Adobe Devanagari Font

Uli's picture

It seems that the Adobe Devanagari font was not yet discussed at Typophile.

I had a closer technical look at AdobeDevanagari-Regular.otf, version 1.105 (2011), and here are my findings:

1. The Latin diacritics required for transliterating Indic (Hindi, Sanskrit, etc.) texts is incomplete. The diacritic for "sh" (both lowercase and uppercase), very frequently used in Indic words, e.g. in Shiva etc., is missing.

2. Many frequently used ligatures are missing, even ligatures which have a frequency of much more than 0.01 %, e.g. "ddhv" (frequency 0.215 %).

For details see

For comparison see (page 29 seq.)

3. The Adobe Devanagari font does not work with older Windows and older Word.

For example, Adobe Devanagari does not work with old Microsoft Word, version 10, in conjunction with Windows XP.

For comparison, Mangal and all the other Devanagari Unicode fonts known to me work with older Word and older Windows, provided the Uniscribe system library for foreign language support was installed with Windows.

Uli's picture

Mr. Hudson:

"ब्न | dBNa | Coulson"

The Agenbroad collection is "old hat" to me.

In my comprehensive book "Conjuncts Consonants in Sanskrit", which is an unpublished work according to German Copyright Law and according to the Revised Berne Convention and which I cannot yet make available to others prior to publication, I wrote this on the invented ligature "bn":

"Charles Wilkins (1808), Alix Desgranges (1845), M.R. Kale (1894), Richard Fick (1922), A.A. MacDonell (1926), H.M. Lambert (1953), Michael Coulson (1973) and Madhav M. Deshpande (1997) invented the conjunct consonant "bn". If "bn" were no invention, then a Sanskrit word would exist containing "bn". But there does not exist any such Sanskrit word. Therefore "bn" has been invented. Yet "bn" could occur in a foreign-language word, e.g. in "abnormal", inserted into Neo-Sanskrit texts. But serious scientific research on Sanskrit conjunct consonants must dismiss such "abnormalities"."

If you search for "bn" in the huge Sanskrit dictionary file

you will not find any Sanskrit words containing "bn"

Since Sanskrit words with "bn" are non-existant, it does not make much sense to design the ligature "bn" for a Sanskrit font, because this ligature will never be used on account of the fact that Sanskrit words with "bn" do not exist.

More than 300 of the approx. 1000 conjunct consonants, i.e. roughly 30% of the collection by Agenbroad, are entirely fictitious, as far as Sanskrit is concerned.

Some of these 300 ligatures compiled by Mr. Agenbroad may occur in foreign-language loan words in Hindi and Marathi texts, but they definitely do not occur in ancient Sanskrit texts. That is for sure.

In the funny book "Spoken Sanskrit" edited by S. S. Janaki and published by the Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute in 1990, you will find a fictitious Sanskrit report on a tennis match at Wimbledon between Björn Borg and John McEnroe.

For typesetting the name "Wimbledon" in Devanagari, you could invent the ligature "mbl", and in fact, this invented ligature is contained in the Agenbroad collection and also contained in the book by Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro, Lingua Sanscrita, Romae 1936. But this does not mean that this entirely fictitious ligature "mbl" will ever be required for typesetting an ancient Sanskrit text, since there never existed a Sanskrit word containing "mbl". This is a fact which you can check yourself here:

or here:

Do substring search for "bn" and "mbl" on Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon (166,434 entries). You will get no hits at all for these entirely fictitious ligatures.

So, why should you care to design fictitious ligatures for fictitious Sanskrit words?


The "Samyoga table" mentioned by Mr. Hudson is downloadable here as file

If you convert this ps file to a pdf file, it will be searchable.

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