Conversing or reading articles in lesser known languages online used to be a nuisance to many because unknown characters are usually replaced with an annoying rectangular box. This box is formally named as “.notdef,” which is short for not defined; regular folks, however, refer to it as “tofu.” In order to combat this rectangular box conundrum, folks at Google have released an open source font system called Noto, which aptly stands for “no more tofu.”
Noto is a new typeface made by Google and Monotype. A five-year partnership between the two companies to develop Noto now results in the birth of a font system that supports around 800 languages and 110,000 characters – all of which are compliant with the Unicode standard.
While there are heaps of languages already supported by Unicode today, there are a few that are still pending approval. A good example to this would be Nastaliq Urdu, which isn’t supported by Unicode yet, but is currently used by more than 100 million people. In fact, Noto’s language support is so broad that even ‘Negeri Sembilan Malay’ was listed under the Noto Sans/Serif typeface.
Nonetheless, the addition of the Noto font system will likely help many who are facing difficulties in conversing using their ‘less-spoken’ native languages on their devices. Noto has been released and is now available for download here.
(Source: Google; Featured Image: Monotype)