Tibetan Fonts

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This information focuses on Unicode fonts in the .ttf format, with information about each font and links to download.

Most of the time Unicode .ttf is the type of font that should be used.They can be used in any operating system and by any modern program. More about this is below.


About Tibetan fonts

Fonts that are in TrueType (.ttf) format can be used on any operating system. Just drop them into your fonts folder.

Download all GPL fonts from one place [as of November 2016]:

The individual, authoritative sources for fonts are below.

Freely available Unicode fonts

Chris Fynn's Tibetan Fonts

DDC Uchen

DDC Uchen, a font designed by Chris Fynn for the Dzongkha Development Commission, can be downloaded from:

License: OFL (Open Font License)
"Font designed by Christopher J. Fynn. Copyright (c) 2010 by Dzongkha Development Commission."

Jomolhari

Jomolhari, a font by Chris Fynn, can be downloaded from:

License: OFL (Open Font License)
"Copyright (c) 2006 by Christopher Fynn. All rights reserved."

Adobe InDesign CS3 & CS4

There is a special version of the Jomolhari font called "Jomolhari ID" available, designed to work only in Adobe's InDesign (CS3 & CS4) on both Windows and Mac. InDesign CS3 and CS4 has its own OpenType shaping engine which does not have specific support for Tibetan script.
The font works by using lookups under "generic" OpenType features which are applied by InDesign's shaping engine ~ rather than the features specified for Tibetan which InDesign's shaping engine does not apply. This also enables the font to work in a number of Macintosh applications.

Adobe InDesign CS5

This has been solved for InDesign CS5: See How to prepare InDesign CS5 for Tibetan script.

License: Non- GPL


Jomolhari

CTRC: Qomolangma

The Central Tibetan Relief Committee (CTRC) has created a number of free dbu can and dbu med fonts.

Their new Qomolangma fonts can be downloaded from:

The older subset of CTRC-fonts can still be downloaded from the Tibetan font overview of the Virginia University, however the Qomolangma set is newer.

License: non- GPL "Copyright (c) 2014 CTRC"

CTRC-Uchen / Qomolangma-Sutung
CTRC-Betsu / Qomolangma-Betsu



Lobsang Monlam: Monlam fonts

Lobsang Monlam, a monk from Sera Mey monastery in southern India, has created a large set of beautiful Tibetan fonts. Version 3 is all Unicode; previous versions are not.

Download the Monlam fonts at

The Monlam package also contains an input keyboard and other software as well as the font. Read about installing the full Monlam package at

Read more about Lobsang Monlam and the fonts at

License: GPL. [as of 28 august 2016. thank you Monlam la!]

Sambhota: TsugRing and YigChung

Sambota Tibetan Schools Society Dharamshala has created two new Unicode fonts as of August 2010: Tibetan TsugRing (OTF) and Tibetan Sambhota Yigchung (TTF).

They can be downloaded from

License:
Tibetan Tsug Ring is GPL
Tibetan Sambhota Yigchung is GPL


TCC: Tibetan Machine Uni

The fonts of Tibetan Computer Company (TCC) by Tony Duff are renowned for being some of the most beautiful, high-quality Tibetan fonts available. They are all in dbu can style; TCC are not planning to produce dbu med fonts "until the Windows operating system can support them properly."

TCC "typefaces are available in two encoding formats: non-unicode and unicode. We continue to support our own, non-unicode format for Tibetan because, unfortunately, the Tibetan Unicode standard does not support many of the specialized characters needed for serious work in the Tibetan language."

Download the freely available TCC Tibetan Machine Uni at:

License: non- GPL

See below for the commercially-available TCC Unicode fonts (Calligraphic, Classic and Chogyal).

TibetanMachineUnicode (TCC)

THDL: Tibetan Machine Uni

The Tibetan Himalayan Digital Library (THDL) provides a Unicode Tibetan Machine Uni font.

This font can be downloaded from:

License: GPL

Tibetan Machine Uni

Commercial Unicode fonts

Nitartha: Sambhota font for Unicode

License: non- GPL.
"Copyright © 2007 Nitartha International. All rights reserved. ... limits installation to one computer. However we want to encourage the use of our product in all possible circumstances for the benefit of beings and will work very hard to meet your needs if you will call and ask us for permission."

[Nitartha.net/sambhota_unicode.html Sambhota Dege]


Xenotype fonts

License: non- GPL


Microsoft with PRC: Microsoft Himalaya

This font is part of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating system.

Since it is a .ttf (TrueType) font it can be used on any OS (such as Ubuntu Linux, MacOSX). Just drop it into the fonts folder like any font.

License: non-GPL
"© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved." With usage restrictions.


Tibetan Computer Company fonts

The fonts of Tibetan Computer Company (TCC) by Tony Duff are renowned for being some of the most beautiful, high-quality Tibetan fonts available. They are all in dbu can style; TCC are not planning to producedbu med fonts "until the Windows operating system can support them properly."

TCC "typefaces are available in two encoding formats: non-unicode and unicode. We continue to support our own, non-unicode format for Tibetan because, unfortunately, the Tibetan Unicode standard does not support many of the specialized characters needed for serious work in the Tibetan language."

The TTCC fonts Tibetan Calligraphic Unicode, Tibetan Classic Unicode and Tibetan Chogyal Unicode can be purchased at:

License: non- GPL

TibetanCalligraphicUnicode
TibetanClassicUnicode
TibetanChogyalUnicode

See above for the freely available Tibetan Machine Unicode font.

Mac OS-X Unicode fonts

Why are Mac Unicode fonts in a different section?
Unfortunately both Mac OS-X 10.5 and 10.6 (which supports Tibetan) and Adobe's programs support a different set of OpenType features which are required to correctly render Tibetan glyphs. So far Chris Fynn's Jomolhari ID font is the only publicly-available font that supports all platforms. The other fonts listed above run only with Windows and Linux, and the Mac fonts below run only with Mac OS-X. See Platform Independent Tibetan Unicode Fonts for the internal encoding differences.

Mac OS-X includes two Tibetan fonts since version 10.5.x :

  • Kailasa
  • Kokonor


Kailasa


Kokonor


Freely available is Chris Fynn's

The company XenoTypeTech offers different Tibetan fonts (both dbu can and dbu med) for different versions of Mac OS-X:

Legacy fonts (non-Unicode)

Why switch to Unicode?
There still exist quite a number of high-quality Tibetan fonts which do not support the Unicode standard. Since they rely on proprietary encoding, they often only work in a well-defined and closed environment. That makes it difficult to work with standard software:
* For legacy fonts, standard word processors like OpenOffice or Microsoft word do not understand boundaries of Tibetan syllables and might break syllables in wrong places.
* Desktop search engines cannot search Tibetan in legacy encodings.
* It is very difficult to change fonts; special conversion software is needed.
* Files might not be readable in the future because they use proprietary encoding.

An incomplete list of legacy fonts (free downloads):

For information on how to convert documents that use legacy fonts into standard Unicode, see:

If you are a font developer, you can convert and create Unicode fonts following the information at:

Internal Links

general formatting and editing

how-tos for specific programs

font creation and licensing

unicode

External Links

Note

The builder of this page does not have extensive knowledge of Tibetan fonts, and has only collated this info from other sources. It would be most helpful if you have more information, to send it here, and i will be able to change it.