Re: [INDOLOGY] Fwd: Font for sanskrit/pāli

Adheesh Sathaye adheesh1 at
Wed Jul 31 18:09:34 UTC 2019

The Brill font is quite good, and designed for languages that Brill regularly publishes, including Pali.

According to Brill’s End User License Agreement, the font is free to use for non-commercial publication. (see: So it should be OK for a dissertation that isn’t being put up for sale (as the original inquiry had stated, I think). If a publication is being marketed commercially, it would anyway be the publisher’s responsibilty to purchase a license for whichever commercial font they need for typesetting your work. 

Gentium and a couple of other fonts released by SIL (e.g., Charis as suggested by another colleague) have very good coverage of diacritics, and they describe which ranges of the Unicode standard they cover:

The advantage of SIL fonts is that they are created both for both OpenType and Graphite based applications, meaning that in theory they ought to render correctly on all platforms (this is rarely an issue for diacritics, as opposed to Devanagari and other contextual scripts). 

Google Fonts is another excellent trove for hundreds of fonts, all of which are Unicode compliant, open source, and free to use. Their interface is also quite user friendly and versatile, although there is a bit of a restriction in how many fonts can be downloaded at a time. Among other things, one can easily and rather robustly search for how specific Unicode characters are displayed (or if they’re displayed) within the various fonts. 

So for example, in searching for the rather rare “r̥̄”, one finds a handful of fonts, such as Cardo, that do support it (though most don’t). One can type in the range of diacritic characters that one will need into the text box and see which fonts support them, and which fonts turn them into “tofu” ().

With best wishes,


> On Jul 30, 2019, at 19:22, Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <indology at> wrote:
> The Brill font has many virtues, but it isn't free for general use.  Only on your own computer.  If you want to publish something, you have to ask Brill's permission.  Same with the Murty fonts.
> The rendering of macrons etc. could be a font issue, but it could also be a limitation of the text composition software being used.
> Try TeX Gyre Pagella?  Or Libertinus Serif?  Both free and excellent.
> Best,
> Dominik
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> indology-owner at (messages to the list's managing committee)
> (where you can change your list options or unsubscribe)

Dr. Adheesh Sathaye
Associate Professor of Sanskrit Literature and South Asian Folklore 
Dept. of Asian Studies || University of British Columbia
408-1871 West Mall || Vancouver BC CANADA V6T1Z2
adheesh at  || +1.604.822.5188

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: attachment.gif
Type: image/gif
Size: 43 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list