This information focuses on Unicode fonts in the .ttf format, with information about each font and links to download.
Most of the time Unicode .ttf is the type of font that should be used.They can be used in any operating system and by any modern program. More about this is below.
Note that the placement of the baseline of Tibetan when mixed with Latin script is not optimal. A solutions exists but lacks support in applications, see this link.
- 1 About Tibetan fonts
- 2 Freely available Unicode fonts
- 3 Commercial Unicode fonts
- 4 Mac OS-X Unicode fonts
- 5 Legacy fonts (non-Unicode)
- 6 Internal Links
- 7 External Links
- 8 Note
About Tibetan fonts
Fonts that are in TrueType (.ttf) format can be used on any operating system. Just drop them into your fonts folder.
Download all GPL fonts from one place [as of November 2016]:
The individual, authoritative sources for fonts are below.
Freely available Unicode fonts
BabelStone Tibetan is a Unicode Tibetan font. It is a modification and extension of the Jomolhari font. Jomolhari is a Bhutanese style calligraphic uchen Tibetan script font developed in Bhutan by Christopher J. Fynn, and licensed under the SIL Open Font License (OFL). I would like to express my immense gratitude to Chris for designing such a beautiful font, and releasing it under a free license that allows me to modify it and release it under the BabelStone brand.
BabelStone Tibetan is based on Jomolhari Version alpha 0.003c 2006, which is quite old, and so does not include sixteen characters added to the Tibetan block in Unicode versions 5.1 (2008), 5.2 (2009) and 6.0 (2010). BabelStone Tibetan adds support for these sixteen characters, and also extends the font to cover many additional stack clusters, including non-standard clusters that are used for writing Tibetan shorthand contractions and some unusual clusters that were used for transcribing Tangut. If there are any stack clusters you need that BabelStone Tibetan does not currently support, please let me know by email or on twitter, and I will endeavour to promptly add them to the font. Please note that the current release (10.000) is the first public release of the font, and there are a number of known limitations and defects which I hope to fix in the future.
License: OFL (Open Font License)
Chris Fynn's Tibetan Fonts
DDC Uchen, a font designed by Chris Fynn for the Dzongkha Development Commission, can be downloaded from:
OFL (Open Font License)
"Font designed by Christopher J. Fynn. Copyright (c) 2010 by Dzongkha Development Commission."
Jomolhari, a font by Chris Fynn, can be downloaded from:
- Note: See above BabelStone Tibetan is an updated version of Jomolhari.
OFL (Open Font License)
"Copyright (c) 2006 by Christopher Fynn. All rights reserved."
Adobe InDesign CS2 & CS3
There was a special version of the Jomolhari font called "Jomolhari ID" available, designed to work only in early versions of Adobe's InDesign (CS2 & C24) on both Windows and Mac. InDesign has its own OpenType shaping engine and CS2 and CS3 had no specific support for Tibetan script.
The font worked by using lookups under "generic" OpenType features which are applied by InDesign's shaping engine ~ rather than the features specified for Tibetan which InDesign's shaping engine did not apply. These special lookups are now incorporated into the regular Jomolhari font along with the normal lookups for Tibetan script.
Adobe InDesign CS5
This has been solved for InDesign CS5: See How to prepare InDesign CS5 for Tibetan script.
License: Non- GPL
Noto Sans Tibetan
Noto is a universal font made by Google. It has a Tibetan version in both regular and bold. It can be downloaded from https://www.google.com/get/noto/#sans-tibt. It can also easily be integrated in a webiste by following these instructions.
License: OFL (Open Font License)
The Central Tibetan Relief Committee (CTRC) has created a number of free dbu can and dbu med fonts.
Their new Qomolangma fonts can be downloaded from:
The older subset of CTRC-fonts can still be downloaded from the Tibetan font overview of the Virginia University, however the Qomolangma set is newer.
License: non- GPL "Copyright (c) 2014 CTRC"
Sambhota: TsugRing and YigChung
Sambota Tibetan Schools Society Dharamshala has created two new Unicode fonts as of August 2010: Tibetan TsugRing (OTF) and Tibetan Sambhota Yigchung (TTF).
They can be downloaded from
- currently unavailable: SamBhota.org/sambhota-tibetan-unicode-fonts/ [page works, download links "not found" - aug 2016]
with samples, as well as information about compatibility and keyboards.
(Samples and useful information are there, but as of 27 august 2016 the download links for the two fonts get "not found". We are contacting Sambhota to find out.)
PKTC: Tibetan Machine Uni
The fonts of Tibetan Computer Company (TCC) by Tony Duff are renowned for being some of the most beautiful, high-quality Tibetan fonts available. They are all in dbu can style; TCC are not planning to produce dbu med fonts "until the Windows operating system can support them properly."
PKTC "typefaces are available in two encoding formats: non-unicode and unicode. We continue to support our own, non-unicode format for Tibetan because, unfortunately, the Tibetan Unicode standard does not support many of the specialized characters needed for serious work in the Tibetan language."
Download the freely available TCC Tibetan Machine Uni at:
License: non- GPL
See below for the commercially-available TCC Unicode fonts (Calligraphic, Classic and Chogyal).
THDL: Tibetan Machine Uni
The Tibetan Himalayan Digital Library (THDL) provides a Unicode Tibetan Machine Uni font.
This font can be downloaded from:
Commercial Unicode fonts
Nitartha: Sambhota font for Unicode
License: non- GPL.
"Copyright © 2007 Nitartha International. All rights reserved. ... limits installation to one computer. However we want to encourage the use of our product in all possible circumstances for the benefit of beings and will work very hard to meet your needs if you will call and ask us for permission."
License: non- GPL
Microsoft with PRC: Microsoft Himalaya
This font is part of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating system.
Since it is a .ttf (TrueType) font it can be used on any OS (such as Ubuntu Linux, MacOSX). Just drop it into the fonts folder like any font.
"© 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved." With usage restrictions.
Padma Karpo Translation Committee fonts
The fonts of Padma Karpo Translation Committee, former Tibetan Computer Company (TCC) by Tony Duff are renowned for being some of the most beautiful, high-quality Tibetan fonts available. They are all in dbu can style; TCC are not planning to producedbu med fonts "until the Windows operating system can support them properly."
TCC "typefaces are available in two encoding formats: non-unicode and unicode. We continue to support our own, non-unicode format for Tibetan because, unfortunately, the Tibetan Unicode standard does not support many of the specialized characters needed for serious work in the Tibetan language."
The TTCC fonts Tibetan Calligraphic Unicode, Tibetan Classic Unicode and Tibetan Chogyal Unicode can be purchased at:
License: non- GPL
See above for the freely available Tibetan Machine Unicode font.
Mac OS-X Unicode fonts
|Why are Mac Unicode fonts in a different section?|
|Unfortunately both Mac OS-X 10.5 and 10.6 (which supports Tibetan) and Adobe's programs support a different set of OpenType features which are required to correctly render Tibetan glyphs. So far Chris Fynn's Jomolhari ID font is the only publicly-available font that supports all platforms. The other fonts listed above run only with Windows and Linux, and the Mac fonts below run only with Mac OS-X. See Platform Independent Tibetan Unicode Fonts for the internal encoding differences.|
Mac OS-X includes two Tibetan fonts since version 10.5.x :
Freely available is Chris Fynn's
- Jomolhari ID: THLIB.org/tools/#wiki=/access/wiki/site/26a34146-33a6-48ce-001e-f16ce7908a6a/jomolhari%20id.html
- DDC Uchen: Dzongkha.gov.bt/IT/download/fonts/DDC_Uchen.ttf
The company XenoTypeTech offers different Tibetan fonts (both dbu can and dbu med) for different versions of Mac OS-X:
Legacy fonts (non-Unicode)
|Why switch to Unicode?|
|There still exist quite a number of high-quality Tibetan fonts which do not support the Unicode standard. Since they rely on proprietary encoding, they often only work in a well-defined and closed environment. That makes it difficult to work with standard software:|
|* For legacy fonts, standard word processors like OpenOffice or Microsoft word do not understand boundaries of Tibetan syllables and might break syllables in wrong places.|
|* Desktop search engines cannot search Tibetan in legacy encodings.|
|* It is very difficult to change fonts; special conversion software is needed.|
|* Files might not be readable in the future because they use proprietary encoding.|
An incomplete list of legacy fonts (free downloads):
- LTibetan UDP.Leighb.com/robillard.exe License: TBD
- Tibetan Machine http://www.pktc.org/pktc/download.htm#FreeTypeface License: TBD
For information on how to convert documents that use legacy fonts into standard Unicode, see:
If you are a font developer, you can convert and create Unicode fonts following the information at:
general formatting and editing
- Formatting rules for Tibetan text - This article explains the basic rules for formatting Tibetan texts, and shows how to use OpenOffice to create properly formatted Tibetan documents.
- How to edit Tibetan texts
how-tos for specific programs
- Configuring Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 or 2010 for Tibetan script
- Tibetan Formatting OpenOffice.org Extension - The extension allows left/right justification of Tibetan text including automatic Rinchen Spungs Shad handling.
- How to prepare InDesign CS5 for Tibetan script
- How to configure Web browsers for correct display of Tibetan script
font creation and licensing
- How to make Platform Independent Tibetan Unicode Fonts with FontForge.
- About licenses for font use: The GPL+FE and the OFL (Open Font License) are optimal.
- How to view font information with FontForge or otfinfo.
- Tibetan font overview of the Virginia University
The builder of this page does not have extensive knowledge of Tibetan fonts, and has only collated this info from other sources. It would be most helpful if you have more information, to send it here, and i will be able to change it.