Microsoft Typography | Developer information | Specifications | OpenType font development
Indic OpenType Specification

Creating and supporting OpenType fonts for Indic scripts

This document presents information that will assist font developers in creating fonts for all Indic scripts covered by the Unicode Standard 3.1. Font developers will learn how to encode complex script features in their fonts, choose character sets, organize font information, and use existing tools to produce Indic fonts. Registered features of Indic scripts are defined and illustrated, encodings are listed, and templates are included for compiling Indic layout tables for OpenType fonts.

Indic shaping

Reph feature applied with multiple consonants.

This document also presents information about the Indic OpenType shaping engine of Uniscribe, an operating system component responsible for text layout.

In addition to being a primer and specification for the creation and support of Indic fonts, this document is intended to more broadly illustrate the OpenType Layout architecture, feature schemes, and operating system support for shaping and positioning text.


Change log

  • December 2001
    • Reformatted
  • 6 March 2000
    • The Malayalam sections in the spec now have details for handling chillaksharams.
    • Traditional Malayalam has been added to the Indic script list.
    • For Gurmukhi, Ya has been now identified as a post-base Ya.
  • 6 December 1999
    • Specification publicly posted.


Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Companies, names, and data used in examples herein are fictitious unless otherwise noted. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation.

2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Microsoft, MS, Windows, NT, MS Word and OpenType are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. TrueType is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.

Indic OpenType Specification
Microsoft Typography | Developer information | Specifications | OpenType font development