Arabic Fonts

A range of Arabic script fonts designed for different regions of the world


SIL’s Non-Roman Script Initiative has created a number of fonts for use in writing Arabic script. These are listed below:

  • Scheherazade is a Naskh-style font covering just about every need we know about in the Arabic script world.

  • Lateef is also a Naskh-style font and is an appropriate style for use in Sindhi and other languages of the southern Asia.

  • Harmattan was designed to suit the needs of languages using the Arabic script in West Africa.

  • Alkalami (still in development) is designed for a special style of Arabic script used in the Kano region of Nigeria and in Niger.

  • Awami Nastaliq (still in development) is a Nastaliq-style font supporting a wide variety of languages of Pakistan, including but not limited to Urdu.

Supporting language development

SIL serves language communities worldwide, building their capacity for sustainable language development, by means of research, translation, training and materials development. See SIL home page.

Application Support

Since Arabic script is complex, applications must support all the special features Arabic requires. This includes supporting right-to-left behavior, positional forms of characters (isolate, initial, medial and final) as well as dynamically positioned diacritics, ligatures, or alternate glyphs. In order to understand how to use Arabic script on the computer, you can read more about the level of Arabic script support in various applications...

Comparing the fonts

Our Arabic script fonts were designed for a variety of styles and uses. Each of our fonts support a different set of Arabic script characters. The font with complete Arabic script coverage is Scheherazade. Each of the other fonts support a subset of the Arabic script. In order to understand which font would best be suited for your needs you can view a chart comparing the character sets and styles of the fonts...

Common questions

What is so special about the SIL fonts?

Our Arabic script fonts are designed to work with two advanced font technologies, Graphite and OpenType. To take advantage of the advanced typographic capabilities of these fonts, you must be using applications that provide an adequate level of support for Graphite or OpenType. These advanced capabilities provide the logic for complex rendering of the Arabic script and access to the variant character forms used in many languages.

See complete Arabic Fonts - FAQ list.

See Application Support for technical details.

See Using SIL Web Fonts.

Recent news