This Charis SIL font is essentially the same design as the SIL Charis font first released by SIL in 1997. Charis is similar to Bitstream Charter, one of the first fonts designed specifically for laser printers. It is highly readable and holds up well in less-than-ideal reproduction environments. It also has a full set of styles – regular, italic, bold, bold italic. Charis is a serif, proportionally-spaced font optimized for readability in long printed documents.

The goal for this product was to provide a single Unicode-based font family that would contain a comprehensive inventory of glyphs needed for almost any Roman- or Cyrillic-based writing system, whether used for phonetic or orthographic needs. In addition, there is provision for other characters and symbols useful to linguists. This font makes use of state-of-the-art font technologies to support complex typographic issues, such as the need to position arbitrary combinations of base glyphs and diacritics optimally.

Four fonts from this typeface family are included in this release:

  • Charis SIL Regular
  • Charis SIL Bold
  • Charis SIL Italic
  • Charis SIL Bold Italic

Type Samples

For a complete list of characters included in Charis SIL, see Character Set Support.

Type samples showing an inventory of some of the unusual of glyphs and features can be downloaded here: Charis SIL Type Sample.

A sample from one page is shown below.

Charis SIL Sample - Precomposed Latin Diacritics
Charis SIL Sample – Precomposed Latin Diacritics

Note regarding Charter

The design of the basic character set of Charis SIL is similar (but not identical) to Bitstream Charter, designed by Matthew Carter. The following notice accompanied the Charter fonts:


(c) Copyright 1989-1992, Bitstream Inc., Cambridge, MA.

You are hereby granted permission under all Bitstream propriety rights to use, copy, modify, sublicense, sell, and redistribute the 4 Bitstream Charter (r) Type 1 outline fonts and the 4 Courier Type 1 outline fonts for any purpose and without restriction; provided, that this notice is left intact on all copies of such fonts and that Bitstream’s trademark is acknowledged as shown below on all unmodified copies of the 4 Charter Type 1 fonts.

BITSTREAM CHARTER is a registered trademark of Bitstream Inc.


SIL International is the creator of the Charis SIL fonts, and is the owner of all proprietary rights therein.