SIL’s Non-Roman Script Initiative has created very comprehensive fonts for Latin and Cyrillic character sets. Charis SIL, Doulos SIL, Gentium Plus and Andika are very large fonts that cover just about every need we know about in the Latin and Cyrillic world. Now, as we move into the age of mobile phone and web usage, there is a need for fonts that are small and compact. Our fonts are over a megabyte each and that is considered much too large for mobile phone usage.
Current commercial font subsetting schemes remove the smart font information from a font when subsetting a font. While this may be acceptable for majority languages, we consider this unacceptable as so many languages in the world require smart diacritic positioning above and/or below base characters. We have now created subsets of our fonts for different regions of the world. These fonts contain both OpenType smart code and Graphite. Each regional font only contains the characters (and glyphs) that are known to be used in that region of the world. We have attempted to use the most common glyph required for that region. For instance, in Africa and parts of the Pacific the most common form for U+014A is the large form of the small ŋ (Ŋ), and in Europe, Eurasia and the Americas the glyph for Ŋ is most commonly based on the “N”.
Our font subset packages also contain .woff versions of our fonts. These are especially useful in the context of mobile phone and web usage. Further information on how to use .woff fonts can be found here: Using SIL Web Fonts.
The font subsets can be downloaded from the main download page. The download contains 64 fonts; each regional subset has eight fonts. Both .ttf and .woff fonts are included in the download.
With the exception of the phonetic [Phon] font, the font subsets are intended for orthographic use only. We have not put anything in the other subsets for phonetic, transliteration, or transcription use. For those purposes, use the phonetic [Phon] subset font.
Our regional subsets are as follows:
- Africa [Afr] — Our hope is that all languages of Africa (using the Latin script) are covered by this font. A few languages in Africa use unusual glyph variants. For example, a few African orthographies use a more “v” shaped version of ʋ and Ʋ. This subset uses the standard shaped glyph as it seems most prevalent.
Americas [Am] — Our hope is that all languages in the Americas (using the Latin script) are covered by this font. There are a few variant glyphs that are not represented here. For example, some languages in the Americas use the Polish-style ogonek and others use the Retrohook-style ogonek. At this point, our subset uses the Polish-style ogonek.
Asia/Pacific [APac] — This font includes Latin script support for Pinyin, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, languages from India, China and Myanmar and other countries where languages (such as Chin languages) are written with Latin script. There are a few variant glyphs that are not represented here. For example, some languages in Papua New Guinea use one style of Ŋ and other languages use the other style. It is unclear which is most common. At this point, the Asia/Pacific subset uses the capital-N style. We may change that if we learn the other style is more prevalent.
Europe/Eurasia [Eur] — This font includes Latin script support for Europe, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, etc, — all languages in Europe and Eurasia which use the Latin script.
Vietnam [Viet] — This font includes Latin script support for traditional Vietnamese (including Vietnamese-style diacritics) plus a few extra characters used by Vietnam’s minority languages.
Phonetic [Phon] — The intent for this font is to cover all of IPA, other phonetic characters, transliteration, and transcription. In order to differentiate between U+0061 a and U+0251 ɑ, our italic Phonetic fonts require that U+0061 a always be a “double-story a” rather than a “single-story a”.
Cyrillic (Basic) [Cyr] — This font contains the characters used in Codepage 1251 (Cyrillic). It should be suitable for Russian and other large languages which use the Cyrillic script.
Cyrillic Extended [CyrE] — This font contains all characters in the Cyrillic blocks (with the exception of some historic characters). It should be suitable for modern majority and minority languages.
Known Issues in the subsets
U+0327 COMBINING CEDILLA and U+0328 COMBINING OGONEK do not consistently position properly under some characters (such an U+014A LATIN CAPITAL LETTER ENG) in Graphite, but they do in OpenType. This should not generally be a problem as the characters affected do not usually require cedilla or ogonek.
An alternate form of U+0306 COMBINING BREVE should render in a Cyrillic style when it is combined with Cyrillic characters. The alternate works in OpenType, but not in Graphite.
The glyphs for the following characters are missing the base “O” or “U” in Charis SIL Bold Italic:
- U+1EDA LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH HORN AND ACUTE
- U+1EDC LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH HORN AND GRAVE
- U+1EDE LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH HORN AND HOOK ABOVE
- U+1EE0 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH HORN AND TILDE
- U+1EE2 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH HORN AND DOT BELOW
- U+1EE8 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH HORN AND ACUTE
- U+1EEA LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH HORN AND GRAVE
- U+1EEC LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH HORN AND HOOK ABOVE
- U+1EEE LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH HORN AND TILDE
- U+1EF0 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U WITH HORN AND DOT BELOW
- The glyphs for the following characters are missing the base “U” in Charis SIL Italic:
- U+1EE9 LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH HORN AND ACUTE
- U+1EEB LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH HORN AND GRAVE
- U+1EED LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH HORN AND HOOK ABOVE
- U+1EEF LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH HORN AND TILDE
- U+1EF1 LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH HORN AND DOT BELOW