Update (April 5, 2016)

The fact that I get occasional emails about this work suggests that many people have concerns about kerning Arabic script fonts. I am no longer working on this project, because I have found good alternatives to Scheherezade and Lateef, which offer satisfactory support for the languages I'm working with.

  • The XB Fonts—This are execellent, open-source fonts, with proper kerning. There are various text and display font options. The Persian and Arabic open-source typesetting communities are truly inspiring.
  • Adobe Arabic—This is commercial, but it was installed on my machine along with some software. It's what I use mostly, because it's classy looking and easy to read.
  • Arabic Typesetting—(from Microsoft) This is a little fancier, with more ligatures. I use this mostly as a display font.

Introduction

Kerning adjustments are small adjustments made to the space between individual glyphs. These adjustments are important for readability, and also for aesthetic reasons. Kerning is usually not done for Arabic script fonts, however. These pages report on a project to kern Scheherezade, an Arabic script font released under the Open Font License.

If you wish you can simply download the font from the “Download the font” link above. This should be plenty for most users.

But, from the links above, you can also access a brief primer on kerning and its importance for Arabic script fonts, the font that I created along with some files that would help you kern your own Arabic script font, and a paper I wrote about the process.

My hope here is not just that my kerned version of Scherezade will be used, but that type designers will see that kerning an Arabic script font is not an intractable task, but rather something that they can do fairly quickly. Please feel free to email with questions about the process.

All contents copyright © 2017 Adam Baker, except where otherwise noted.