What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

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What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby bluesdance » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:29 pm

I'm willing to pay money for something if it's good, but it's very difficult to browse web sites to find fonts that have what I need -- which is, good vowel & trope placement and kamatz katan support.

So far the only font I've found in the entire world that does this is Ezra SIL, which is a great technical achievement.
But, I'd like to find something that's a little bit cleaner and more modern looking, like Hadassah.
I'm afraid to just go out and buy a "Hadassah" font because it's likely that I'd get something that wouldn't play nicely with ta'amim and kamatz katan, which is an absolute necessity for me.

So, does anyone have any suggestions? (Janet...?)

Thank you
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby jannuss » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:35 pm

bluesdance wrote:So, does anyone have any suggestions? (Janet...?)


My purchased fonts are almost all from Masterfont -- the local agent, Studio Rosenberg, is relatively near to where I live.

I noticed recently that their website http://www.masterfont.co.il/ no longer lists OpenType fonts as a special category, rather they ask you to contact them if you want a particular font in OpenType. I understand by that that nearly all their Hebrew fonts can be made available as OpenType (maybe for an extra fee). I assume the other large foundries work much the same way.

So, if you want Hadassah, you can probably have it. It will surely include vowels and probably trope marks
BUT
The chance of finding any font with KAMATZ KATAN is slim. Ezra SIL SR was designed specifically to provide old fashioned vowel placements and trope marks. I've never seen another font that does this.

Janet
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby jannuss » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:16 pm

jannuss wrote:The chance of finding any font with KAMATZ KATAN is slim.


I'll be damned . . . I found one!
Materfont has an OpenType font called Shen http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/lerfu/shen/shen/ that includes Katmatz Katan!! It's a little too "stylish" for my taste, but if they've made this one, it's likely they can/will make others.

Janet
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby bluesdance » Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:39 am

how did you find out that the font had that glyph?
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby jannuss » Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:52 am

bluesdance wrote:how did you find out that the font had that glyph?


Masterfont's website http://www.myfonts.com/ includes the entire unicode table for all of its Opentype fonts. You have to ask for "Full Character Map" and then under Codepages, select "Hebrew."

This is more a curiosity then anything else. Shen is not the kind of font you'd use for an entire document.

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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby bluesdance » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:00 am

Yes, it's odd that they would choose a font like that one to introduce outdated glyphs that are only useful to ba'alei kria and overly zealous hazzanim like myself... :?
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby jannuss » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:41 am

bluesdance wrote:Yes, it's odd that they would choose a font like that one to introduce outdated glyphs that are only useful to ba'alei kria and overly zealous hazzanim like myself... :?


My guess is that Shen was an experiment -- too bad they didn't find the need to repeat it.

I'll be talking to some graphics people tomorrow. I'll ask for the urls of local font foundries. Don't keep your hopes up, but maybe one of them has a soft spot for Ba'alei Kria.

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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby raymond » Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:39 pm

And my question goes to the same font but free, except Ezra: Are there any?
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby bluesdance » Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:44 pm

My kingdom for a Hadassah-esque font with an extra-long kamatz katan and a hataf kamatz that is the same length. Thank you for all your help.
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby jannuss » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:17 am

bluesdance wrote:My kingdom for a Hadassah-esque font with an extra-long kamatz katan and a hataf kamatz that is the same length. Thank you for all your help.


Good news!!

I found an Israeli font foundry, FontBit http://www.fontbit.co.il/ -- very pleasant, helpful people -- with a large catalog that includes 2 (two!) fonts with NIKUD, TAAMIM, and Kamatz Katan. These are Livonrno and Hadassah.

This has been an interesting adventure. I'm going to keep looking.

Janet
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby bluesdance » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:02 pm

how did you ascertain that these fonts included that glyph?
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby jannuss » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:02 pm

bluesdance wrote:how did you ascertain that these fonts included that glyph?


Yes.

Unfortunately, these fonts are pricey, but they are as complete as any Hebrew fonts I've seen.

I suggest you contact them directly.

Pesach Ssmaiach!

Janet
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby bluesdance » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:45 am

those people aren't very responsive... too bad.
i found a cheaper solution: I installed X11, downloaded FontForge, and figured out how to copy Ezra's Kamatz Katan glyph into SBL Hebrew. It doesn't line up 100% perfectly but it's pretty darn close. I'll go back and do the same with the hataf kamatz and when I do that I'll try to get the kamatz katan a little more correct. It's probably illegal to circulate that doctored font file but I'll send it back to SBL and maybe they'd want to post it on their site.
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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby jannuss » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:29 am

bluesdance wrote:those people aren't very responsive... too bad.

The rep I spoke with was very helpful -- you must have fallen on a lemon.

I installed X11, downloaded FontForge, and figured out how to copy Ezra's Kamatz Katan glyph into SBL Hebrew.

In that case, how about getting Hadassah and Shen from Masterfont and doing the same thing.
Since both fonts are purchased, I think it would be perfectly legal. Afterall, you could (theoretically) write your text in Hadassah, switch to Shen, enter a Kamatz Katan, and then switch back to Hadassah!

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Re: What are your favorite Hebrew unicode+opentype fonts?

Postby bluesdance » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:16 pm

Actually, that doesn't work. If you use a letter from one font with a vowel from another, OpenType doesn't know where to put the vowel, and it always ends up off to the side or something. That's why I had to copy glyphs from Ezra to SBL in the first place.
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