Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two more good Devanāgarī fonts

Steve White has recently done a great deal of work updating the FreeSerif and FreeSans Unicode fonts (that are, er, free).   He has done especially important work on the Devanagari characters in the font, as well as several other Indian writing systems.  See here for a listing of what has changed. Steve's work means that the Devanāgarī in the Free* fonts now works not only with Xe(La)TeX but also in Firefox, LibreOffice and other programs.  Thanks, Steve!

Zdeněk Wagner recently announced (here) that,
A few days ago version 20120503 of GNU FreeFont was released. This (OpenType as well as TrueType) version contains working Devanagari. FreeSans is based on Gargi with bugs fixed and positions of matras fine-tuned (and changes were reported back to the Gargi developers), FreeSerif is based on Velthuis fonts. Both fonts contain the Indian Rupee sign. In XeLaTeX, conjuncts in FreeSerif can be switched on/off according to the language.
Zdeněk provided an example file showing FreeSans and FreeSerif, and demonstrating the different conjuncts of Sanskrit and Hindī.  I have taken the liberty of expanding his file to compare some of the other leading Unicode fonts that contain both Devanāgarī and Latin typefaces in the same font:


XeLaTeX Input:
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{polyglossia}

\defaultfontfeatures{Mapping=RomDev,Script=Devanagari,Language=Sanskrit}
\newfontfamily\eng[Mapping=tex-text]{TeX Gyre Pagella}
\begin{document}
\setmainfont{FreeSerif} \newfontfamily\eng[Mapping=tex-text]{FreeSerif}
{\eng FreeSerif} = शक्ति, kārtsnyam {\addfontfeatures{Language=Hindi} Hindī = शक्ति}
\setmainfont{FreeSans} \newfontfamily\eng[Mapping=tex-text]{FreeSans}
{\eng FreeSans} = शक्ति, kārtsnyam {\addfontfeatures{Language=Hindi} Hindī = शक्ति}
\setmainfont{Sanskrit 2003} \newfontfamily\eng[Mapping=tex-text]{Sanskrit 2003}
{\eng Sanskrit 2003} = शक्ति, kārtsnyam {\addfontfeatures{Language=Hindi} Hindī = शक्ति}
\setmainfont[FakeStretch=1.08]{Sanskrit 2003}
{\eng Sanskrit 2003+} = शक्ति, kārtsnyam {\addfontfeatures{Language=Hindi} Hindī = शक्ति}
\setmainfont{Nakula} \newfontfamily\eng[Mapping=tex-text]{Nakula}
{\eng Nakula} = शक्ति, kārtsnyam {\addfontfeatures{Language=Hindi} Hindī = शक्ति}
\setmainfont{Sahadeva} \newfontfamily\eng[Mapping=tex-text]{Sahadeva}
{\eng Sahadeva} = शक्ति, kārtsnyam {\addfontfeatures{Language=Hindi} Hindī = शक्ति}
\end{document}
Output:
(click to enlarge)

Note the use of the RomDev mapping to get "कार्त्स्न्यम्" out of "kārtsnyam", just for fun.  I've included Sanskrit 2003 twice, the second time with a bit of horizontal stretch, that I think makes it look nicer.
The official web page of the newly-updated FreeSans and FreeSerif fonts is:
As Zdeněk adds, ``Hopefully the font will soon appear in TeX Live and (some) Linux distributions. If you install it independently, be sure that you do not have font conflicts."

Be sure to delete all earlier versions of FreeSerif and FreeSans that might be lurking on your hard drive.  Then install the new version.  If you find the conjuncts aren't working as promised, you probably have an old FreeSerif or Sans lurking in a directory somewhere that you have forgotten about.

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