IPA Fonts

Prepared by Michael Barnes and Eric Armstrong

It seems that every six months or so, a call comes across VASTAVOX for help installing phonetic fonts for either a Windows or Mac based computer. We have created a downloadable package for each group to make things simpler.

Recently, fonts have begun to be coded in Unicode. This allows them to be used on Macintosh OS, Windows, & Linux, thus allowing files to be shared more easily.  All that is needed is a Unicode-compliant word processor (MS Word 2003 & newer or Open Office work well)

At the end of the page, other phonetic fonts created by SIL are also Available. They are in a Zip file and can be used on Macintosh, Windows, or Linux. Because of that you will need a knowledge of how to install fonts on your computer.  


Macintosh Version                      Windows Version                  Other Phonetic Fonts



Eric Armstrong, VASTA's first Director of Technology, has created the following .pdf so you can learn how to install the necessary IPA fonts, and a keyboard layout in order to access the IPA glyphs in the font as well. Links to everything needed to install the fonts and get them working on your computer is included. 

Download the Mac Version Now
updated May 3, 2016



Michael J. Barnes, former Director of Technology, formulated two package for Windows users that include all you need to get started with fonts for phonetics.  They outline all the steps needed set things up in the easiest way for using the IPA fonts. 

Included in each ZIP file is the Charis SIL IPA font, which allows you to move easily between orthographics and transcription. It has excellent spacing with diacritics.   Also included is a keyboard for windows (either using the Windows Language tool or Keyman), for switching between languages. 

  • Keyman Desktop 10 - Now that the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) has aquired Tavultesoft, their Keyman Desktop software is now available for free.  This program was one of the earliest developed for using mult-strikes of keys to access all the IPA glyphs.  (ex: "É™" is written by typing "e=")

Download the Keyman Packet

  • Windows Keyboard Layout - Developed by SIL using the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, this keyboard integrates into the Windows language bar. It is based on the same multi-stroke sequences used in the Keyman layout but is mostly reversed (ex: "É™" is written by typing "=e").

Download the Windows Keyboard Packet

Upated October 2018



Other Fonts:


Andika is a sans serif Unicode font designed especially for literacy use and the needs of beginning readers. The focus is on clear letterforms that will not be easily confused with one another. The Andika font is currently available in a regular typeface, with bold, italic and bold italic faces planned for future releases.  More information about the font is at SIL.ORG

Download Andika

Charis SIL

Charis SIL is a Unicode serif font, similar to Bitstream Charter, one of the first fonts designed specifically for laser printers. It is proportionally-spaced and optomized for readability, and holds up well in less-than-ideal reproduction environments. More information about the font is at SIL.ORG

Download Charis SIL

Doulos SIL

Doulos SIL is a Unicode serif font similar in design to Times/Times New Roman. It contains a comprehensive inventory of glyphs needed for almost any Roman- or Cyrillic-based writing system, whether used for phonetic or orthographic needs. More information about the font is at SIL.ORG

Download Doulos SIL


Gentium is a Unicode serif typeface family designed to enable the diverse ethnic groups around the world who use the Latin, Cyrillic and Greek scripts to produce readable, high-quality publications. It supports a wide range of Latin- and Cyrillic-based alphabets.  The Gentium font families currently include regular and italic faces. More information about the font is at SIL.ORG

Download Gentium


These fonts are provided by the Summer Institute of Linguistics. They are freely available and may be used by anyone at no cost. They are released under the SIL Open Font License, a free and open source license that permits modification and redistribution. For more information go to: www.sil.org


Please note that these aren't the only IPA fonts available for the Windows or Macintosh - there are many others, though the good ones aren't free! If you are willing to pay for a font, try out LaserIPA from Linguists Software, which is the IPA font used in the printed versions of the Voice and Speech Review.