Hebrew Fonts

Open-source Unicode Hebrew Fonts (sorted by diacritic support and style) • פונטים בעברית, יוניקוד וקוד פתוח

Click on a font name below for a download link, and to review a summary of the font’s diacritic positioning and character support. See bottom of page for a font comparison chart (PDF). The font pack is maintained by Aharon Varady, and all the fonts can be downloaded as ZIP file from his github account here. (If you’d like to support the maintenance of this font pack, please consider becoming a patron.)

The table below is sorted according to the fonts support for t’amim an niqqud. Click the table headers to sort alphabetically or by type foundry.

d

אבגד Font Diacritic Support Notes Style Foundry Typographer Version License
————————————————————————————————————————————

Shlomo SemiStam

t’amim and niqqud missing:
wide ligatures
Scribal
Ashkenaz
Shlomo Orbach Shlomo Orbach 1.0; 2010 SIL OFL 1.1

Shlomo Stam

t’amim and niqqud missing:
wide ligatures
Scribal
Ashkenaz
Shlomo Orbach Shlomo Orbach 1.0; 2010 SIL OFL 1.1

Keter Aram Sova

(Aleppo Codex, 10th cen. CE

t’amim and niqqud Serif
Scribal
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.103yg GPL+FE

Keter YG

(based on Aleppo Codex, modernized

t’amim and niqqud Serif Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.103yg GPL+FE

Shofar

t’amim and niqqud

positioning errors:
rafé
varika

Serif Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 1.6 GPL+FE

Taamey Ashkenaz

t’amim and niqqud

positioning errors:
rafé
varika

Serif Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.150yg GPL+FE

Taamey Frank CLM

t’amim and niqqud Serif Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.11 GPL+FE

Frank Ruehl CLM

t’amim and niqqud

positioning errors:
rafé
varika

Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.121 GPL 2.0

Cardo

t’amim and niqqud

positioning errors:
rafé
varika

Serif Fonts for Scholars David J. Perry 1.045 SIL OFL 1.1

NotoSerifHebrew

t’amim and niqqud

positioning errors:
meteg
ḥolam w/ vav

missing:
qamatz qatan
Serif Google Inc. Monotype Design Team 2.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Ezra SIL SR

t’amim and niqqud missing:
wide ligatures
Serif SIL SIL NRSI Team 2.51, 2007 SIL OFL 1.1

Shlomo

(based on Ezra SIL

t’amim and niqqud missing:
wide ligatures
Serif Shlomo Orbach SIL NRSI Team, adapted by Shlomo Orbach 1.0; 2011 SIL OFL 1.1

Taamey David CLM

t’amim and niqqud Sans-Serif Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.11 GPL+FE

FiraGO Hebrew

t’amim and niqqud Sans-Serif bBox Type GmbH Natalie Rauch 1.001 SIL OFL 1.1

Nachlieli CLM

t’amim and niqqud

positioning errors: meteg
rafé
varika

Sans-Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.131 GPL 2.0

Noto Sans

t’amim and niqqud

positioning error:
meteg

missing:
numbers
punctuation
Sans-Serif Google Inc. Monotype Design Team n/a SIL OFL 1.1

Open Sans Hebrew

t’amim and niqqud missing:
rafé
varika
yiddish
ligatures
Sans-Serif Ascender Corporation Yanek Iontef 1.10 Apache 2.0

Miriam Mono CLM

t’amim and niqqud

positioning errors:
rafé
varika

Monospaced
Sans-serif
Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.120 GPL 2.0

Frank CurledLamed CLM

niqqud only

positioning errors:
rafé

missing:
varika
Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh, adapted by Yoram Gnat 1.0 GPL 2.0

Linux Libertine

niqqud only missing:
qamats qatan
varika
wide ligatures
Serif Libertine Open Fonts Projekt Philipp H. Poll 5.3.0 GPL & SIL OFL 1.1

Frank Ruhl Libre

niqqud only

positioning errors:
rafé
meteg
ḥet and ayin w/ dagesh
mem sofit w/ ḥiriq

missing:
varika
backwards facing nun
Serif Fontef Yanek Iontef 5.0.0 SIL OFL 1.1

Liberation Serif

niqqud only

positioning errors:
yud w/ ḥiriq
maqaf
t’amim

missing:
wide ligatures
Serif Red Hat/Ascender Corp. Steve Matteson 2.00.1 SIL OFL 1.1

Tinos

niqqud only

positioning errors:
yud w/ ḥiriq
maqaf
t’amim

missing:
wide ligatures
Serif Monotype Imaging Inc. Steve Matteson 1.23 Apache 2.0

Hadasim CLM

niqqud only

positioning errors:
rafé

missing:
varika
Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.110 GPL+FE

Shmulik CLM

niqqud only

positioning errors:
rafé

missing:
varika
Serif Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.12 GPL+FE

BenOr Rashi

niqqud only Cursive
Sepharadi
Sefaradizo David ben Or 1.023 UFL 1.0

Mekorot Rashi

niqqud only

positioning errors:
rafé
segol sheva
qamats sheva
pataḥ sheva

missing:
varika
meteg
Cursive
Sepharadi
Mekorot Alan Hoenig/Omega Makor
(with corrections by Yoram Gnat
0.003 LPPL 1.3c

Dorian CLM (Italic)

niqqud only

positioning errors:
varika
rafé
nun w/ qubutz
mem sofit w/ ḥiriq

Cursive Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 2.1 GPL 2.0

Gveret Levin AlefAlefAlef

niqqud only missing:
varika
meteg
yiddish
ligatures
cursive
ktav-yad
אאא Shavit Yaacov 1.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Máshkit

(a/k/a méshit, máshet, máshket, vayberteutsch

niqqud only missing:
varika
gershayim
Mashkit Refoyl Finkl Raphael Finkel 001.000 GPL+FE

David CLM

niqqud only missing:
wide ligatures
backwards facing nun
Sans-Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.133 GPL 2.0

David Libre

niqqud only missing:
wide ligatures
varika
Sans-Serif Monotype Meir Sadan 1.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Arimo

niqqud only missing:
wide ligatures
Sans-Serif Monotype Imaging Inc. Steve Matteson 1.23 Apache 2.0

Heebo

niqqud only missing:
varika
meteg
backwards facing nun
Sans-Serif Oded Ezer Meir Sadan 2.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Varela Round

niqqud only missing:
varika
rafé
meteg
ligatures
yiddish
qamats qatan
ḥolam
Sans-Serif אאא (Avraham Cornfeld) Joe Prince 3.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Miriam CLM

niqqud only

positioning errors:
rafé
varika

missing:
wide ligatures
backwards facing nun
Sans-Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.120 GPL 2.0

Miriam Libre

niqqud only missing:
varika
rafé
meteg
ligatures
qamats qatan
Sans-Serif Hagilda Michal Sahar 1.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Assistant

niqqud only missing:
varika
meteg
ligatures
yiddish
Sans-Serif The Amirim Project Ben Nathan 2.001 SIL OFL 1.1

IBMPlexSansHebrew

niqqud only

positioning errors:
rafé

missing:
varika
meteg
qamatz qatan
Sans-Serif IBM Plex Mike Abbink, Paul van der Laan, Piter van Rosmalen, Yanek Iontef 1.1 SIL OFL 1.1

Simple CLM

niqqud only

positioning errors:
rafé

missing:
varika
Sans-Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.11 GPL+FE

Alef

niqqud only missing:
varika
rafé
meteg
qamats qatan
yiddish
ligatures
Sans-Serif HaGilda HaGilda Tel Aviv 1.001 SIL OFL 1.1

Bellefair

niqqud only missing:
varika
rafé
meteg
yiddish
ligatures
cursive
Sans-Serif
The Bellefair Project Nick Shinn & Liron Lavi Turkenic 1.003 SIL OFL 1.1

Cousine

niqqud only missing:
wide ligatures
Monospaced
Sans-Serif
Monotype Imaging Inc. Steve Matteson 1.21 Apache 2.0

Secular One

niqqud only missing:
varika
rafé
meteg
yiddish
ligatures
Sans-Serif Michal Sahar Hagilda 1.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Suez One

niqqud only missing:
varika
rafé
meteg
yiddish
ligatures
Sans-Serif Michal Sahar Hagilda 1.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Liberation Sans

niqqud only

positioning errors:
lower niqqud too close to letters
yud w/ ḥiriq

missing:
wide ligatures
Sans-Serif Red Hat/Ascender Corp. Steve Matteson 2.00.1 SIL OFL 1.1

Amatic SC

niqqud only missing:
varika
meteg
yiddish
ligatures
ktav-yad
Sans-Serif
The Amatic Project Ben Nathan, Vernon Adams 2.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Dorian CLM

niqqud only

positioning errors:
meteg
varika
rafé
mem sofit w/ ḥiriq

missing:
wide ligatures
backwards facing nun
Sans-Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 2.1 GPL 2.0

Makabi YG

(based on Qumran Isaiah Scroll, modernized

niqqud only missing:
varika
qamats qatan
yiddish
ligatures
ktav-yad
antiquity
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 1.03 GPL+FE

Sofer Stam Ashkenaz

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Scribal
Ashkenaz
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.110 GPL+FE

Sofer Stam Sefarad

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Scribal
Sepharadi
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.110 GPL+FE

Mekorot Vilna

general diacritic positioning errors missing:
qamats qatan
ḥolam
varika
ligatures
Serif Mekorot Maxim Iorsh 0.1 GPL 2.0

Drugulin CLM

general diacritic positioning errors missing:
qamats qatan
ḥolam
varika
ligatures
Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.1 GPL 2.0

FreeSerif

niqqud only

positioning error:
nun with ḥolam ḥaser

missing:
qamats qatan
Serif GNU Free Font Project Primož Peterlin, Steve White 412.2263 GPL 3.0

Linux Biolinum

(Regular, Outline, Shadow, Keyboard

general diacritic positioning errors missing:
varika
qamats qatan
ligatures
Serif Libertine Open Fonts Projekt Philipp H. Poll 1.1.8 GPL & SIL OFL 1.1

Drugulin CLM (Italic)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Mashkit Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.1 GPL 2.0

Rubik

general diacritic positioning errors

positioning errors:
rafé

missing:
varika
rafé
meteg
qamats qatan
ligatures
Sans-Serif Meir Sadan Hubert & Fischer 2.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Pfennig

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Sans-Serif Daniel Johnson Daniel Johnson 2.0 SIL OFL 1.1

Carmela

does not support diacritics missing:
varika
meteg
rafe
qamats qatan
Sans-Serif Nir Yenni Nir Yenni 1.001 SIL OFL 1.1

Carmelit

does not support diacritics missing:
varika
meteg
qamats qatan
ligatures
Sans-Serif Amos Jerbi Amos Jerbi (based on Nir Yenni’s Carmela 1.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Hillel CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Sans-Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 1.0 GPL 2.0

Aharoni CLM

general diacritic positioning errors missing:
qamats qatan
most ligatures
Sans-Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.1 GPL 2.0

MPlus1p

general diacritic positioning errors missing:
varika
qamats qatan
vav w/ ḥolam
ligatures
Sans-Serif The M+ Project Coji Morishita 1.061 SIL OFL 1.1

Felix007

general diacritic positioning errors missing:
varika
alef/ pataḥ
alef w/ qamats
ḥolam
qamats qatan
ligatures
Sans-Serif felix007 Felix Wasserstein 1.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Ellinia CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Sans-Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.101 GPL 2.0

FreeSans

positioning errors:
varika
meteg
missing:
qamats qatan
Sans-Serif GNU Free Font Project Primož Peterlin, Steve White 0412.2268 GPL 3.0

OSP Le Patin Helvète

general diacritic positioning errors missing:
ḥolam
qamats qatan
gershayim
incomplete yiddish
Sans-Serif OSP Foundry Ludivine Loiseau 0.9 GPL+FE

Shuneet (Square, Classic)

positioning errors:
varika
meteg
missing:
qamats qatan
Sans-Serif Michael Cunliffe Thompson Michael Cunliffe Thompson 2.0 SIL OFL 1.1

Squarish Sans CT

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Christtrekker Fonts Christtrekker n/a SIL OFL 1.1

Comix No2 CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Sans-Serif Culmus Project Richard Schoeller, Maxim Iorsh 1.0 GPL 2.0

Dragon

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Sans-Serif Printer Killer Printer Killer n/a SIL OFL 1.1

Journal CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Sans-Serif Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.105 GPL 2.0

FreeMono

positioning errors:
varika
missing:
qamats qatan
ḥolam
Monospaced
Sans-serif
GNU Free Font Project Primož Peterlin, Steve White 1.215 GPL 3.0

Tnua Libre

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display
Sans-Serif
Elad Mordechai Mizrahi Elad Mordechai Mizrahi n/a GPL 3.0

GanCLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 1.01 GPL 2.0

FredokaOne

general positioning errors no niqqud/t’amim

missing:
meteg
varika
Yiddish

Display The Fredoka Project Ben Nathan, Milena B. Brandão 2.000 OFL 1.1

Gladia CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 1.02 GPL 2.0

Horev CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 1.0 GPL 2.0

Noot

general diacritic positioning errors missing:
varika
qamats qatan
meteg
Display Amos Jerbi Amos Jerbi 1.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Ozrad CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 1.02 GPL 2.0

Trashim CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 1.0 GPL 2.0

Asakim

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Printer Killer Printer Killer 3.0 SIL OFL 1.1

Paskol

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Printer Killer Printer Killer 2.0 SIL OFL 1.1

Migdal HaEmeq

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Elad Mordechai Mizrahi Elad Mordechai Mizrahi 1.0 SIL OFL 1.1

Retro Perspective

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Elad Mordechai Mizrahi Elad Mordechai Mizrahi n/a SIL OFL 1.1

Stop Motion

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Elad Mordechai Mizrahi Elad Mordechai Mizrahi n/a SIL OFL 1.1

Looks Like S’pht

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display Christtrekker Fonts Christtrekker n/a SIL OFL 1.1

Nehama

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Display
ktav-yad
Printer Killer Printer Killer n/a SIL OFL 1.1

Ptil (Wide and Narrow

positioning errors:
varika
missing:
qamats qatan
meteg
Yiddish
ligatures
ktav-yad
Sans-Serif
Amos Jerbi Amos Jerbi 1.000 SIL OFL 1.1

ShArpie

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim ktav-yad
Sans-Serif
Baruch Sienna 001.000 Public Domain

Miri

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim ktav-yad
Sans-Serif
Elad Mordechai Mizrahi Elad Mordechai Mizrahi 1.0 SIL OFL 1.1

Yehuda CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim ktav-yad
Sans-Serif
Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.1 GPL 2.0

Amatica SC

does not support diacritics missing:
varika
meteg
ligatures
ktav-yad
Sans-Serif
The Amatic Project Ben Nathan, Vernon Adams, Thomas Jockin 2.000 SIL OFL 1.1

Refoyl

does not support most diacritics missing:
varika
meteg
qubutz
ḥolam
ḥatef ḥolam
ligatures
Cursive
ktav-yad
Refoyl Finkl Raphael Finkel 1.001 GPL+FE

Ktav-Yad CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Cursive
ktav-yad
Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.91 GPL 2.0

Ellinia CLM (Italic)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Cursive Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.101 GPL 2.0

Anka CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Cursive Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 1.0 GPL 2.0

Nachlaot

does not support most diacritics missing:
sheva
qamats qatan
ḥolam
ḥatef ḥolam
varika
meteg
qubutz
ligatures
Cursive Refoyl Finkl Raphael Finkel n/a GPL+FE

Hebrew Square Bet-Shearim

(Bet Shearim burial inscriptions, 3 CE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim inscription
antiquity
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.05-1 GPL+FE

Hebrew Square Ben-Kosba

(Bar Kokhba letters, 132 CE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim ktav-yad
antiquity
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.05-1 GPL+FE

Hebrew Square Habakkuk

(Habakkuk commentary, c.0 CE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim ktav-yad
antiquity
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Hebrew Square Isaiah

(Great Isaiah scroll, Qumran, 2nd cen. BCE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim ktav-yad
antiquity
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.05-1 GPL+FE

Hebrew Square Samaritan

(Samaritan Pentateuch, 14th cen. CE)

Samaritan-Hebrew niqqud only sans-sofit Culmus Project Yoram Gnat (edited by Uri DeYoung 0.2 GPL+FE

Hebrew Paleo Qumran

(Leviticus Scroll, 2nd cen. BCE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim sans-sofit
ancient
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Aramaic Imperial Yeb

(Yeb/Elephantine Papyri, 407 BCE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim sans-sofit
ancient
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Hebrew Paleo Lakhish

(Lakhich ostraca, 587 BCE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim sans-sofit
ancient
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Aramaic VIIBCE

(Gözne inscription, 7th cen. BCE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim sans-sofit
inscription
ancient
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Hebrew Paleo Siloam

(Siloam inscription, 703 BCE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim sans-sofit
inscription
ancient
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Aramaic Early Bar-Raqib

(Bar Raqib inscription, 8th cen. BCE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim sans-sofit
inscription
ancient
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Hebrew Paleo Mesha

(Mesha Stele/Moabite Stone, 850 BCE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim sans-sofit
inscription
ancient
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Hebrew Paleo Gezer

(Gezer Calendar, 10th cen. BCE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim sans-sofit
inscription
ancient
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Phoenician Ahiram

(Ahiram of Gebel Sarcophagus, c.1300-1000 BCE)

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim sans-sofit
inscription
ancient
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Proto Canaanite

(Sarabit al-Kadim inscriptions, c.1700 BCE)

does not support diacritics alternative characters with dagesh and rafé sans-sofit
inscription
ancient
Culmus Project Yoram Gnat 0.06-1 GPL+FE

Caladings CLM

does not support diacritics no niqqud/t’amim Symbols & Dingbats Culmus Project Maxim Iorsh 0.133 GPL 2.0

Additional Non-Hebrew Open Source Unicode Fonts:

  • Greek &Latin, Akkadian, Egyptian (Hieroglyphs and Demotic), Cyrillic and Old Church Slavonic, Ethiopic, Arabic, and more.
  • Assorted Dingbats of all sorts!

FONT CATALOGUE


Contribute a translation English

COMPLETE FONT PACK DOWNLOAD:

ZIP (v.1.18.5) | PDF (Open Source and Unicode Hebrew Font comparison chart. Note: contains shemot.)

Our open-source Unicode Hebrew font pack is maintained on Github by Aharon N. Varady. If you value this service, please consider becoming a patron.

INSTALLING FONTS ON WINDOWS

If you’d like to install all the fonts in the font pack at once, follow these instructions:

  1. To search and find all of the TTF files in the unzipped directory of fonts, use CTRL-F
    type *.ttf (asterisk dot ttf) as your search keyword. Repeat this step but type *.otf for searching for and installing OTF files.
  2. The search will list all of the fonts in their separate directories.
    To select all of them at once use CTRL-A. (Alternately you can click edit on the windows toolbar and select, “select all”.)
  3. Then right-click on any of the highlighted fonts and select “install font”. (Make sure to right-click rather than left-click, otherwise you won’t see the install font option and you’ll have to select them all again using CTRL-A.)

ADDING A HEBREW KEYBOARD LAYOUT

If you want to access the Hebrew letters in these fonts, you’ll need to setup your a keyboard layout for your operating system. Instructions here.)

Why did we make this font pack?

Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world’s writing systems.

The importance of sharing documents with Unicode 4.0+ compliant Hebrew fonts was underlined for us in early 2010, after the liturgy of a popular siddur was contributed to the Open Siddur Project with a public domain declaration. The format of the file shared was a PDF, and unfortunately, most of the text rendered in the PDF was encoded with old proprietary Hebrew fonts made by a commercial font foundry, Elsner+Flake. These fonts were developed prior to the standardization of Hebrew in Unicode. Efraim and I made some progress in attempting to convert the documents but so far we have not been successful. (Perhaps you can help convert them.) The contributor had no other copies of the liturgy except for what was contained in the PDF shared. The entire sad episode indicated the need for publishers of digital documents to prepare their documents in open standard formats, with text encoded with open standard fonts. (You are free to try your hand at converting the two documents (1, 2) which were shared by the Avi Chai Foundation. [Update: Since first posting this, YZahn reported some progress in converting these files to Unicode: 1, 2.)

Given the twenty year history (at least) of digital Hebrew font development, there are quite a few pre-Unicode Hebrew fonts floating around the Internet and locally, on folk’s home computers. On the Internet, they sometimes show up on font download websites with a note that they are shareware or freeware with some restriction or another. Documents prepared with non-Unicode fonts are destined to be unreadable.

Even if a Hebrew font is Unicode it might 1) not support the full range of diacritical marks (nikkud/vowels and t’amim/trope/cantillation) and 2) not be licensed in such a way that it does not conflict with free/libre and open source licenses. Currently, there are a dozen open-source licensed and Unicode compliant Hebrew fonts that support the full range of Hebrew diacritical marks (vowels and cantillation).

SIL OFL logoMoreover, by license these fonts are free for creative reuse (as well as free without license fee to download). SIL International’s Ezra SIL font and David Perry’s Cardo font are both shared using SIL’s Open Font License version 1.1.0. Yoram Gnat’s fonts at the Culmus Project are all shared freely with a GPL including the font exception clause. Maxim Iorsh’s fonts (for instance, Drugulin CLM) are shared with a GPL 2 but without the font exception, and so the use of Iorsh’s fonts can sometimes conflict with the licenses of other free/libre and open source projects. (A full list of acceptable open source licenses for digital fonts is available here.)

It is often a wonder how certain typefaces, designed over a hundred years ago and residing in the Public Domain, can nevertheless be restricted by software licenses. After all, even new typefaces in the United States and Canada cannot be copyrighted; only the underlying software logic in digital fonts that control the placement of letters and diacritics can be copyrighted. While the art may be in the Public Domain, the underlying logic may be considered software and thus be protected by copyright. The good news is that many digital fonts use the underlying font logic written by John Hudson which itself is freely licensed open source software (with the MIT license).

If you or your company designed a Hebrew font which you never updated to Unicode, why not share it with an open font license so that others may adopt it, update it, and create anew with it?

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