I was just wondering if there are actually fonts where the individual characters are used variably. An example: There are beautiful fonts which simulate that a text was written with a typewriter. The problem: All single letters look identical in comparison, i.e. an a looks like the next a;b looks like the next b; every dot, every comma, every ampersand looks identical. Are there fonts that include, for example, multiple variants of a that are randomly used while writing? Do you understand what I mean? So that, for example, the text with the typewriter font looks more variant and realistic?

2 Answers 2


Yes. An OpenType randomizer was developed by Tal Leming many years ago which uses the text as a seed in some way I'm not smart enough to understand. Local Gothic and many other typefaces use it.


No, it is not possible. Font files are created in such a manner that every ASCII or Unicode character has at most 1 glyph. (At most, because not for every character has a particular font file a glyph.)

Maybe some workaround is possible using some Unicode fonts created for several languages, where some characters in different languages are similar, but not the same – for example the letter a exists both in the Latin and the Cyrillic alphabets.

But the same effect you may reach by alternate fonts – which may be OK for very short texts, but not for long ones.

For long texts, there is an option to change fonts programmatically in a random manner, for example in Word text editor using its VisualBasic scripting language.

  • 1
    That is not correct. OpenType and similar allow to change the glyph representing a character based on the previous character(s), which in turn allows to essentially implement a pseudo-random number generator. Also see this Q&A. However, this is rather old and I am not familiar with fonts using this (otherwise I would write an answer).
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jun 2, 2022 at 13:20
  • Hmm, makes sense. So, practically, both a special font would be necessary, which, for example, contains different variants for every single letter, digit and character. And then it would also need support of the software, for example Word, which then also uses these special fonts automatically, so that, for example, four different versions of the small "a" are used in a sentence. I find this exciting for documents with typewriter font.
    – dajana.s
    Jun 4, 2022 at 13:10
  • @dajana, you don't need a special font, only several typewriter fonts to allow randomly changing among them.
    – MarianD
    Jun 4, 2022 at 15:23
  • @MarianD And which program supports such a "mixing" of fonts then? For example, when I write a long text? I'm not looking for anything where I have to manually edit the individual letters or manually change the font for each letter. That would not have been the point of the question. :-)
    – dajana.s
    Jun 5, 2022 at 13:01
  • @dajana, every text editor with a scripting language, as for the before mentioned MS Word with its VisualBasic.
    – MarianD
    Jun 5, 2022 at 15:44

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