Fixed-width Arabic fonts.
March 21, 2009 2:52 PM   Subscribe

There are a couple fixed-width Unicode Arabic fonts out there. The ones I've seen are pretty hard on the eyes, though, especially at small sizes. Any suggestions for a really readable one?

(The goal, FWIW, is to be able to work with mixed Arabic/Latin-alphabet text in a terminal window without going blind or blowing the Latin text up to a ridiculous size.)
posted by nebulawindphone to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've had pretty good success with the SIL font collections, linky. I'm not sure if any of those are fixed width. If you do find a font that works, I highly recommend downloading and installing either the IPA Keyboard Layout (or an appropriate Keyboard Layout from SIL to go with the font you use). This has made my text transcriptions in Old English and Zulu an absolute speedy breeze! Good luck to you.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:20 PM on March 21, 2009

The classic Arabic fixed font I've seen is the ubiquitous Simplified Arabic Fixed that is a Windows standard.

I think DejaVu Sans Mono covers part of Arabic. I'm just not sure how much of it.
posted by Fortran at 4:27 PM on March 21, 2009

Oop, I knew I forgot one. The old fogey Fixedsys Excelsior. As you can see from the sample image, the Arabic is...okay. I love it for its Fraktur!
posted by Fortran at 4:33 PM on March 21, 2009

Response by poster: I'm afraid I'm a Mac user, so I don't have all the standard Windows fonts — and it looks like Simplified Arabic Fixed isn't available for separate purchase. That Fixedsys Excelsior looks pretty okay for 11pt, though, and I don't need vowelled text, so it oughta work fine.

It looks like what SIL has for Arabic is this classy variable-width font — but, alas, nothing fixed-width. Thanks for the heads-up on their keyboard layouts, though.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:58 PM on March 21, 2009

Yeah, those keyboard layouts are awesome. I've installed them on several of my linguist-friend's machines. If you have any Q's about it, drop me an email. Sometimes on a mac, the character palette and keyboard viewer can go missing, and I've found a working fix for it.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:02 PM on March 21, 2009

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