Academic fonts glyph coverage comparison

28 February 2024

See also: Glyph coverage by standard.

This page shows the glyph coverage for various popular academic fonts.

Fonts were selected based on recomendations on various sites, or for having wide glyph coverage, particularly in mathematics and historical languages.

The focus is on western academia, so I did not consider CJK-and-related coverage. Font styles are typically "classical" serif, with a few sans-serifs. Arial is included, but not Calibri, due to its peculiarities. Neither is really recommended for serious publications.

The "defining features" of a font are usually in how certain letters are drawn, in particular capitals A C E G I J K M O Q R S W, lowercase a e g i j l o y, some punctuation like ? , . (&), and the numerals. These are highlighted in the custom sentence, which also gives a feel for the "darkness" of the font, and its typical kerning. "Smirnoff" highlights issues with r n looking like m, and how ff renders.

You could also check the full Kurinto fonts collection (some included here), and the TypoPro collection. The Kurinto fonts are based on and extend popular free fonts like Arimo, Kelvinch, Cardo, Carlito, Noto Sans, Fira Sans, Junicode, Libertinus Sans, Tinos, Charis SIL, and Courier Prime.

The mapping from these popular fonts to Kurinto is
Original fontKurinto expanded font
ArimoKurinto Aria
CardoKurinto Book, Kurinto Book UFI
CarlitoKurinto Cali
Charis SILKurinto Text Music
Courier Prime, CNew   Kurinto Type
Fira SansKurinto Plot Bold
JunicodeKurinto Roma UFI
KelvinchKurinto Arte
Libertinus SansKurinto Seri
Noto SansKurinto Sans Music
Noto Sans MonoKurinto Mono
TinosKurinto TMod

I have included Arial, Helvetica, Segoe UI Symbol and Times New Roman, since they are so pervasive. I did not include the usual Latex fonts because they are getting old and their glyph coverage is not keeping up.

In 2024 I added three of the Go Noto universal fonts which are fonts made by combining selected separate Noto fonts. There is some overlap with Kurinto Sans Music listed above, but the Europe Americas version has almost complete coverage of the Unicode blocks in my academic selections.

The coverage for the three fonts is
Font Unicode blocks Characters Glyphs
Go Noto Current 197 32804 61207
Go Noto Ancient 178 24556 32971
Go Noto Europe Americas 120 13391 53393
Each Noto Go font includes the following blocks by default:
Upstream font Unicode blocks Characters Glyphs
Noto Sans 37 2840 3748
Noto Sans Math 22 2472 2655
Noto Music 7 561 581
Noto Sans Symbols 15 840 1218
Noto Sans Symbols 2 37 2655 2674
Total 111 9368 10876

Not all of these fonts are suited for your main text, especially the monospace ones. I have included them because there are particular use cases where they could be appropriate.

Ideally you would want a font that also had bold and italic variants. However, fonts with wide glyph support often only come in a regular weight. To be fair to these, the samples below relied on LibreOffice and the OS font engine to do the bold and italic variations, rather than from dedicated fonts, which are usually not installed.

The text samples were made in LibreOffice, and then screenshotted (?). Attempts to do it all programmatically and via Latex failed due to issues with PHP and Latex.

First are sample images of each font, and abbreviation for the column headings in the table below.
Font size for the letterforms is 28pt, while the sentences are 12pt.
The user-selectable glyph coverage tables are below.

We also have the Google Fonts collection as at 11 April 2022 analysed according to these criteria, as a spreadsheet (.ods).

     Serif  Sans serif  Mono / semi-Mono 

  1. Arial 7.00 (Arial), 3361 glyphs

  2. Catrinity 2.07 (Cat), 18761 glyphs

  3. Code2000 1.176 (Code), 53082 glyphs

  4. Dihjauti 2.0.0 (Dih), 5944 glyphs

  5. Everson Mono 7.000 (Ever), 9638 glyphs

  6. Fairfax HD 2024.02.05 (Fair), 22220 glyphs

  7. FreeSerif 0412.2263 (FSer), 8086 glyphs

  8. Go Noto Ancient 2.012 (NotA), 25030 glyphs

  9. Go Noto Current 2.012 (NotC), 32385 glyphs

  10. Go Noto Europe Americas 2.012 (NotEA), 13577 glyphs

  11. Helvetica 10.0d4e1 (Helv), 2006 glyphs

  12. Iosevka 28.1.0 (Iosev), 6424 glyphs

  13. Julia Mono 0.053 (Julia), 10317 glyphs

  14. Kurinto Aria 2.196 (KAria), 17488 glyphs. Based on Arimo.

  15. Kurinto Arte 2.196 (KArte), 18910 glyphs. Based on Kelvinch.

  16. Kurinto Book 2.196 (KBook), 20073 glyphs. Based on Cardo and others.

  17. Kurinto Book UFI 2.196 (KBkU), 9100 glyphs. Based on Cardo and others.

  18. Kurinto Cali 2.196 (KCali), 16577 glyphs. Based on Carlito.

  19. Kurinto Mono 2.196 (KMono), 8539 glyphs. Based on Noto Sans Mono.

  20. Kurinto Plot Bold 2.196 (KPlot), 17496 glyphs. Based on Fira Sans.

  21. Kurinto Roma UFI 2.196 (KRomU), 7967 glyphs. Based on Junicode.

  22. Kurinto Sans Music 2.196 (KSansM), 21744 glyphs. Based on Noto Sans.

  23. Kurinto Seri 2.196 (KSeri), 18153 glyphs. Based on Libertinus Sans.

  24. Kurinto Text Music 2.196 (KTxtM), 22659 glyphs. Based on Charis SIL.

  25. Kurinto TMod 2.196 (KTMod), 18927 glyphs. Based on Tinos.

  26. Kurinto Type 2.196 (KType), 17316 glyphs. Based on Kurinto CNew, which is based on Courier Prime.

  27. Libertinus Math 7.040 (LibMa), 3648 glyphs

  28. Quivira 4.1 (Quiv), 11091 glyphs

  29. Rursus Compact Mono 1.10 (Rurs), 6012 glyphs

  30. Segoe UI Symbol 6.23 (Seg), 7361 glyphs

  31. STIX Two Math 2.13 b171 (STIX2), 4605 glyphs

  32. Symbola 14.00 (Sym), 12217 glyphs

  33. Times New Roman 7.00 (TNR), 3634 glyphs

Glyph support comparison

The table excludes U+058B, U+058C, U+169E, U+2065, U+208F, U+4E2D, U+A8FB, U+FB10, U+FB11, U+FB12, and U+FFFF codepoints, any blocks not present in any of the fonts, and the following blocks which are in some of the fonts:

  • 0F00..0FFF; Tibetan
  • 2E80..2EFF; CJK Radicals Supplement
  • 2F00..2FDF; Kangxi Radicals
  • 3400..4DBF; CJK Unified Ideographs Extension A
  • 4E00..9FFF; CJK Unified Ideographs
  • A000..A48F; Yi Syllables
  • A490..A4CF; Yi Radicals
  • A960..A97F; Hangul Jamo Extended-A
  • AC00..D7AF; Hangul Syllables
  • D7B0..D7FF; Hangul Jamo Extended-B
  • E000..F8FF; Private Use Area

Select fonts (maximum 12) to compare. You probably don't want more than 5 or 7 at a time. Trust me.

 Serif  Sans serif  Mono / semi-Mono 

The table below is supposed to render using Symbola font, your browser may substitute different glyphs as needed..