Armenian Font Problem

levonk's picture


I am having problems with some Armenian fonts that I did.

I am using FontLab 4.6 on OS X.

I would like to create Type 1 fonts, but it seems that T1 does not support unicode. So I tried OpenType, but the OS does not recognize the font as Armenian. It works fine in InDesign, but MS Word, TextEdit simply revert to the default Armenian font.

I created TrueType fonts and it worked, but I do not want TT, I prefer T1 but OT is also acceptable.

Is there any way to make OS X accept the T1 font as Armenian.

PS. I also want to convert the font to be used on a PC.

Si_Daniels's picture

The easy, although maybe not entirely legal, way to do this would be to load a working Armenian OpenType CFF font into FontLab and compare the character mappings, and codepage/Unicode bits with your font.

Does seem strange that saving the font as TTF works but .OTF doesn't - problem may be with the OS rather than the font.


behnam's picture

I don't think Levon can find any working Armenian font as such. OS X doesn't support OpenType. Therefore .OTF fonts do not show in the font list of applications that use OS X text engine (like TextEdit) but they do show in font list of OT savvy applications like InDesign, running on OS X. I'm not sure what's up with MS Word. It might also be the case that the Mac version of MS Word doesn't support OT either.
.TTF fonts always show in OS X font list. But if they are enhanced with OT features, those features don't work with OS X text engine like in TextEdit.
If the features of a font are not supported in an application, it's a good idea not to have it listed in the font list.

Si_Daniels's picture

Armenian doens't require any OpenType features so the difference between the TTF that works and the OTF that doesn't should just be the form of the outlines - CFF instead of TrueType outlines. If the fonts are otherwise identical *and* work in InDesign I'd blame the OS.

behnam's picture

I was just advised that there are two sets of OTF fonts in system font folder of OS X. One, AquaKana is not listed in font list for TextEdit. The other one, Hiragino is listed and as far as English keyboard's concerned, it works just fine. (but of course there is no OT feature in it)
So you are right it's an OS thing. OS X do recognize OTF fonts though, but not all of them. The question remains what should be put into the construction of the font to make this possible. Is it a bug related situation or 'standard' related situation.
I'm not at that level, but Levon may be able to study the construction (information) iside these two fonts and draw the conclusion.
A hint: FontLab can not open fonts with Japanese name. You have to change the name of the copy of the font to something Roman.

levonk's picture

The font does not have any OT features. Actually it is only the basic Armenian character set (38 characters *2 + numbers + punctuation). The OT font appears in TextEdit and other programs, but when the "Armenian-Western QWERTY" keyboard layout is selected it makes no difference what font you select, it uses the system default Armenian font. I can understand that if the font has no Armenian in it. The problem is the same with the T1 font.

When that same font, with no changes, is exported as TrueType, everything seems to work, although in the begining I had some difficulty.

It does seem to be an OS issue. I was told that OS 10.3.5 (which I am using) has some problems. Maybe if I update the problem will be solved.

behnam's picture

I'm running 10.3.8 and when I installed an Adobe Pro otf font, it didn't listed in TextEdit. This is an OS problem and may be due to overkill sophistication in font ID recognition... or simply a bug.
But try this: set the character set of your otf version to Western for MS and Roman for Mac Fond ID. See if your keyboard function properly with a make believe Roman font. I once did this with a PersoArabic font and it did the trick. Not an elegant solution but nontheless a solution.

filip blazek's picture

Maybe it is not your case, but there is a bug with OTF files on OS X. The system cannot properly recognize OTF fonts until they have assigned type/creator properties (for example in FileBuddy application OT fonts generated on OS X usualy works fine, but fonts copied from PC or downloaded from websites usualy must be corrected. I've found more info at Those OT fonts work, but the OT features are not accessible from Adobe CS application and sometimes the font does not even appear in the font list at all.

Miguel Sousa's picture

For a good working Armenian font to be used as a benchmark,
try John Hudson's Sylfaen.
It comes with Windows 2000 and XP.

levonk's picture

There is also Mshtagan for Mac OS X. But those are TrueType fonts. If I export TT it works fine. I want Type1 fonts. OTF is also acceptable but T1 is preferable.

Miguel Sousa's picture

Yeah, did some testing here and got to the same result.
In InDesign everything went fine, but Word and TextEdit
kept on switching to Arial Unicode everytime I changed
the keyboard layout and started typing Armenian.

I even ran the font through Adobe's OTF File Typer as
suggested by Filip Blazek, but it didn't help.

Btw, I'm running MacOSX v10.3.8, InDesign CS and
MS Word 2004 for Mac v11.1.

levonk's picture

I just wanted to bring this back to the top.

Has anyone come up with a solution?

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