[INDOLOGY] Devanagari font adequacy

Nityanand Misra nmisra at gmail.com
Mon Jun 20 05:58:24 UTC 2016

Just checked, and the file available for download (Murty-Hindi-1.01.zip)
has only one OTF file (Murty-Hindi-1.01.otf).

For quality publishing, at least boldface and normal are needed, italic and
bold italic further add value. A single weight is just not enough for a
good book typeset in Devanagari (think of Nirnay Sagar Press and Gita Press

On 20 June 2016 at 11:22, Nityanand Misra <nmisra at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> http://nmisra.googlepages.com

Nityānanda Miśra

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