Syriaca.org Documentation

How to View Syriac Script

Syriaca.org uses CSS3 Web Fonts to display Syriac fonts. This allows users to view the correct Syriac fonts when viewing Syriaca.org content, without requiring any font installations.

If you would like to work with Syriaca.org content offline it may still be necessary to install Syriac fonts. Please follow the steps below to install fonts locally.

Recommended Web Browsers

Syriaca.org is best viewed using either the Firefox or Chrome browsers. Please try Syriaca.org in one of these recommended browsers to see if your problem persists before proceeding to the solutions below.

Installing Fonts and OS Compatibility

Mac OS
Common Solution: Install fonts
If you cannot view Syriac characters you likely need to install a unicode Syriac font (the Mac OS does not come with any Syriac fonts). Syriaca.org recommends you install the Meltho family of Fonts available free from Beth Mardutho. We recommend you install at least Estrangelo Edessa, though you may wish to install all the fonts.

Note: Mac users may get an installation error because the Meltho fonts were originally designed for Windows. Please follow this protocol:

  1. Open each individual font icon in the Meltho Folder.
  2. Once the "Font Book" window opens, select "Install Font."
  3. A message will display, "Problems may have been found with some fonts during validation. Please review the reported problem before continuing…. One minor problem was found. Proceed with caution."
  4. Check the box "Select all fonts."
  5. Select "Install checked."

Even with Meltho or other fonts installed there is also a known conflict with Apple's default rendering of the ܘ (waw) character when a conflicting Arabic font is installed.

Windows
Common Solution: Install fonts
Most versions of Windows come with Estrangelo Edessa preinstalled. If you would like to see Syriac text in other scripts (Serto or East Syriac), we recommend you install the Meltho family of Fonts available free from Beth Mardutho.
iOS
Common Solution: Syriac unavailable.
Unfortunately at this time Apple does not support Syriac unicode display on any iOS devices (such as the iPad or iPhone). Prospective users are encouraged to submit a feature request to Apple for "full unicode font support for world heritage languages including Syriac (U+0700–074F)." Apple is soliciting input here.
Android
Common Solution: Syriac unavailable.
Unfortunately at this time Android devices do not support Syriac unicode display without first being "rooted" which is recommended only for advanced users. Prospective users could submit a feature request to Google (or other Android providers) for "full unicode font support for world heritage languages including Syriac (U+0700–074F)." We are not aware of the best way to contact the Android development community at this time.
Linux
Common Solution: Install fonts
Syriac can be supported on some distributions of the Linux operating system. If you cannot view Syriac characters you likely need to install a unicode Syriac font. Syriaca.org recommends you install the Meltho family of Fonts available free from Beth Mardutho. Notes: We recommend you install at least Estrangelo Edessa, though you may wish to install all the fonts.
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