corin1corin1Fonts for Scholars


Latin, Germanic Languages,
Greek, Hebrew and Linguistics



Materials compiled by David J. Perry




These pages contain links to several files in PDF format.  For information on getting the free Adobe Reader and other PDF viewers, improving display quality, and solving common problems with PDF files, go to this page.





9/16/17          New: Article Using Unicode’s Historic Scripts is now available for download here.  This should be helpful for anyone who needs to use the ancient and historic scripts that are encoded in Plane 1.

8/15/17          This site is now an official sponsor of the character U+0100 latin capital letter a with macron.  I first got interested in font and character issues because I wanted to print vowels with macrons in the texts I prepared for my Latin students.  This seemed like it should be simple, but it was not in pre-Unicode days!

8/09/17          Italica Vetus 1.201 released, including a sinistroverse version.  See the Old Italic page for more information and downloads.

8/04/17          Italica Vetus 1.2 and updated keyboards released.  This version contains over twenty new shapes and some updated OpenType features, along with a few corrections and bugfixes.  . 

                        There is now a separate page devoted to software that provides complete support for OpenType and other ‘smart font’ technologies, including a guide to using OT features in LibreOffice 5.3 or more recent.

7/10/17          Materials for Old Italic.  On the Old Italic page you can download Italica Vetus, a font that supports the Old Italic range of Unicode (with many glyph variants) and keyboards to enter the Old Italic characters easily. 

4/20/11          Cardo 1.04, a major update to Cardo with many new roman characters and the first Cardo bold, is now posted.  See the Cardo Font page for details and links to download.

4/16/11           Be careful about unauthorized versions of Cardo; see the Cardo font page for information.

2/25/11          Cardo italic released!  See the Cardo Font page for details and links to download.

11/16/10         Site upgrade: I have upgraded my web site to avoid future problems with traffic quotas being exceeded.  The site was offline for a day while this upgrade was processed; apologies to anyone who tried to access the site during that time.  I hope I have gotten everything uploaded correctly to the new server, but if you find any glitches please let me know.

9/19/10          The book is out!  I have been working intensely for over a year on a major update of my book about Unicode, fonts, OpenType, and related issues — there have been no updates to Cardo or to this page since the book has consumed all the time not devoted to my day job.  This new edition, called Document Preparation for Classical Languages, about 240 pages, is now ready!  This page gives all the information, including the complete table of contents and preface and samples of some chapters, as well as the various ordering options.

9/10/10          New version 1.6 of XeTeX tutorial posted.  If you need to use OpenType features in your documents and are frustrated by lack of support in applications, or are looking for a freely available alternative to commercial publishing programs, check out XeTeXXeTeX is an extension of the typesetting language TeX, familiar to many mathematicians and publishers but less widely used elsewhere.  See this tutorial which focuses on using XeTeX to create multilingual documents with OpenType features.  Also download this zip file with the samples.  The first half of the tutorial is aimed at those new to TeX, while the second half will be useful both for newcomers and for those experienced with TeX but new to OpenType and XeTeX.  Version 1.6 incorporates a number of small but important updates and corrections.

Text Box:   5/19/10          Cardo has now been released under the SIL Open Font License.  Version .99 contains the updated license and a couple of minor fixes (no new characters, but the line spacing may work better in some Mac applications).  The manual still has the old license info; just ignore that.  Click the graphic at left for information about the Open Font License.  One important difference is that there is no longer any distinction between commercial and non-commercial use; anyone can use Cardo.

                          Cardo has been chosen, along with several other high-quality free fonts, for inclusion in the initial release of the Google Font Directory.  This Directory is part of Google’s effort to make it easier for web page designers to get quality typography on their pages through the new Google Font API.  For an explanation of all this see this blog post on Google Code or this web page.

5/10/09         Updated version of the complete list of characters for classical Latin posted; includes significant additions in Unicode 5.0 and 5.1.

3/14/09         My proposals for ancient Roman characters in Unicode were accepted and the characters appear in Unicode 5.1.  For reference, the proposals are now archived on this page

Click here to go directly to the Cardo font page.  Scroll down for more information about other things this site has to offer.




Beginning in the mid-1980s, as a classicist I encountered problems in finding fonts and keyboard drivers that I need for Latin and Greek.  This has turned into a serious interest in fonts and related issues, especially as they affect classicists, Biblical scholars, medievalists, and others who need to work in a variety of languages.  I am particularly interested in helping people understand and use the Unicode Standard, which makes true multilingual computing possible, and smart font technology such as OpenType and AAT.


On this page you will find:

·       a book that provides detailed information about font issues of concern to scholars

·       information about some of my own Unicode fonts and keyboard drivers

·       help with displaying macrons on web pages and with using characters in the Supplementary Planes of Unicode


Email me with any questions or comments.  Corrections or additional sources of information are welcomed.


All the materials on this page are available free, for the benefit of scholars and teachers.  I do have one request: if you find these materials useful, please drop me an email and tell me about how you have used them, and about improvements you would like to see.



information about fonts and font-related issues


Cardo: A Unicode font for classicists, biblical scholars, medievalists, and linguists

Available from this page is information about, and a link to download, the Cardo font.  Cardo is a large Unicode font specifically designed to meet the needs of classicists, Biblical scholars, medievalists, and linguists.


Unicode keyboard input: Latin, Greek, and Hebrew

If you want to use Unicode fonts and are looking for a convenient way to enter the characters, look on this page that describes my keyboards.  See also Document Preparation for detailed discussion of many different ways to enter uncommon characters into your documents.


Displaying macrons on web pages

Special for Latin teachers: how to get macrons on your web pages!  Click here for details.


All about fonts

See above for information about the second edition.  This old edition is now retired.  I have put most of what I have learned about fonts, keyboards, and related issues into a booklet titled Word Processing in Classical Languages: Latin, Germanic, Greek.  This booklet provides information about standard 256-character fonts as well as information about Unicode and how this will help scholars use a larger repertoire of characters, along with much other information.  It is written to be accessible to those who don’t have extensive knowledge of font issues, but also contains material that will be of interest to those who are experienced in this area. 


Font Development Issues

A PDF file discussing issues relating to the design of the Greek letter San/san is posted here.  Comments are solicited on this topic.






I used to post some useful links here.  They are now, along with many others, included in the second edition of Document Preparation.  It was difficult to decide which links, out of the very large number that I found while researching the book, were worth a separate mention on this page, so I just took them all off.



This page last updated on September 16, 2017.

Email David Perry with questions or comments.


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