9 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2018 6:48 PM by David W. Goodrich

    Combined fonts in Arabic

    madalead Level 1


      I'm working on an Arabic instruction manual and I would like to apply two different fonts; one for Arabic characters (Arial) and another one for digits and Latin characters (Avenir LT Std).

      I know that in FrameMaker there is a function "Combined fonts" that allow this change automatically for Asian texts.


      Does anyone have an idea if there is a similar function in InDesign?


      Thanks in advance


        • 1. Re: Combined fonts in Arabic
          srishtib8795206 Adobe Employee

          Hi there,


          We are sorry to inform you that we do not have any option to combine fonts in InDesign, however, we still have that option in InCopy.

          Install and use fonts in InCopy

          If you love this feature and want to raise a feature request, please share it here at our Adobe InDesign Feedback form. This is the best way of communicating with the Engineering and Product Management teams regarding issues and suggestions so they can be implemented in future releases.




          • 2. Re: Combined fonts in Arabic
            David W. Goodrich Level 3

            I believe what the you need are what InDesign calls "Composite Fonts."  A thread from late last year confirms that both ME and CJK versions of ID include the Composite font editor.


            Good luck,


            • 3. Re: Combined fonts in Arabic
              madalead Level 1

              Thank for your reply Srishti.
              I will share for sure.



              • 4. Re: Combined fonts in Arabic
                madalead Level 1

                Thank for your reply David,

                but unfortunately it doesn't work for Arabic characters but only with CJK.


                As you can see I installed the ME version of InDesign...



                ... but the only available set of characters are for CJK.


                If I click on "Custom..." I cannot chose any kind of Arabic set


                As srishtib8795206 suggested to me I'll share this issue to the Adobe InDesign Feedback form hoping that in the future it will be possible to have this function.




                • 5. Re: Combined fonts in Arabic
                  Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Hi Daniele,

                  do not know if this would help. A workaround using Marc Autret's FontMixer script:

                  Indiscripts :: FontMixer | Extend Typefaces in InDesign CS5/CS6/CC


                  See also into the comments section. Could be, that it would fail in your situation.



                  • 6. Re: Combined fonts in Arabic
                    madalead Level 1

                    Thank Laubender for the link that you shared.

                    It's really interesting and it could be useful to fix other issues (I saved it in my bookmarks) but in this case I think that I'll take another safer way.


                    In the Find/Change window (GREP section) I will apply to "Any Letter" and "Any Digit" the proper font.


                    I will repeat the operation for bold, italics and bold italics.

                    Unfortunately the white spaces between the Latin words will remain with a different font (Arial) but at the moment it is the better solution that I found.




                    • 7. Re: Combined fonts in Arabic
                      David W. Goodrich Level 3

                      I've never actually used the Composite Font Editor, but I always understood this feature as a workaround for the old problem of using more attracive letters and digits with older CJK fonts, where the "Western" characters looked primitive.  Instead, in mty work I've simply used a GREP based on character-code ranges to search for character codes in the ranges for C, J & K: those ranges overlap so I can't use a GREP style, and in the manuscripts I see the "language" attribute is unreliable.


                      Of course, ID character styles suffer from the limitation that a given character can have just one, so they must be chosen judiciously.  In your case case of mostly Arabic text, you might prefer not to apply a character style to the alphanumerics rather than the Arabic.  However, given the changing nature of "any letter" and "any digit" -- does the former cover all the non-ASCII diacritic letters -- I might instead use GREP's "not" to filter out the Arabic codes to be sure of finding all the non-ASCII Unicode diacritics.


                      Good luck,


                      • 8. Re: Combined fonts in Arabic
                        madalead Level 1

                        Hi David,

                        I noted that the only way to find Latin characters into Arabic is finding "Any Letter" in the GREP window: if I try to do the same in the Text window it finds Arabic characters too.


                        At the moment is the only safe and quick mode that I found; I know that it isn't "orthodox" but it works :-)


                        Thanks again for yours consideration.



                        • 9. Re: Combined fonts in Arabic
                          David W. Goodrich Level 3

                          First of all, whatever works is usually good.  However, it is all to easy to miss out on the power of ID's GREP searching.  For example, if you add a plus sign after the search string "[\u\l]", making it "[\u\l]+", it will find strings of upper- and lower-case letters, in effect, whole words, so you are changing text word by word instead of letter by letter.  Maybe ID manages to conflate attributes for such strings, but I suspect word-by-word takes less overhead.  But there's more.


                          You can include spaces by adding GREP's "or", |: "[\u\l|\x{20}]+" where "\x{20}" means the ASCII space character (Unicode's hexadecimal notation for the space character, abbreviated from U+0020).  You could included ASCII digits with "[\u\l|\x{20}|[\x{30}-\x{39}]+", i.e., another "or" plus a range for Unicode's ASCII digits (U+0030-0039).  For simplicity, you could search the whole ASCII range for alphanumerics "[\x{20}-\x{7E}]+"), but that will fall short if the text includes typographic subtleties such as en-dashes (U+2013) and en-dashes (U+2014), or perhaps special diacritics: you couold include those, too, with more "or" chars.   Best of all, ID lets you save search-and-replace strings under names you choose, so you don't need to remember the messy details six months hence -- I've saved dozens.


                          Good luck,