Contact Us


Initiative B@bel

WSI Guidelines


















Type Design


Design Tools



Font Downloads










Font FAQ



NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems


You are here: Type Design > Resources > Font Downloads
Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/Andika_FAQ-KI

Andika — FAQ and Known Issues

Annie Olsen, 2015-04-20


The Andika and Andika New Basic fonts have been moved to a new web site. Please  click here for the new site.


The content below is old. Please  click here for latest fonts and FAQs on the new site.

Table of Contents for this web page:

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Where does the name "Andika" come from?

Answer: Andika — pronounced ahn-DEE-kah

Swahili — spoken widely in southeastern regions of the African continent, among other places. ( Ethnologue)

Meaning — "Write!"

Question: What characters are included in this release?

Answer: Andika covers over 2,300 characters from the Unicode 7.0 standard. See Supported Character Ranges for the full listing.

Question: What are all the stages of release for the Andika fonts?


Andika Design Review — completed

Andika Basic — completed

Andika Regular — completed

Andika New Basic Bold, New Basic Italic, and New Basic Bold-Italic — where we are now

Andika Bold, Italic, and Bold-Italic

Question: Why is the line spacing so much looser than other fonts, such as Times New Roman?

Answer: Our SIL Unicode Roman fonts include characters with multiple stacked diacritics that need a much looser line spacing (for example, U+1EA8 ). We cannot make the line spacing tighter without experiencing “clipping” of those characters. You may be able to overcome this by adjusting the line spacing in the application. For example, in Microsoft Word select Format / Paragraph and set the line spacing to use the Exactly setting and a value more suited to your needs. For example, if the font size is 12 pt, select line spacing of Exactly 13 pt. This will give a tighter line spacing. You can adjust the value up or down depending on how many diacritics you need to stack.

In a separate download we also provide a font called Andika Compact which is exactly the same as Andika except it has a tighter line spacing.

Question: Can I use Andika in my print publication?

Answer: Andika is released under the SIL Open Font License, which permits use for any publication, whether electronic or printed. For more answers to usage questions, see the OFL-FAQ web version (1.1-update4). The license, along with information specific to this release, is in the release package.

Question: Can I use Andika on my website?

Answer: Yes. You can create web pages that request that Andika be used to display them. With Andika v 1.00 we also provide in the "web" download package a WOFF font. See Using SIL Fonts on Web Pages for instructions on using fonts on web pages.

Question: Can I make changes to Andika?

Answer: Yes! That is allowed as long as you abide by the conditions of the SIL Open Font License. And we would be very interested in seeing any changes you might make. See Notes to contributors for more information.

Question: I'm having a problem with line spacing in Publisher. Do you have a solution?

Answer: This is a Microsoft Publisher problem that affects some fonts, including Andika, and not others. One effective workaround is to specify line spacing as a point size, rather than as a space size. A Microsoft forum discusses it  here.

This affects Publisher 2003 and 2007 and some versions of 2010. It appears to be okay in Publisher 2010 when all current updates have been applied.

Question: What is the difference between Andika and Andika New Basic?


  • Andika has a more complete character set comparable to Charis SIL and Doulos SIL.
  • Andika New Basic has a limited character set, supporting only the Basic Latin and Latin-1 Supplement Unicode ranges, plus a selection of the more commonly used extended Latin characters, with miscellaneous diacritical marks, symbols and punctuation.
  • Andika New Basic has all four faces: Regular, Bold, Italic and Bold-Italic.

Question: What is the difference between Andika Basic (2008) and Andika New Basic?


  • Andika New Basic has all four faces: Regular, Bold, Italic and Bold-Italic.
  • Andika New Basic has a few more characters than Andika Basic.
  • Andika New Basic uses different glyphs for "a" and "r" based characters than Andika Basic, and are identical to the main Andika font.
  • Graphite feature identifiers were integers in Andika Basic and are 4-character alphanumeric tags in Andika New Basic.

Known Issues

We are aware of the following problems. Please report any others you may encounter.

  • There has been no manual hinting done, but we have greatly improved the overall autohinting parameters. Please evaluate the letterforms from printed text, but let us know if you find severe distortions. In any case, the fonts should look fine when printed.
  • The font does not support the AAT capabilities that are in Doulos SIL and Charis SIL.
  • On some systems tone contours have small spaces between each segment of a contour in OpenType support (this problem does not occur using Graphite).
  • When using ffi and fi ligatures with the i-tail feature, the "i" in the ligature will not turn into an i-tail. This is a Graphite-only problem.
  • The font does not yet provide non-Literacy alternates for U+0250  LATIN SMALL LETTER TURNED A and U+1D44  MODIFIER LETTER SMALL TURNED A. Unfortunately this means there is no way to distinguish visually between U+0250 LATIN SMALL LETTER TURNED A and U+0252 LATIN SMALL LETTER TURNED ALPHA. This is something we hope to fix in the next update to Andika).
  • The Graphite features in this font are not currently handled by the CSS support in Firefox 11.

Contact Us

As these fonts and utilities are distributed at no cost, we are unable to provide a commercial level of personal technical support. We will, however, try to resolve problems that are reported to us.

We do hope that you will report problems so they can be addressed in future releases. Even if you are not having any specific problems, but have an idea on how this system could be improved, we want to hear your ideas and suggestions.

Please note that these fonts are intended for use by experienced computer users. Installing and using these fonts is not a trivial matter. The most effective technical support is usually provided by an experienced computer user who can personally sit down with you at your computer to troubleshoot the problem.

General troubleshooting information, including frequently asked questions, can be found in the documentation. Additional information is also available on the general Font FAQ page. If that fails to answer your question, please feel free to contact us!

© 2003-2017 SIL International, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted elsewhere on this page.
Provided by SIL's Non-Roman Script Initiative. Contact us here.