This is an archive of the original site, preserved as a historical reference. Some of the content is outdated. Please consult our other sites for more current information:, ScriptSource, FDBP, and silfontdev


Contact Us


Initiative B@bel

WSI Guidelines


















Type Design


Design Tools



Font Downloads










Font FAQ



Computers & Writing Systems


You are here: Type Design > Resources > Font Downloads
Short URL:

Zaghawa Beria Font

Annie Olsen, 2007-05-31


A newer version of this custom-encoded font is now available here: When the font is eventually encoded in Unicode, that webpage will link to the updated font.


This font was designed by a talented volunteer designer, in cooperation with SIL International and the Mission Protestante Franco-Suisse au Tchad.

About the Script

This alphabet is built around a sampling of the markings on livestock (especially camels) within the Zaghawa Beria language region of western Sudan and eastern Chad. It is an idea that has its origins in the work of a Sudanese schoolteacher, who developed the first version of this over 25 years ago. The script has since been better adapted to the Zaghawa Beria language by Siddik Adam Issa, and he has found a great enthusiasm by the people for what he has put together.

The font is a hanging font. The "clothesline" on which the font hangs is the line below the suprasegmental box, and above the lower case box.

There are two types of supersegmentals: tone/stress, and ATR marking for vowels.

Tone and stress marks are mutually exclusive. Tone markings occur in transcriptions, and stress markings occur in the writing system.

The vowels [e], [i], [o] and [u] are marked for Advanced Tongue Root (ATR) by putting a line in the lower half of the supersegmental section above the hanging line.

Booklet cover: La vendeuse de lait (The Milkmaid)


Note that this font is not encoded according to The Unicode Standard, since the script is not in Unicode. An ANSI-style chart is provided in the "Samples" section to show the custom-encoding.


Zaghawa Beria .pdf sample
Annie Olsen, 2006-10-06
Download "ZaghawaBeria_pdfsample.pdf", Acrobat PDF document, 38KB [10342 downloads]
Zaghawa Beria .pdf ANSI codechart
Lorna A. Priest, 2010-02-04
Download "ZaghawaBeria_ANSIchart.pdf", Acrobat PDF document, 36KB [4699 downloads]


Zaghawa Beria is released under the SIL Open Font License (OFL), version 1.1. Copyright (c) 2007, SIL International ( with Reserved Font Names “Zaghawa Beria” and "SIL".

Notes to contributors

The release of Zaghawa Beria under the Open Font License provides a means for people to contribute to this project. For information on what you're allowed to change or modify, consult the OFL and OFL-FAQ. The OFL-FAQ also gives a very general rationale regarding why you would want to contribute to the project.

Anyone can make their own modified version of Zaghawa Beria (using a different name), but SIL International will continue to maintain and develop the canonical version of the Zaghawa Beria fonts. As the package maintainer, we warmly welcome contributions. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Format: We are open to contributions in various formats, but if you want to maximise the chances of us including your work, please make it available to us (via email or a URL) as either a FontLab database (preferred) or a PostScript Type 1 (or OT-CFF) font.
  • Copyright attribution: If you submit something for inclusion in Zaghawa Beria, we will ask you to affirm that it is your original work, and ask you to assign the copyright of your work to SIL International. This is to ensure that future releases can be made under improved versions of the OFL without needing to track you down for further permission. This follows the same principle used by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Keep in mind that we are a not-for-profit organization committed to free/libre and open source software, and that any contributions incorporated in the fonts will always be available under the OFL or a similar license.
  • Quality: Because we want to be able to guarantee a high level of quality for Zaghawa Beria fonts, we will review submissions carefully. Please don't be discouraged if we do not include a submission for this reason, or ask you to make specific revisions.
  • Types of contributions: If you wish to make a contribution - a set of additional glyphs, scripts, code, etc. - please contact us before you do any work to see if it is a contribution we currently need. Every addition adds to the complexity of the project and needs to be carefully planned. This also avoids two people working on the same type of addition at the same time.

Font Download and Installation Instructions

If you agree to the terms of use (described above), then download the font from the following links.

Zaghawa Beria OpenType font - for all current systems
Victor Gaultney, 2019-04-30
Download "", ZIP archive, 42KB [1520 downloads]

Once the package has been downloaded, you will need a decompression utility to expand the archive. Within the archive are the font files, licensing information and a fontlog.

This font can be installed using standard font installation procedures for the given operating-system platform. Note that certain applications may not see the new font immediately. You may have to quit and restart the application for the font to become available. Also, your application may display the font name using the characters themselves, in which case it will look like the graphic at the top of this webpage.

Previous Versions

Zaghawa Beria OpenType font - for systems that support OpenType fonts (current Mac OS X, Windows)
Victor Gaultney, 2007-05-31
Download "", ZIP archive, 41KB [4675 downloads]
Zaghawa Beria TrueType font - for older systems
Victor Gaultney, 2007-05-31
Download "", ZIP archive, 53KB [5304 downloads]
Zaghawa Beria PS Type 1 font - for Mac OS 9 and earlier
Victor Gaultney, 2007-05-31
Download "ZaghawaBeriaMac.sit", Stuffit archive, 68KB [3738 downloads]

Unicode Proposal

This script is not yet in Unicode. A preliminary Unicode proposal has been written. However, due to the situation in Darfur and the inability to get feedback, the proposal has not been advanced to a formal proposal.

Preliminary proposal to encode Beria (revised) (=L2/08-265)
Lorna Priest, 2008-08-20
Download "Beriav6.pdf", Acrobat PDF document, 677KB [5231 downloads]

© 2003-2024 SIL International, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted elsewhere on this page.
Provided by SIL's Writing Systems Technology team (formerly known as NRSI). Read our Privacy Policy. Contact us here.