What about Arabic web fonts ?

nabil's picture

Web fonts is great idea and a very useful for web designer who feels that standards fonts are not enough .
Arabic web fonts simply doesn't exist as far as I know . that is because of the right to left complexity and for the multiple states for Arabic letter ( the letter in start of word different than it is in the middle or the last of the word).
Is there an solution to use Arabic fonts. I have suggest an idea to Google font directory to add support for Arabic fonts please take a seconds to support this idea..

John Hudson's picture

Arabic web fonts should work exactly the same as locally installed Arabic fonts specified in web pages. Text directionality and complex layout will depend on system or browser level support for these features, as implemented in the fonts, in the recipient's computer.

Thomas Phinney's picture

As far as I know, it's just a matter of licensing. Yes, they are harder to design, but there isn't any technical barrier. (To be fair, we haven't tested any Arabic fonts in our WebINK font service, yet, but there's no obvious reason they shouldn't work.)



raph's picture

Thanks for the suggestion, Nabil. In fact, we have a few Arabic fonts in the pipeline, in fact. And, for designers here who have Arabic fonts, please get in touch, we're looking for more!

I haven't started extensive testing in browsers yet, but as far as I know what John and Thomas say is right - if native fonts work, so should web fonts. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some corner cases that don't work properly, though. With Indic and Southeast Asian fonts, we're finding that (surprisingly to me) Mac doesn't support OpenType very well, so to work really well fonts need both OpenType and AAT tables.

We'll also soon be looking for beta testers to try Arabic web fonts on their pages, so, if you've got interest and technical skill to evaluate them properly, again, get in touch.

Khaled Hosny's picture

There are few webfont implementations that don't support complex layout features. AFAIK, Opera for Linux and WebKitGtk only support simple scripts in their webfont implementations.

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