in his document, *Conjunct
>>> Consonants in Sanskrit*, Heidelberg, 21 April 2003, pp. 4--34, and
>>> those listed in the Skt package documentation *Sanskrit for LaTeX2e*,
>>> pp. 22--35.
>>> 1. LaTeX Skt package
>>> 2. Chandas
>>> 3. Uttara
>>> 4. Sanskrit2003
>>> 5. Praja
>>> 6. Arial Unicode MS
>>> 7. Devanagari MT
>>> 8. Mangal
>>> The LaTeX Skt package comes with the TeXLive installation available at
>>> https://www.tug.org/texlive/.  The Chandas and Uttara fonts were
>>> produced by produced by Mihail Bayaryn and are available at
>>> http://www.sanskritweb.net/cakram/.  The Sanskrit2003 font was produced
>>> by Ulrich Stiehl and is available at
>>> http://www.omkarananda-ashram.org/Sanskrit/itranslator2003.htm.  These
>>> fonts are all available free of cost.  Praja was produced by Peter Freund
>>> and is available for $35 at
>>> https://secure.bmtmicro.com/servlets/Orders.ShoppingCart?CID=5115&PRODUCTID=51150002.
>>> Arial Unicode MS is available with Microsoft Office, FrontPage and
>>> Publisher, with the installation of international support.  Devanagari MT
>>> is available with Mac systems with the Asian languages support.  Mangal is
>>> available with Windows systems with supplemental language support.
>>> The comparison showed that Chandas and Uttara are able to form all
>>> conjuncts correctly with the exception of seven sequences: *ṅkṣṇva*,
>>> *ṅrvya*, *ṭhthya*, *dḍḍa*, *ddbra*, *ddvra*, *l̃la*, without the
>>> interruption of an inappropriate virāma.  The LaTeX Skt package handles all
>>> but 29.  Sanskrit 2003 lacked 80, Praja 187, Arial Unicode MS 201,
>>> Devanagari MT 232, and Mangal 236.  I also checked the behavior of the
>>> fonts in handling the accents in the Devanagari extended, and Vedic
>>> extenstions Unicode pages.  Only the Praja font handled them all properly,
>>> the LaTeX Skt package handles most Vedic accentuation, while most fonts
>>> handled only the common accentual system.  A test of Vedic accents with any
>>> font can be performed by visiting the Sanskrit Library's interactive Vedic
>>> Unicode character phonetic value table at
>>> http://sanskritlibrary.org/accents.html.  Simply set your browser to
>>> use the font you would like to test.
>>> The first five fonts listed are therefore commendable; the last three
>>> are inadequate for Sanskrit.  It would be desirable for Mihail Bayaryn and
>>> Ulrich Stiehl to upgrade their fonts, which otherwise handle conjuncts very
>>> comprehensively, to handle the Vedic characters in the two Unicode pages
>>> mentioned including in particular the combining candrabindu with semivowels
>>> *l*, *y*, and *v*.
>>> Other Indic fonts not tested are described on the University of
>>> Chicago's South Asia Language Resource Center page at
>>> http://salrc.uchicago.edu/resources/fonts/available/hindi/.
>>> Yours,
>>> Peter
>>> *************************
>>> Peter M. Scharf
>>> scharfpm7 at gmail.com
>>> *************************
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>> --
>> Nityānanda Miśra
>> http://nmisra.googlepages.com
>> _______________________________________________
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Nityānanda Miśra

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