Members of SIL's Non-Roman Script Initiative team are currently experimenting with developing a Graphite-enabled Nastaliq font. Our current approach is to take the  Nafees Nastaleeq font developed by  CLE (Center for Language Engineering) and convert the OpenType lookups to Graphite rules. The reason for using this font is that it is freely available and has a VOLT project which makes it straightforward to decipher the OpenType.

However, there is a significant question as to whether this is an appropriate style for the communities that are in need of this font. Research is needed to determine the needed style. To obtain an appropriate font, options could include:

  • (1) locate an existing freely available font that is appropriate
  • (2) modify an existing font (this might be an option if a small number of forms need changing)
  • (3) develop a font from scratch
  • (4) work with another organization to develop a font that meets our needs

An appropriate font would need to support the  recommended Nastaliq subset.

Project status:

Convert OpenType lookups to Graphite

  • Basic initial/medial/final forms - DONE
  • Contextual alternates - DONE
  • Cursive connections - DONE
  • Kerning
  • Positioning nuqtas - DONE
  • Positioning other diacritics

Test and Debug

  • Two-base-form combinations with no nuqtas - DONE
  • Three-base-form combinations with no nuqtas - DONE
  • Four-base-form combinations with no nuqtas - DONE
  • CLE standard Urdu ligatures - DONE


Add support for minority languages