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Previous questions and outline of needs

Several questions have been asked, especially for polytonic Greeek – especially ‘What are popular fonts for polytonic Greek?’ and ‘Greek font with legible diacritics’ – but neither of them cover my needs. I am quite a big fan of EB Garamond, which is my go-to font for any kind of academic writing, but in my online writing, I very often need numerous diacritics, such as combining dot below. Further a font-family with both a sans-serif and a regular type is desirable for this kind of writing (ɔ: online).

My main needs are:

  • Full Latin extended support, upper and lower case, including æ, ø, å; ä, ö; þ, ð; double accent (ő); &c.
  • Full polytonic Greek support, including macrons, breve symbols, iota subscript, both breath marks and all tone marks.
  • Special characters, such as explanation symbol (‘that is’ symbol: ‘ɔ:’ (open o: U+254)); regular symbols like degrees, proper primes; and preferably also weight symbols for pound and ounce (℔ and ℥), but that would be a bonus.

Specimens and issues with these

EB Garamond is not a big fan of combining dot below, which I use for poetry (ictus). Another font which I find very pleasing, is the Alegreya family, especially since it has both regular and sans-serif types.

Here are some samples (the sample text below is ‘Æýūøĭọ ἄνυροπος’ [Sorry about that, folks; it is two in the morning, and it was supposed to say ἄνθρωπος – well, it still gets the job done, even though it’s gibberish.]):

EB Garamond, Latin extended and Greek polytonic Baskerville, Latin extended and Greek polytonic Alegreya Regular and Alegreya Sans, Latin extended and Greek polytonic Literata, Latin extended and Greek polytonic Source Serif and Sans, Latin extended and Greek polytonic

Baskerville stands out as a no-go: Though it looks excellent on-screen, it has no support for Greek. The other ones all look fine. EB Garamond generally isn’t that great on-screen (it never was designed for it), though it does work if set larger; Liberata is quite fat, but does work on-screen; but both of these only come as seriffed, which make them rather undesirable for my needs. Alegreya and Source Pro are both good candidates, as they come in both seriffed and sans-serif styles; they both support Greek polytonic, though Source Sans Pro does not. However, these too both have lacking support diacritics. The option I have used thus far, is OpenSans, which is yielding this mess:

OpenSans example of Latin extended with diacritics

Notice the i with a macron floating on top of it; the u with a macron which is in a different font – the fallback font; and, in fact, this is true for every single example of a vowel (and I am assuming consonants as well) with an extra diacritic underneath: The vowel is changed to the fallback font, which can be seen when compared to vowels with no diacritic or only a macron.

Even in LibreOffice, with all the necessary OpenType features switched on, it doesn’t look desirable:

Sample of Latin text with macrons and combining dot below (Martial 1.2)

(Martial 1.2)

Notice how ī with combining dot below constantly gets messed up. With the serif specimen, it is at least somewhat acceptable, but with the sans-serif, it is simply not.

Main question

Which fonts are good options for full support of Latin extended with diacritics, as well as polytonic Greek? Open source fonts (free of charge, fully featured) are preferable. Optionally, if no such fonts exist, what are good fonts to pair, that is: a good font for the Latin plus diacritics and a good font for Greek to go with it?

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+50

I would recommend Noto, which attempts to represent all of Unicode in a consistent style. It's available for free in both sans and serif versions.

sample text rendered in Noto

I'm generally pretty happy with it; you can see in this image that the i with macron and underdot in prīmus is slightly misaligned, but I'm not sure if that's a font issue or an editor issue. (In this example I used a precomposed underdot and a combining macron; the other way around may look better, but editor issues are making it irritatingly difficult to input at the moment.)

The sample text I used, if others want it for comparison:

Ạrma virụmque canọ̄ Trojạe quī prị̄mus ab ọ̄rīs
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
æ ý ő ĭ
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Another free option is DejaVu, from an older project with the same aim as Noto (i.e. trying to cover as much of Unicode as possible). I don't like its look quite as much, but it was my go-to for obscure symbols or mixtures of different scripts back before Noto.

sample text in DejaVu

The kerning seems a bit weird here, and a couple of the diacritics are placed strangely, but it does support all the glyphs you're interested in.

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  • 3
    (Posting as a separate answer so that people can vote them up or down individually.)
    – Draconis
    Feb 22 at 2:27
  • Can you put the text sample in a comment so we can post other fonts with it? Feb 23 at 1:17
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    @curiousdannii Added it to the Noto answer, since comments were causing issues with copying and pasting it
    – Draconis
    Feb 23 at 1:24
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Gentium Plus covers the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts, as well as the IPA, and seems to support the sample texts very well.

Screenshot of sample text

Gentium is freely published under the SIL Open Font License.

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    Oh, I do love the look of Gentium. Might be worth mentioning that it's free as well.
    – Draconis
    Feb 23 at 3:36
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    Gentium was mentioned on one pages that are linked to in the original question. Unfortunately, there's no sans-serif version of it.
    – cnread
    Feb 23 at 3:58
  • Do you have any idea of a good font to pair it with? A sans-serif alternative doesn’t necessarily have to be the same font-family.
    – Canned Man
    Feb 23 at 20:42
  • @CannedMan Not really, that's super subjective. Feb 23 at 22:18
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There is also Charis SIL, though I haven't checked against all your requisites:

enter image description here

Charis also makes other fonts, like Andika (see same link above):

enter image description here

Charis says this about those fonts: "This font software is free to use, modify and redistribute according to the terms of the SIL Open Font License."

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  • As a bonus, unlike many of the other options, this one has a small caps set.
    – Canned Man
    Mar 22 at 23:36

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