No support for SILDoulos IPA93 anymore

[ Via Linguist List. ]

Why SIL doesn’t recommend SILDoulos IPA93 font any more

The world is switching to Unicode, and in the next few years the conversion will be complete. Most linguists have had the experience of receiving documents which use custom fonts which populate their computer screen with annoyingly faceless boxes rather than robust meaningful phonetic characters. Unicode-compliant fonts will largely eliminate this. SIL now has three good Unicode-compliant fonts with phonetic character capability which we commend for your consideration.

Charis SIL – possibly the best all around font for linguistic purposes. It
is publishing quality, has a complete IPA character set, including
stackable diacritics, so an entire manuscript, both text and linguistic
examples, may be typed with this. For Windows, MacIntosh, and Linux.

Doulos SIL – not the same as ”SIL Doulos!” SIL is now following the industry standard of putting the company’s name at the end. This font resembles Times New Roman and has a complete IPA character set, including stackable diacritics. Bold and italics are not built into the font, so these depend on the automatic formatting of Word or other word processor.

Gentium – this is excellent for general purposes (it was a winner in the Type Directors’ Club 2003 Type Design Competition), including Greek fonts. Much but not all of the IPA is included, though the remainder is expected to be added within a year or so.

The SIL IPA93 fonts have become commonly used for many conference abstracts and journal submissions, but they are not Unicode and will not be developed further (e.g. ”Latin small letter v with right hook” representing the labiodental flap will never appear in these fonts). We now recommend Charis SIL or Doulos SIL for such submissions.

See for more discussion.

Mike Cahill
International Linguistics Coordinator, SIL International

One thought on “No support for SILDoulos IPA93 anymore

  1. Christian DiCanio

    There are some advantages of Charis SIL over the other fonts too. For instance, if you are writing the entire document using a unicode font like Charis, you can put things in bold, italics, underline, etc. With the others you can not get italics or bold.

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