the problems faced by classicists who need special characters
to type ancient languages. This font tries to solve, at least
in some extent, this problem.
COVERAGE OF THIS FONT
Alphabetum is a large font (6,656 characters in version
11.25) and it has been specifically designed to
type classical and medieval LATIN (including long
and short vowels, epigraphical signs, coin symbols, Mediaeval
abbreviations and metrical symbols, among others), GREEK
(including vowels with macron and breve, metrical signs and
many other characters missing in most fonts), OLD
ITALIC, (Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian, Picene, Faliscan,
Messapic etc), IBERIAN, CELTIBERIAN, OLD NORSE,
OGHAM, OLD PERSIAN cuneiform, GLAGOLITIC, OLD CYRILLIC,
COPTIC, PHAISTOS DISC, BRAHMI, AVESTAN,
IMPERIAL ARAMAIC, LINEAR B,
PHOENICIAN, ANATOLIAN SCRIPTS, INSCRIPTIONAL PAHLAVI, CYPRIOT, Ancient Greek
musical notation, Ancient Greek acrophonic numerals, New Testament
editorial symbols, Ancient Greek papyrological numbers, Aegean numbers and OLD
& MIDDLE ENGLISH, but this font includes support for
most of the Latin-based European languages (Esperanto,
English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Polish,
Romanian, Hungarian, Turkish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish,
Finnish, Icelandic, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Croatian,
Slovak, Czech, Welsh, Gaelic, Catalan and Portuguese),
Modern Greek, most of the Cyrillic-based languages
(Russian, Byelorussian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Moldavian,
Ukrainian, Azerbaijani/Azeri, Abkazh, Kazakh etc) and most of
the Devanagari-based languages (Hindi, Nepali,
Marathi, Bihari etc) most of the Bengali-based languages (Bangla,
Assamese, Manipuri etc), Hiragana , Katakana
and Bopomofo. It also includes all IPA
symbols, phonetic modifiers and tone
More font samples
in different languages and IPA (PDF file, 210 kb)
NEW IN VERSION 11.25 (June 2014)
This is a major update. The main changes
to version 10.25 (released October 2012) are the following:
Added 282 new
belonging to different Unicode blocks.
• Imperial Aramaic
- full coverage.
• Inscriptional Parthian
• Inscriptional Pahlavi
• Phaistos Disc
• Latin Extended D
Full set of diacritics - combining
(for use with any base character) or spacing (for display by
Many additions in the Latin part not
available in standard fonts (especially for transliteration
All characters from MUFI
recommendation v. 1.0
is included in ALPHABETUM, and also
many from v. 2.0 and 3.0 (but not complete coverage yet).
Added the following OpenType
: old style numbers, small capitals, standard
ligatures (fi, fl, ffl etc), discretionary ligatures (ct, st,
ae, oe, ob, ot), historical forms (long s), stylistic alternates
If you wish to see all characters the ALPHABETUM
Unicode font contains (6,650 signs in version 11.00) click on
the following link: ALPHABETUM character
(PDF document, 30 pages, 3,78 MB).
ADVICE: The font uses many slots in the Private Use Area
block (PUA) of Unicode (code points E000-F8FF), so it is
entirely possibly, that the same slots are used by other fonts
for other purposes. In general, the PUA contains A)-
signs not included by Unicode in its standard and B)-
some alternate glyphs.
For more details on the
font and information about Unicode, characters present in
ALPHABETUM, description and examples of languages which this font supports, different
input methods, font samples, customized services I offer and
other technical issues of interest, please read the ALPHABETUM
user's Manual (100 pages, PDF format,
Windows version of ALPHABETUM is currently available, however
this font should be usable on Macintosh running OSX. This is
not a problem, since MacOSX recognizes PC Unicode fonts
without complaint. (Note that you will need to restart the
computer to fully install the font).
For Unix/Linux systems: I have had reports of
people using ALPHABETUM successfully under these systems,
however, I have only tested myself the font under Debian. In
any case, you need to configure your Xfree server to recognize
and to use TrueType/OpenType fonts in Unix/Linux.
You also need a word processor which supports a
Mac users . There is a great variety of
Unicode-aware text processors on MacOSX.
You can use SUE, Pepper, Mellel, Nisus Writer,
NeoOffice, Pages, Papyrus, AbiWord or even TextEdit, which
comes with the Mac, for rendering Unicode. Among them,
probably Mellel is the best and with a reasonable price.
At the time of writing, Word 2004 is AT LAST
Unicode compatible; however, does not support RTL direction of
writing. See Alan Wood's site for further details.
Pc users . Recent versions of MS Word
(MS Word 97, Ms Word 2000 /2002/2003/2007, 2010, 2013 and
2016) support Unicode (not MS Word 95 and earlier versions).
OpenOffice for Windows supports Unicode very nicely.
Word Perfect 14 (WP Office X7) for Windows does not support
Unix/Linux users. StarOffice, OpenOffice and
KWord support Unicode. However, the Unicode editor Yudit (only
plain text) is one of the best in contemporary Unicode support
under Unix/Linux system.
recent web browsers (Internet Explorer, Nestcape, Mozilla
Firefox, Chrome and Opera on Windows; OmniWeb, Chimera,
Camino, Safari and Mozilla on Macintosh) support Unicode.
First of all, please note that the fonts do
not come with any keyboard drivers to access all the many
charactes in it! Please use the native tools or keyboard
drivers of your computing platform.
is a large font which contains thousands of characters.
This means that ALPHABETUM (like all Unicode
fonts) operates slightly differently to normal fonts: for
example, the Unicode Greek fonts tend to contain a Roman
font as well as a Greek font, and indeed, the Greek cannot
be accessed directly from the keyboard at all. Pressing
'l' on the keyboard will produce a 'l' on the screen, non
the Greek letter lambda, so some kind of utility is
required to produce a Greek letter of any kind.
Naturally you can use the Symbol/Insert
command to enter characters, however this is a hard,
tedious and laborious task. This is fine for rarely used
characters but too slow for things you use all the time.
Windows contains various keyboard drivers to
type the most common languages including polytonic Greek,
however, unfortunately Windows does not currently offer an
input method for many ancient scripts (Gothic, Runic,
Ogham, Ugaritic, Linear B, Cypriot, Old Italic,
Glagolitic, Avestan, Brahmi, Aramaic, Pahlavi etc).
Therefore, users need to use additional input
methods to enter these signs.
There are very good alternatives available,
At the time of this writing, the most
important utilities for inputting ancient scripts are the
following (both for free):
MULTIKEY by Stefan Hagel (with support for many
scripts including polytonic Greek, Gothic, Coptic, Ogham,
classical Latin, Old Italic and Ugaritic, currently from
my point of view perhaps the most complete keyboard
utility as far as ancient scripts is concerned) and KEYMAN
by Tavultesoft Software.
There are few keyboards designed for
ancient scripts to run under Keyman, furthermore, you can
create your own keyboard to fit your special needs.
The main advantage of Keyman is that this
application allows users to enter Unicode text in all
Windows applications (PowerPoint, Access and Excell) as
For those interested in polytonic Greek,
there is also a manual (in Spanish, 30 pages) describing
the ANTIOCH utility, including screenshots and guiding
users step by step.
There is also a guide for Multikey 5.00.
(again in Spanish, 24 pages).
These guides can be downloaded from the
ALPHABETUM Spanish page.
have also written a manual in Spanish about configuration
and use of Sibylla. It is available on request.
Character maps such as BABELMAP (only Windows
version) and POPCHAR (Windows and Mac versions) are very
helpful to insert Unicode signs in any application as
aware of the difficulty to enter Unicode text and in order
to facilitate the insertion of special signs (metrical
symbols, Old English characters etc) I have created
different templates (macros) to use under Word which
provides an easy and suitable way to access directly to
Old English characters (including Saxon typefaces
variants) and metrical signs present in the ALPHABETUM
font by using shortcut keys.
TEMPLATES (MACROS) FOR WORD
I also provide a document in pdf format with
information on how to install and use the templates (*.dot
files) and the list of keystroke combinations (shortcut
keys) required to get the aforementioned specific
characters on your PC.
If you are interested in these templates,
please click on the following link to download them. Templates
for WORD 278 kb.
that they are only fully operative with the full version
of the ALPHABETUM font, these templates only work
partially with ALPHA-Demo and evidently they won't
function at all in case you try to use them with other
TRIAL VERSION OF ALPHABETUM
A trial version of ALPHABETUM, named ALPHA-Test is
available from this site.
The download also includes an extensive manual in
English (100 pages in PDF format) which contains
information about how to type ancient languages with a
computer. The manual includes the description of several
ancient scripts showing samples written with the font as
Font package ZIP
file 2.73 MB (ALPHABETUM
pages + demo font )
a large file; therefore, please be
Note that around 500 characters of this demo font bear the
watermark "DEMO" which appears under or above the glyphs.
Nevertheless, the trial version of the font (ALPHA-Test)
has the same amount of signs than the full version
(ALPHABETUM Unicode) which, obviously, does not show the
is the result of long hours of investigation and hard
development is a painstaking, time-consuming task and
ALPHABETUM is a single person's work.
font is not free. Nevertheless, it has the lowest possible
price*. Please see different options and licenses below.
*ADVICE: Due to the current
fluctuation in the exchange rate among different
currencies, only prices in Euro can be guaranteed. The
prices in US$ and other currencies depend on the actual
exchange rate (at the date of this writing, January
2017, 1 euro is equivalent to 1,07 US dollars).
Do not worry about
converting the Euro price into your currency, PayPal
will do this when you make your payment.
If you like to have ALPHABETUM and the different
templates I have created (Metrics, Old English and Gothic) to use under Word
which provide an easy and convenient way to access
directly to many characters present in ALPHABETUM by using
shortcut keys, with their corresponding user's guides,
plus other additional programs (keyboard controlers for
Windows, Mac and Linux, Unicode editors, character maps
etc) mailed to your address on a CDRom, there is extra
cost, please see information given below.
Disclaimer: The aforementioned
software bundled with the font on the CDRom is evidently
freesoftware or shared programs which can be freely
distributed and all documentations which the different
authors provide remain intact. The original programs have
not been altered at all. I do not charge users a fee for
these programs. I only charge users for shipping and
full version of the font is available on request. Please
read the manual (chapter 54) for further information about
the different methods of acquiring ALPHABETUM.
If you own a credit or debit card (Visa®,
MasterCard®, Discover®, Maestro® and American Express®, you can
pay online, which means purchase can be made in a matter
This payment is being backed by PayPal®, a global leader in
online payment solutions. To make payments with PapyPal is
easy, fast, free and secure for buyers. Naturally, your
transaction will be confidential and the information you
give will not be used for any reason other than the use
intended. PayPal protects your security. (Note:
You are not required to have a Paypal account. By
following the instructions on the Paypal page, you may
make your payment by credit card or bank transfer.)
LICENSES AND PRICES
Depending on your choice, click on the corresponding
button below to purchase ALPHABETUM online. In order to
avoid errors, please read carefully the information given
below before clicking on the PayPal button to order
ALPHABETUM. Please be careful with
your choice since depending on it you will get
one item or other.
Option 1) - Restricted
individual license. ALPHABETUM (€15, approximately US $16 or £12, please read
ADVICE above*). The font will be sent as attachment to
your email account. Note that the font contains PDF
restriction, (i.d. embedding is disabled). This means that you
won't be able to generate PDF files running Adobe Acrobat,
for instance. An error message will appear on your screen
if you try to produce a PDF document. Print and preview is
allowed, however. You also are not entitled to use the font
in printed books nor to publish electronic documents in
the web. If you wish a version of the font with
unrestricted embedding, choose below option Full operative
individual license 2.
- Full operative individual license. Single user
license. ALPHABETUM (€30, approximately US $33 or £24, please read ADVICE
will be sent as attachment to your email account. The font has not
restrictions at all. All features are enabled. Even
embedding is allowed: this means that the font may be
embedded in documents to produce PDF documents running
Adobe Acrobat. You also are
entitled to use the font in a printed book (however, the
typesetter or publisher may not use the font for other
purposes without acquiring an appropriate license) or to
produce electronic documents which can be uploaded into
your web page and distributed in the internet, but you are
obliged to send me a copy of the book or electronic
document in which the font is used.
3) - Multiple computer license and
publishing license. ALPHABETUM (€45, approximately US $49 or £38, please read
ADVICE above*). The font will be sent as attachment to your
email account. The font has not restrictions at all. All features
are enabled. Even embedding is allowed: this means that
the font may be embedded in documents to produce PDF
documents running Adobe Acrobat.
For that moderate price,
ALPHABETUM can be installed on up to three computers
used primarily by
the purchaser as an individual (e.g. desktop computer in office,
desktop computer in home, and laptop). If you need to
install the font on more computers, please contact me
houses are entitled to use the font in printed books or
to produce electronic documents which can be sold in
their web pages. The publishing house and individuals
are not required to send me a copy of the book in which
the font is used.
This type of license is also appropriate for software
developers who wish to use the font in free or commercial
permits that ALPHABETUM can be used as a web-font (WOFF, EOT or SVG
formats) in a webpage as well.
An experimental italic version of the font which
contains 1,371 glyphs is also supplied with this type of
license if the user has interest in testing it and
requests me to include the font in the attachment.
Option 4) -
Multiple-user license or colective license
(Department license). ALPHABETUM (€100, approximately US
$110 or £85,
please read ADVICE above*). The font will be sent as
attachment to your email account. The font has not
restrictions at all. All features are enabled. Even
embedding is allowed: this means that the font may be
embedded in documents to produce PDF documents running
permits installations on up to 10 computers
the department's principal campus locations (i.e.,
departmental offices, departmental seminar and
research rooms, departmental library suites),
faculty home computers may be included in the total
of permitted installations. If you need
to install the font on more computers, please
contact me for information.
The department and its members may use the fonts in
all scholarly and teaching activities, in printing
documents and in preparing PDF's for distribution to
others. However, the department and its members may
not alter or redistribute the font to students and
individual license. All features enabled. Enhanced
version shipped on a CDRom. ALPHABETUM+OTHER UTILITIES (€60, approximately US $66
or £51, please
read ADVICE above*). You will receive ALPHABETUM on a CDRom
mailed to your postal address. ALPHABETUM comes without
restrictions to produce PDF files or to use it as a
dynamic font in your web site, since the font can be
embedded in your documents. You also will entitled to use
the font in a printed book or to publish electronic
documents in the web.
package which contains the ALPHABETUM font + Word
templates for Greek and Latin metrics, Old English and
Gothic + user guides + keyboard controllers (Greek, Coptic,
Hebrew, Runic, Sanskrit, Gothic, Old Italic, Esperanto,
Avestan, IPA etc) for Windows, Mac and Linux + Unicode text
editors + Unicode viewers + character maps + PDF generator
programs + Unicode converters + other useful font
utilities will be shipped on a CD to your postal address.
Concerning the different programs included in the CDRom,
please read disclaimer above.
An experimental italic
version of the font which contains 1,371 glyphs is
Option 6) - Upgrade to the
newest version of ALPHABETUM (v 11.00 April 2014).
Only for registered users of previous versions of the
font. If you are a registered user of ALPHABETUM,
update to version 11.00 for only €8 (approximately US $9 or £6, please read ADVICE
will be sent as attachment to your email account.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE:
1.- Whatever option you choose, please send me a
message after making the payment to confirm that you
are really who ordered the font.
2.- In most cases I will reply to your message in due
time (normally within a day or so), unless I was on
holydays, then it will take a little more time, since
I only will be able to check my emails from time to
time, (usually every three days, more or less or even
a little more during the summer) so be patient,
however, be sure that you will receive my response.
Sorry for this inconvenience.
3.- The delivery period of a CDRom mailed to your
postal address will take several days, obviously
depending on your country. In most cases the CDRom
will arrive at your home in approximately six days.
4.- Obviously, any modification or public distribution
of ALPHABETUM is not permited under any circumstance.
you acquire the full version of ALPHABETUM Unicode font
you will get:
Technical support: Registered users get free
technical support. I will try to resolve problems
that are reported to me.
information, please read the User's Manual.
what you need: ALPHABETUM contains all the regular
characters for the languages mentioned above in
precomposed characters or combining diacritical
marks. I have taken much care over this piece of
work and I have read many documents relating to
different languages, but, clearly, I don't know all
these languages, and, perhaps some important
character that you need may be missing or badly
drawn. If this occurs, please send me a message
detailing exactly what you need and I shall include
it, free of any additional charge, of course. For
other more important corrections or additions,
Just in case you are wondering who is
Juan-José Marcos, click here and you
will find some information about the author
of the ALPHABETUM Unicode font and this
I have taken care to see that
ALPHABETUM works as well as possible, but this font
is the work of only one person, any errors or faults
which it contains are mine, so if you find any wrong
code or any “bug” in the font, feel free to email
Although you do not purchase the font, please, send
me comments, suggestions for improvements or
anything else regarding ALPHABETUM. I would like to
know your opinion about the font.
I really would appreciate having
Such reaction from users will be the deciding factor
in my decision of carrying on with the development
Do not hesitate to contact me. Thanks.
If ALPHABETUM is well received, it will be expanded
in the near future (basic
Aegyptian hieroglyphics, Meroitic, Linear A,
Byzantine musical notation, more kerning
pairs, more characters, more “Open Type” features
and so forth).
PALAEOGRAPHIC FONTS FOR LATIN
NOTICE: If you wish to imitate more
accurately in your electronic documents the Latin
handwriting as it appears in medieval manuscripts,
please visit the page entitled “Palaeographic fonts
for Latin script” which I have created; there you will
find information about the different Latin handwriting
models and a collections of fonts (namely Capitalis
Rustica, Capitalis Elegans, Uncialis, Insularis
minuscula, Semiuncialis, Carolingia minuscula, Gothic
Textura Quadrata, Humanistica antiqua etc) which try
to reproduce properly the characteristics of their
corresponding ancient lettering: Capital Rustic,
Uncial, Insular minuscule, Half-uncial, Caroline or
Carolingian, Gothic and Humanistic.
are based on hand-drawn renderings of medieval
handwriting styles, genuine calligraphy and they
include specialty characters, abbreviations, ligatures
and alternate forms for some letters.
information and visual samples, please visit the
Palaeographic fonts page devoted to my
fonts for Latin palaeography.
Paleographic Latin fonts. Samples:
PALAEOGRAPHIC FONTS FOR GREEK
A similar font package for Greek Palaeography I have recently created (ANGULAR UNCIAL,
BIBLICAL UNCIAL, COPTIC UNCIAL, PAPYRUS
UNCIAL, ROUND UNCIAL, SLAVONIC UNCIAL,
SLOPING UNCIAL, MINUSCULE IX, MINUSCULE XI and MINUSCULE XV )
is also available. For more detailed
information press here
click on the image below.
MANUAL OF GREEK
Those readers interested in
knowing about the origin and development of
Greek typefaces will find useful to read my
e-book entitled “History of Greek Typography:
from the invention of printing to the Digital
Age” (440 pages profusely illustrated with
lots of images of Greek books printed by
Demetrius Damilas, Bonus Acursius, Aldus
Manutius, Zacharias Callierges, Janus Lascaris,
Froben, Guilles de Gourmont, Simon de Colines,
Plantin, Robert Estienne, the Elzevirs, the
Foulis brothers, Savile, Caslon, Baskerville,
Didot, Bodoni, Goeschen, Richard Porson, Watts,
Hibbert, Selwyn Image, etc.).
of Greek Typography: from the
invention of printing to the Digital
Age” follows the history and
development of Greek printing types and their role in the
history of the printed word and
explores every major development in the
design of Greek type and includes some
lesser-known designers whose type designs
made significant contributions to the
craft. The material is divided into
sections by historical period for easy
of the book provides an excellent
historical background to the study of
Greek printing types.
“History of Greek
stands a step above other books on the
history of Greek printing types because of
the number of its reproductions -some of
them extremely rare- and its
straightforward and clear exposition.
profusely illustrated, not only addresses
the Hellenic scholar, but also the modern
writer, typographer, historian, graphic
designer, printer, publisher and font
developer. For more detailed information click here
or the image below.
copy can be ordered from CreateSpace
(printed on demand), Amazon, Barnes &
Noble and other booksellers.
This page last updated on January 2017.
revisit this page from time to time for updates.