Hinting Arabic?

Traditional Arabic fonts have stems and curves going all over the place, compared to Latin, where verticals and horizontals dominate. Hinting Latin - I think - relies on such uniformity, but what about Arabic? Will an Arabic font benefit from hinting? My font has outlines of identical thickness - does this help the hinting process? Any hints (!) suggestions and examples most welcome as I know very little in practice about this.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Hinting helps alignment, but it can also help with consistency of stroke weight, consistency of visual features, and maintaining counters and apertures &c. If you like, I’d be happy to make a small test for you.

Bahman Eslami's picture

If you want to hint the font using type 1 hinting it's pretty simple. You just have to follow the rules like latin, connect parallel horizontal nodes to each other and the same for the vertical ones. For dots just restrict multiple dots between two horizontal stems and vertical stems. Finally put one horizontal link at the descender and one at the ascender. TrueType hinting for an arabic typeface could be a headache. I don't know about that. Titus knows much more about this since hid did TrueType hinting on Nassim typeface which is being used on BBC Persian website.

Vladimir Tamari's picture

Thank you Frode!

Vladimir Tamari's picture

Thank you Bahman the type 1 sounds straightforward. Yes Titus did a nice webfont for BBC Arabic and Persian service he is quite an expert on Arabic fonts, their history etc.

zoghal's picture

hinting for webfont?
please see : http://ritaco.github.io/WebFont-Nastaliq/

Vladimir Tamari's picture


Very impressive! Please share how you 1) created 2) hinted and 3) converted this beautiful font to a webfont. Thank you.

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