Arabic script is a complex and difficult script, and this complexity is compounded by the fact that Arabic script is used for many different languages and cultures with variations in acceptable calligraphic style. From a computer perspective at least, the technologies used to implement Arabic script are not yet fully mature. The result is that while a given font might work for one set of languages on a given software platform, the same font might not work for other languages or on other platforms. This means that it is very difficult to give an accurate answer to the question of software requirements.

Due to its complex calligraphic form, Nastaliq has proved to be one of the most difficult forms of writing to support on the computer. Few Nastaliq fonts have ever supported Urdu well. Awami Nastaliq attempts to support minority languages as well as Urdu using the Nastaliq style of script.

Application support

The Awami Nastaliq font requires software enabled with the very latest Graphite engine (version 1.3.4+) in order to render correctly. The font does not support OpenType rendering. It will not work with standard software such as Microsoft Office.

Currently, the only software that can render Awami Nastaliq are LibreOffice, Mozilla Firefox and XeTeX.

If a developer wishes to add support for Graphite, the Graphite engine is available here.

Mozilla Firefox 46+

Mozilla Firefox 46+ supports version 1.3.4 of the Graphite engine. This is true for Windows, Linux and OSX. Please see for instructions on enabling Graphite in Firefox.

LibreOffice 5.1.3

LibreOffice 5.1.3 supports version 1.3.4 of the Graphite engine. This is the minimum version of LibreOffice that supports Awami Nastaliq. It has a bug where certain characters (eg, the small tah) would be displayed in an incorrect position.

LibreOffice 5.2 will provide even better support for the font.

LibreOffice 5.2+

LibreOffice 5.2 will support version 1.3.8 of the Graphite engine.


The TeXLive 2016 version of XeTeX supports version 1.3.8 of the Graphite2 engine. TeXLive 2016 is available from

To use the full collision avoidance (both intra- and inter- word) of Awami in XeTeX a macro parameter needs to be set.

This parameter should be set in a .tex file. The file could look something like:

%% Cross-space contextualization

% No cross-space contextualization.
% This is how XeTeX behaves by default.
% Most projects will use this setting.
%\XeTeXinterwordspaceshaping = 0

% Some cross-space contextualization.
% Spaces between words are adjusted,
% but the rendering of individual words is not affected by the spaces.
%\XeTeXinterwordspaceshaping = 1

% Full cross-space contextualization.
% Spaces between words are adjusted,
% and the rendering of individual words is affected by the spaces.
%\XeTeXinterwordspaceshaping = 2

The above text (all comments and commented out statements) will give the same behaviour as before this feature was added to XeTeX, so existing users do not see any unexpected changes.

Advanced features

See Smart Font Features for further information.