[XeTeX] List of free Unicode fonts

Mike Maxwell maxwell at umiacs.umd.edu
Sat Aug 29 19:17:40 CEST 2009

Gareth Hughes wrote:
> I've noticed that there a lot of decent, free Unicode fonts available,
> some of which have interesting OpenType features to play with with
> XeTeX. I've put together the following PDF as a general guide and would
> like any suggestions or comments from the list. The PDF can be
> downloaded from:
> http://www.garzo.co.uk/documents/freefonts.pdf

I thank you for this, which is quite interesting.  But allow me to bring
up my gripe--with the makers of these fonts, not with you.  My gripe is
that very few of them give any clear indication of the Unicode ranges 
they cover, much less the exact code points.

I'm gotten on this hobby horse because we're looking for a monospaced
font that covers the Pashto characters.  (Monospaced so we can work with
XML docs in a programmer's editor, or in a terminal; we have suitable
proportionally spaced fonts for Pashto.)  Now Pashto uses an Arabic
script, but adds some characters not found in standard Arabic (like
U+681, 685, 689...).  Do you think we can find which fonts do these
characters, without downloading them and trying them out?  If you
answered "No!", you get five brownie points.

Take the DejaVu fonts, for instance.  They allegedly do the "Arabic"
script, but is there a code chart anywhere on their site?  (OK, I
eventually found this one:
But I have no idea what links to it, it's not easy to find.)

The Gnu FreeFont goes part way: it tells you, for a given Unicode range,
how many of the code points out of that range are covered, but not
(afaict) which ones.  (Given that it only covers 67/251 in a serif font,
and none in the other styles, my guess is that it does not cover
Pashto--and obviously not as a monospaced font.)

BTW, another site that lists Unicode fonts and coverage is
    Mike Maxwell
    What good is a universe without somebody around to look at it?
    --Robert Dicke, Princeton physicist

More information about the XeTeX mailing list