Not sure if this is the best place to post, but I thought I'd try since it relates to linguistics corpora and being able to read texts.

I can see some unicode characters such a Chinese characters (讀 or ), but I can't see others such as the Bhaiksuki characters, which look like this in Wikipedia: , and look like this in Sublime: . Wondering how I get these to show up, if there is some universal font that allows it to work or something. It's not just the Bhaiksuki script, there are many unicode characters that don't show up for me, though most of the standard ones do.

Wondering if I need to install each of these fonts individually or if I can install one font to get everything. This is what the Bhaiksuki and other more obscure unicode blocks look like for me on Wikipedia:

enter image description here

I was able to get all of the major scripts to show up with Google Noto font, but not the more obscure ones.

  • I think this might be a good post for this site (Linguistics.Meta), but it would be even better to ask it on, e.g., [superuser.se] first (adding specifics for platform/OS/browser/etc.), wait for answers, and repost it here. Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 17:53
  • Thank you, I actually tried posting on superuser first (focusing on Mac) lol, but got no responses after a few days so now trying here.
    – Lance
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 17:54
  • I mean, this could be a good FAQ for those who have problems browsing linguistics-related Web sites, but I doubt that asking it here would attract someone who's ready to answer. Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 17:56
  • 5
    I just learnt that it's actually impossible for a single OTF/TTF font to have every character.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 11:30
  • 2
    You should try GNU Unifont. It has Bhaiksuki at least.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 11:32
  • I see that your rendering of Wikipedia is using comic sans for some reason. Like most people, I have a strong bias against that font, but even putting that aside it could be part of the problem because it probably doesn't support Bhaiksuki. Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 15:13

2 Answers 2


According to the repo, Noto has added Bhaiksuki support in November 2018. So updating your Noto fonts should fix that particular issue.

If you're on Debian, using this package should keep your Noto fonts up to date automatically, including any new ones they add (like Bhaiksuki). This package is even more complete, though it takes more disk space (because it includes the CJK planes).

Other than waiting for Google to improve Noto coverage, though, there's not much you can do I'm afraid. In pre-Noto times the only solution was to seek out a specialized font for each script you wanted to use.


When the obscure script is already included in Unicode, using Unicode codepoints and downloading appropriate fonts is the way to go. Any recent operating system comes with a plethora of fonts preinstalled, just keep your system up-to-date and you will rarely have troubles with missing fonts.

For scripts and characters not yet encoded in Unicode things are much more difficult. They may be encoded in the private use area of Unicode and come with a font using that specific private encoding, ut be aware: another font may have completely different characters on the same points of the private use area! The whole point of Unicode is to decouple characters and fonts as much as possible.

  • @abarnert This is a different question and I want to encourage you to ask it here on meta. Don't know whether it is a [:tag:feature-request] or a [:tag:bug] for tagging purpose, but it is certainly worth the attention of SE developers. Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 9:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .