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I've got a font called Lato, and I need to add the characters İ, Ğ, ğ, Ş and ş. How can I do this?

1st photo is the original. 2nd photo is the same font that I upgraded:

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1 Answer 1

It is possible to add extra characters to fonts, but it isn't something for the faint-hearted.

The free and open source way to do it would be with Fontforge. However Fontforge, like other font editors, is complex enough that simply exporting your modified font to .ttf or similar is in itself a complex undertaking. It is a very steep learning curve. What's more, making a font that's compatible with Mac and Windows and hinting it properly is a fine art.

Other considerations include:

  • Do you have the right to modify the font? For Lato, you do, so that's moot in your case.

  • Why add them to an existing font? You could create a new font with just these glyphs in it.

  • Lastly, have you considered using either embedded SVG or image sprites instead? These seem like simpler options for what you want to achieve. You'll also have the benefit that you won't need to deal with complex (and inconsistent between platforms) font-rendering technologies.

Note: if you do create fonts, test them on Chrome for Windows! Chrome on Windows uses Windows GDI ClearType which will render a poorly-hinted font badly and is a good litmus test for your font.

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An image sprite would be a serious hassle for something like this and an additional resource to load on top of the font. I think adding the characters to the font is better. Plus why couldn't the OP just copy the hinting for the normal versions of the letters? –  Mr E. Upvoter Oct 3 '13 at 7:06
    
To me, image sprites would be pretty simple in comparison to editing fonts, and I have extensive experience in editing fonts. "Just copying the hinting" may be something an experience font editor may know how to do, but how would you begin to explain how to do it to someone who has never done it before? –  thomasrutter Oct 3 '13 at 7:48
    
Personally I don't have a Scooby about font editing but I do with image sprites and I'd anticipate a lot of hassle trying to display tiny images (Perfectly) inline with text, and trying to achieve consistency across browsers, especially older IEs. An image element inside a span for one letter is kind of overkill. –  Mr E. Upvoter Oct 3 '13 at 8:52

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