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2012/7/23 webmaster-Kracked_P_P <>:
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

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".

It's supposed to be my name in Japanese, according to Google
Translate… I hope it's right, because I don't speak or write Japanese
(but I wish I could). I'm Swedish, actually, but my favourite band,
who are Americans (The Ventures), tour Japan a lot and many of their
records are made for the Japanese market, so there are a lot of
Japanese text on them, text that I can't read, unfortunately.

 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?

I am not really a multi language guy. We all learn English at school
here, just like in most countries, I suppose, so for me it is maybe
99% Swedish and 1% English. In forums and mailing lists however, I
suspect that it is closer to 50% for both languages. I actually
learned German for two years at school, but since then (early 1980's)
I never used it for anything and I don't know any German people, so I
forgot most of it. I remember some of the grammatics and that nouns
always starts with a capital letter, and I remember a few words, but
not much more than that. I read somewhere that their ß character
(double s, like in ”straße”) is on its way out, but I'm not sure that
is true…

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

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.

Personally, all I care about with fonts, is UTF-8 compatibility (at
the moment, until UTF-8 is obsolete…). For example, Swedish specific
characters (some of them are also specific for other languages, like
öÖ for Turkish, German, Finnish and more) do have their own places in
the UTF-8 character map. Japanese characters too and a lot of symbols.
However, not all fonts are ”complete”, actually I don't think any
fonts are, so what happens if a character is missing, is probably (I'm
not a font guru, so I'm guessing a little here) that the software you
are using picks the character from another font somehow, some software
don't and tell the user that the character missing or whatever. I am
sure someone on the list know more about this.

So one idea would be to have a collection of fonts somehow that people
can download and try out. Maybe you could allow users to make comments
such as ”Swedish characters are missing” or whatever they found. Or
maybe the fonts could be tagged, where every tag is a language,
allowing users to add tags or remove existing tags if they find that a
tag is not correct. Maybe something wiki-like… There are software out
there to edit fonts too, like FontForge (available for GNU/Linux at
least, maybe also for other operating systems, I'm not sure). I mean,
adding Swedish characters to a font that lacks them couldn't be that
hard. Just copy an ”a” to the place of ”ä”, draw two dots, and you
have an ”ä”. Then you need to add the other characters and you also
need to add them for the italic variant of the font, and so on. Maybe
it will require some work from the users, but nothing is done all by
itself anyway… Well, this was only a draft of an idea anyway, maybe
someone has better ideas out there.

Kind regards

Johnny Rosenberg
(and no, I don't type those Japanese characters manually every time, I
use AutoKey for that – a text expansion tool, written in Python, that
I could recommend to any GNU/Linux user; there is a Qt- as well as a
GTK version).

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