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NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems

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Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/Nastaliq_Features

Nastaliq Navees Features

Jonathan Kew, 1997-10-30

Unicode Support

Please note that this font does not provide automatic support for the The Unicode Standard. The Nastaliq Navees font is an obsolete, symbol-encoded font requiring the obsolete QuickDraw GX technology. The use of Nastaliq Navees is discouraged. If you decide to download and use this font, please note there is no user support for the font. SIL has a Nastaliq style font called  Awami. We also provide four other Naskh fonts:  Arabic Fonts.

The fonts and character sets

Nastaliq Navees A

This font is encoded as an Arabic font, intended to be compatible with the Arabic Language Kit. This is the font recommended for users of Arabic script who already have the ALK software and are familiar with its use.

Using a GX-based application, it should be possible to take existing documents created using the ALK, apply the Nastaliq Navees A font to the text, and immediately have that text rendered in Nastaliq calligraphy. The following sample shows a simple Urdu sentence as rendered by two of the standard ALK fonts, and then the same text using Nastaliq Navees A:



The characters provided in Nastaliq Navees A (in their isolated forms; there are, of course, many more contextual forms present, which are automatically used as needed), and their positions in the font encoding, are shown here:



As the conventional style of writing the numerals varies from one region and language to another, the Nastaliq Navees fonts provide alternate styles for several of the digits. These are accessed via a "font feature" selector, typically available in the Style menu (or equivalent) in GX applications. (See the documentation for your GX text application for further information on accessing optional features in GX fonts.) The numeral sets available are shown here:



Nastaliq Navees R

For users who may not have the ALK available, but nevertheless wish to use Nastaliq calligraphy for Urdu, Farsi, or other languages, an alternate font is provided. This is Nastaliq Navees R, which is encoded as a "pseudo-Roman" font, and can be used with no special keyboard layout or other script-specific software. The character set supported is shown here, including the Roman equivalents used to access each character:



This character set is designed to allow Urdu or other text in Nastaliq script to be typed on a standard U.S. keyboard, with most characters being assigned to reasonably close English equivalents (or a nearby key, if the closest equivalent is already occupied). Using the Nastaliq Navees R font, and any standard GX-based application, it is possible to enter and edit Nastaliq text; the font contains all the information needed for GX to lay out text from right to left, choose appropriate joining forms, etc. However, note that more sophisticated word processing and page layout functions may not work as well with this font as with the ALK-compatible font and suitable "internationalized" software which is aware of issues such as right-to-left paragraph formatting and overall document layout.


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