TrueType font for Egyptian hieroglyphs from Unicode proposal N3349


This font contains the 1071 glyphs from 0x13000 to 0x1342E, forming the section from document WG2/N3349R that deals with Egyptian Hieroglyphs. (There is further information about the glyphs.) The name indicates that the font does not have the pretence to offer much more than the shapes of the font used by Gardiner in his grammar and in supplementary documents, while it is 'new' in the sense of being somewhat more streamlined and uniform.

The font was explicitly designed for use on a computer screen, and consequently the lines are thicker than in some other hieroglyphic fonts. It is also suitable for hieroglyphic text on paper however. A detailed list of justifications for the design of individual glyphs, including the choices of their dimensions, is forthcoming.

The font is available in two versions. In the first, the code points are as prescribed in Unicode, from 0x13000 to 0x1342E (in the SMP). In the second, the code points were transposed to 0xE000 to 0xE42E (in the Private Use Area of BMP). This was in order to accommodate software that cannot handle character codes of more than 2 bytes.





Who owns the rights to the font?

I do. It was created from scratch, using FontForge.

Can I use this font, and if so how?

The font is fully free for all private, academic and non-commercial use, including modification and redistribution. Acknowledgements where appropriate will of course be appreciated. If you're a company wanting to use the font for commercial purposes, please contact me first.

How do you feel about extending the font with new signs?

If there is a systematic way to do it, fine, otherwise I don't see the point. What is needed is that the Egyptological community gets organised and assigns responsible people to maintain a list of candidate signs to be added to the list from the Unicode proposal, by clear and well-founded principles, avoiding proliferation of trivial variant signs, combined signs and such lunacy. The emphasis should be on keeping the number of code points down. The motto 'the more the better' leads to unavoidable disaster.

I load the font in Word and nothing happens. Why?

What did you expect? That English text is magically translated into Ancient Egyptian? Some additional tool is needed to format hieroglyphic encoding into an image. See for example ResToImage and RES in Latex and RES in JavaScript.