Arabic Vowels Placement

Is there a link/tutorial I can refer to when setting the Arabic vowels (shaddah, fatha, damma, etc)?
I am in a bit of a pickle on how to name the anchors, and if I would need to put the anchors on all the glyphs.

Thanks :slight_smile:

Hi Samar, the convention is to name the anchors “top” if they are for above anchors, and “bottom” for below anchors in the letters, as Glyphs gives you automatically when you run “Set Anchors (cmd+U)”. As for the anchors in the vowels/diacritics, they are the receiving side and need to be called “_top” and “_bottom” anchors respectively. Again you can get them automatically.

hi @Tosche
I think it works now on all the letters except for the lam-alef

Any idea why?

Thanks a lot :grin:


For lam-alef or any ligature for that matter, you need to have multiple top and bottom anchors with numbers chained by underscore, like “top_1” and “top_2”. Lam will have “top_1” of course. Also make sure your fathatan has _top anchor too.

Works perfectly thanks!

Hi everyone.
What’s the anchor naming if I want to place them separately from the dots? The result is very crude if both the dots and the harakat use identical anchors.
I remember there was something, but can’t remember the name.

There is no set name. You need to come up with your own scheme.

Can you show your anchor placement and the difference you like to achieve?

Oh, really? Then I may have implemented this myself from scratch for FF Amman 14 years ago in Fontlab.

It’s a really good feature request: Have a new set of anchors (top and bottom) that the harakat connect to when present, otherwise fall back to the “top”/“bottom” anchors. This includes inheriting the anchors from the dot components for example, if present there.

I don’t feel like making this into a before/after screenshot right now. But you can get a general idea here: Arabic diacritics - Wikipedia

The harakat (blue) are placed independently of the dots. Often, the top harakat are somewhat vertically aligned, well above the average middle height of the letters (let’s call it x-height for clarity). Additionally, they are often placed more towards the left of the letter rather than centrally, which improves the reading flow (not visible in the example above).

I would want to place them individually for each single letter: First, position the new anchors on each naked (without dots) letter, higher and more left-leaning than the “top” anchor. Then do the same for all the dot components. If the result then for dotted letters is still unsatisfactory, I would also manually place the anchors in all composed dotted letters. Same for bottom.

They are either called tashkeel or harakat, so the anchors would be called tashkeel_top or harakah_top (note that harakat is plural, so I would call a single anchor harakah_top, if you want to pay your respect to Arabic speakers)

Just to the sure. Those are mark/mkmk anchors. Not for components alignment in Glyphs?

Yes, exactly. Btw, I think “tashkeel” is the more widely known term internationally. I would go for that anchor name.

I’ll see what I can do.