celebrated 125 years since the first publication of the International Phonetic Alphabet in 2013

IPA Fonts

The following sections cover fonts for Macintosh, Windows and TeX/LaTeX.

Phonetic Fonts for Macintosh

Phonetic Fonts for Windows

Thanks to the introduction of Unicode, recent Windows computers come ready-equipped with phonetic symbols. See http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/ipa-unicode.htm

"Eureka!" by Dermod Quirke and Brian Holser describes how best to keyboard characters that are not on the keyboard, using a poorly documented feature of Word. With the permission of the authors, an unzipped version of the article can be downloaded from the UCL server at http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/Eureka.doc.

To apply these ideas to the question of keyboarding IPA characters, see the article by John Wells at http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/eureka-ipa.doc

What this means is that everyone with recent versions of Windows and Word can now use IPA characters in documents without changing fonts -- eg with a set-up such as Windows 2000, Word 2000, HP deskjet 930C, and Internet Explorer 7/NN6. (Various remaining bugs have still to be be ironed out - in PowerPoint, in Excel, with laser printers and so on.)

The Language Sciences Shop at UCL (University College London) sells a set of Truetype phonetic fonts for use on IBM-compatible PCs running Windows. They cover all the symbols on the current IPA Chart, including diacritics and tone marks. They are comprehensive, sensibly assigned to keystrokes, and inexpensive.

With the fonts installed, you can display phonetic symbols on the screen and print them out in any size. They will work with any word processor running under Windows. The character set includes all the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet as currently recognized by the IPA. There are three typefaces: Doulos (similar to Times), Sophia (san serif) and Manuscript (similar to Courier, monospaced). These come in regular, bold, italic, and bold italic, making twelve fonts in all.

The most useful phonetic symbols are mapped onto the keys of the ordinary keyboard: all the symbols needed for phonemic or broad-phonetic transcription of English, French, German, Spanish and many other languages, all the cardinal vowel symbols, and a range of allophonic or general-phonetic symbols and stress marks (glottal stop, tapped r, dark l, r-coloured schwa, voiceless alveolar lateral fricative, palatalization diacritic, syllabicity mark, hacek, right arrow). The key assignments are based on the SAM-PA recommendations.

The remaining IPA symbols are assigned to ANSI numbers in a logical order. They can be accessed by using the computer's numeric keypad while holding down the Alt key. All diacritics are 'floating', i.e. can be attached to any letter. There are also a number of phonetic symbols included that are not (or no longer) recognized by the IPA.

The IPA-SAM fonts are proprietary copyrighted Encore fonts created using Typecaster software supplied by the Summer Institute of Linguistics. They can be purchased (under licence from SIL) from

UCL Department of Speech, Hearing & Phonetic Sciences
Chandler House
2 Wakefield Street
London WC1N 1PF
fax: +44 20 7679 4238
email: shop@phon.ucl.ac.uk

A diskette with all three fonts is priced at £20 or US$32, VAT and postage included.

For further details and a graphic of what is included, see http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/fonts.htm

Adobe Fonts for Macintosh and Windows

The Stone Phonetic typefaces, available for the Macintosh and Windows platforms, were designed by John Renner of Adobe Systems and released in 1992 by The International Typeface Corporation (ITC) as phonetic companions to ITC Stone Serif and ITC Stone Sans typefaces. The designs consist of more than 330 symbols in sans and serif styles, and conform to the IPA glyph complement finalized at the 1989 Kiel conference (with the exception of contour tones).

The current price of the Stone Phonetic package of four fonts is available from Adobe Resellers. The Adobe package number is 255. Prices will vary by country and reseller. Please refer to the list of International Adobe resellers.

To order the Stone Phonetic from Adobe Systems in North America, you can order the floppies by telephoning 1-800-445-8787, or you can unlock from Type On Call or the Web by calling 1-800-682-3623. Adobe's fax number is +1 408-644-2004.

In Europe, you can telephone Adobe UK in Edinburgh +44 131 451 6888, and by fax +44 131 451 6999. The toll-free number in the UK is 0800 8907 113.

From the World Wide Web, you can purchase and download from Adobe Web Server.

Below are partial samples of the four Stone Phonetic fonts in GIF form.

Stone Sans

Stone Sans Alternate

Stone Serif

Stone Serif Alternate

Rogers Fonts (IPAPhon) for Macintosh and Windows

Rogers Fonts (IPAPhon) is a family of four fonts with the full set of IPA symbols (1993 revision, with 1996 update). IPAPhon allows entry of regular text and phonetic symbols without changing fonts. It is an attractive serif font with roman, italic, and bold versions. An additional pi-font contains symbols in the extIPA and VoQS proposals for transcribing disordered speech, as well as diacritics to fit narrow and wide symbols, and other useful symbols. In total, there are almost 400 symbols. Extensive documentation makes it easy to find the symbol you need.

IPAPhon is downloadable in Macintosh and Windows versions.

Phonetic Fonts for TeX/LaTeX

The TIPA fonts for LaTeX are very high quality and cover all IPA symbols including tone mark-up. They can be downloaded from any CTAN server -- eg via http://www.ctan.org/. The TUG website gives a full list so that the site closest to home can be chosen. The directory mapping will be the same everywhere.

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