Assyrian/Syriac Language Support

I realize this is a very niche topic, but I was wondering if there is any support planned for Assyrian/Syriac text. It is a Semitic Unicode-supported language

It is read right-to-left and looks like this (not sure if it displays for everyone):
ܐܒܓܕ ܗܘܙ ܚܬܝ ܟܠܡܢ ܣܥܦܨ ܩܪܫܬ

The way that script is displayed here on the forum is called a fallback font. (The forum text font, Bitter, doesn’t include Syriac, so the operating system substitutes a font automatically.) Most software nowadays will do this, but Dorico is built in a multi-platform environment called Qt, which doesn’t seem to support fallback fonts. So you get those missing-character rectangles.

To solve this, set your font and paragraph styles in Dorico to fonts that support the script you want to write in. Start with “Default font” because many other styles are based on that.

What font is it that you want to use? Not all Unicode fonts have a Syriac block.

FWIW, I do see Syriac text above, without boxes or question marks for missing characters, and with appropriate joins between letters (disclaimer: I don’t actually read much Syriac, but years ago, I assisted in typesetting a scientific publication containing Syriac examples, so I know a little bit of how the script works). Apparently my phone has a Syriac-capable font aboard, and even knows how to combine the correct glyphs, just like it does with Arabic. It should work similarly on a ‘real’ computer: if you have a font and Unicode-savvy OS supporting this script in other applications, like Word processors, Dorico would probably also be able to handle it.

Here’s some Arabic in a text object in Dorico:


So, if you can find a font with the Syriac characters, it should work.

The question still stands - what font would the OP like to use?

If in doubt: Noto Sans has everything. There’s a Noto Sans Syriac**

As Mark points out, that font is included in macOS, but it isn’t available in font selection dialogs (neither Dorico nor OS-native apps like TextEdit). However, the OS does use it to display the Syriac glyphs in the OP.

But a quick Google shows several otherSyriac fonts.

**also Noto Sans Egyptian Hieroglyphic, Noto Sans Linear B, Nabatean…

1 Like

Yes, but what does the OP want? Is he referring to a specific font?

Thanks Ben! I was trying to find out what font it was displaying in for me, and figured it had to be a hidden system font, but I didn’t know which one.

Hi all,

Thrilled with the support I’m seeing on this forum. Wasn’t expecting it for a topic as niche as this one, but I’m truly grateful. In short, I wound up solving the problem by installing another keyboard layout that Dorico seems to like more than the other Syriac keyboard layout I was using. The characters display appropriately in the several Syriac fonts that I have installed, and it definitely meets my needs. Thank you all very much for your attention on this, or in Assyrian:
!!ܒܣܝ̈ܡܐ ܪܒܐ


Still curious to know what the fonts are. Not that I know Syriac, but I am interested in fonts in general.

@Andro you can find the guide to install the fonts for Windows here or Mac here. There are other sources but this has been my go-to for almost 15 years now. Happy fonting!

1 Like