[INDOLOGY] Sanskrit characters: a comparison of 12 fonts and their coverage of conjuncts

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Tue Jul 11 11:17:31 UTC 2023

This is a most helpful reference, thank you!

My own table of comparisons is more aimed at conveying the look-and-feel of
fonts as text, with a few diagnostic conjuncts thrown in.


All this makes me think that we should develop some Lorem Ipsum text, and
some "Quick brown fox
text for Devanagari, as a kind of stress test or trip test.


On Tue, 11 Jul 2023 at 04:35, Peter Scharf via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Indologists,
> In 2016 (Friday, 17 June 2:28pm) I shared the results of the ligature
> formation produced by several Devanagari fonts.  I have just completed a
> revised comparison and thought it would be useful to share the results of
> this comparison as well.  A PDF of the comparison is available on The
> Sanskrit Library's Publications page at
> https://sanskritlibrary.org/publications.html under the title *Sanskrit
> characters: a comparison of 12 fonts and their coverage of conjuncts*.
> As previously 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.  The fonts compared
> this time add Siddhanta, Sanskrit2020, Shobhika-Regular, and
> Shobhika-Bold.  The full list is as follows:
> 1. LaTeX Skt package
> 2. Chandas
> 3. Uttara
> 4. Siddhanta
> 5. Sanskrit2003
> 6. Sanskrit2020
> 7. Shobhika-Regular
> 8. Shobhika-Bold
> 9. Praja
> 10. Arial Unicode MS
> 11. Devanagari MT
> 12. Mangal
> The LaTeX Skt package comes with the TeXLive installation available at
> https://www.tug.org/texlive/.  The Chandas, Uttara, and Siddhanta fonts
> were produced by Mihail Bayaryn.  The first two are available at
> http://www.sanskritweb.net/cakram/; all three are linked to
> http://svayambhava.blogspot.com/p/siddhanta-devanagariunicode-open-type.html.
> The Sanskrit2003 font was produced by Ulrich Stiehl and is available at
> http://www.omkarananda-ashram.org/Sanskrit/itranslator2003.htm, and the
> Sanskrit2020 font is an updated version of it that includes the
> VedicExtensions Unicode block to accommodate Vedic accents available at
> https://sourceforge.net/projects/advaita-sharada-font/files/Devanagari/.
> 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 the Shobhika fonts (Regular and Bold) are able
> to produce all conjuncts correctly, without the interruption of an
> inappropriate virāma, with the exception of two ṭty and ṭṣṭh.  Siddhanta
> excepts just four: ṅkṣṇv, ṅkhn, ddbr, l̃l.  Chandas and Uttara are able to
> form all conjuncts correctly with the exception of seven sequences: ṅkṣṇv,
> ṅrvy, ṭhthy, dḍḍ, ddbr, ddvr, l̃l.  The LaTeX Skt package handles all but
> 29.  Sanskrit 2003 lacked 82, Sanskrit 2020 lacks 81, Praja 187, Arial
> Unicode MS 202, Devanagari MT 232, and Mangal 236.
> I also checked the behavior of the fonts in handling the accents in the
> Devanagari extended, and Vedic extensions Unicode pages.  Only Praja font
> handled them all properly, the LaTeX Skt package handles most Vedic
> accentuation, Sanskrit 2020 handles all but the Maitrāyaṇī Saṁhitā
> midstroke.  Shobhika handles all but this and the Samaveda accents.  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 eight fonts listed, i.e. Shobhika, Siddhanta, Chandas, Uttara,
> LaTeX Skt, Sanskrit 2003 and 2020, and Praja, are therefore commendable;
> the last three are inadequate for Sanskrit.  Mihail Bayaryn's fonts use
> private code points to handle accents.  It would be desirable for him to
> upgrade his 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, President
> The Sanskrit Library
> scharf at sanskritlibrary.org
> https://sanskritlibrary.org
> ******************************
> Peter Scharf
> scharfpm7 at gmail.com
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> https://list.indology.info/mailman/listinfo/indology
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