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On 07/23/2012 05:29 AM, Johnny Rosenberg wrote:
One big problem, for people like me whose native language is not
English, is that many of those thousands of free fonts miss all
language specific characters, in my case åäöÅÄÖ, characters that are
just as common in my language as most of the other characters in my
alphabet (those characters are real letters and they are not to be
treated as aAoO with some additional stuff above them – they are even
sorted as individual characters, that is not among aA and oO, but
right after zZ). I didn't investigate this very thoroughly, so I don't
know exactly how many of those millions of free fonts that lacks
essential characters for many of the top hundred common languages (my
language reached 77th place in 2009, according to this lisst:…

But as long as I write in English, this is of course not a problem,
but I almost never do that when I don't write in mailing lists like
this one…

Kind regards

Johnny Rosenberg


Yes, I will agree that most of the fonts out there are geared to the English users.

There are sites and fonts out there geared for specific languages. Finding a font that matches the special characters of a non-English keyboard, Swedish, Hebrew, and other non-Latin glyph based characters is a hard thing to do. Since I do not speak any other language than my native English, I never really got into searching for "foreign language" fonts. I do know that many of the free font sites do have a category or two for non-English fonts. I just never looked deeply into those fonts.

Under your name, it looks like Hebrew "glyphs". One of the things I love about LibreOffice is the fact that it freely supports many different languages for its menus and the ability to add languages to its core package just be adding a language and help pack. Of course you need to have fonts to work with that language, but that is a given. Users of MSO have a problem if they want to switch between several languages for their menus and such. I was told that you have to buy a different version of MSO to have the other language as an option.

How many different languages do you use in your writing [not menus] of documents with Writer? How easy it is to switch between languages?

The issue of free fonts that are a single language that is not English is something that could be a problem for those of us in English speaking countries that need to write documents in other languages that have special characters/glyphs that are not the "normal" English keyboard characters. The simple fact that in the US we have a requirement to have government documents in both English and Spanish can cause problems when you have an American English keyboard and you need to type in the "special characters" that are common in Spanish and not on the "normal" keyboards you buy in the US.

Here is the thing I am thinking about. I want to publish a list of fonts with reference to similar fonts that may be used in place of the first font name. I would love to list at least one alternative font name that is available for free. Now if there are people out there who could give the names of non-English fonts and names of fonts similar to them, including any free fonts found that work in your native languages, I would be pleased to add them to the list. Maybe divide the list into language groups would work, though I do not know if the alternative font lists names are associated with a non-English language or not. I am just collating the documents I have found online into one large list. I was thinking about having that list on a TDF/LO WIKI page as a free service to our users. I would love to see users of a free alternative to MSO use free fonts that are alternatives to paid version [whenever there are not free versions of the named font in packages like "ttf-msfontcore-install" for Linux]. Once such a list goes online, then users can add font names to it, if and when they find a good font substitute for a "common" font that your must buy.

Having people who are experienced in non-English languages and the font names for those languages would be helpful in making the font list useful for more than just English users.

If you or any other user would like to add to this font name project, I hope to have something available online sometime in the next month or so. I have a lot of pages of single-font-to-single-matching-font listings to edit to one name with a list of all of the similar fonts I have references to. Once I have edited the main document with enough A-Z names, it will go online and will be updated as time go by.

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