Arabic fonts tend to appear smaller than Latin fonts because of the vertical space taken up by diacratics. This is especially noticeable when typesetting the Quran, which has much more of these than Standard Arabic. My question is, should I scale up the font, by say, about 1.2 or 1.4, in order to account for this? Or is this a bad design decision? What font size do Arabic books usually use?

1 Answer 1


Even within Latin fonts there is a wide variation in x-height. You also have to account for bolding, stretching, letter spacing l and other effects. CSS even has font-size-adjust and size- adjust for this purpose.

I really wouldn't worry over much about the specific font size chosen unless you have to combine Arabic and Latin text. That sounds painful to me.

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    I am combining Arabic and Latin text in LaTeX. The English text is readable at a further distance where the Arabic text is not. They are both set to 10 pt size. I could however use Scale = MatchLowercase for the Arabic font and that will make it look better.
    – Amarakon
    Dec 21, 2022 at 6:09
  • @Amarakon I'm not sure of the settings in Latex but in general I would prefer to scale towards the font used most in the document. If your document is primarily Arabic it might be easier to scale Latin text to Arabic rather than Arabic to Latin. Not sure of how Latex does this stuff though. Dec 22, 2022 at 0:43
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    Thanks. My document is primary in English, so I am scaling Arabic text to Latin text. I use 10 pt font size, and my log file reports that my Arabic font was upscaled to 11 pt to match the English font.
    – Amarakon
    Dec 22, 2022 at 15:14

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