Vietnamese Diacritical Marks

I have a simple (I think) need and that is to be able to improve a few fonts so that they accept all the Vietnamese diacritical marks without reverting to Lucinda Grande or whatever. In Việt Nam I work with four NGOs who have logos with fonts they did not know the name of and which can not be typed in Vietnamese. WTF named the fonts for us, so now…

With Glyph or Glyph Mini will I be able to alter fonts on a Mac computer (OS 10.6.8) so that they then be typed as easily as the natively constructed fonts?

Example: “ệ” is “39.”

Thank you for your help in this.

Yes, you can. In the Font tab, you will find a dedicated Vietnamese subcategory for producing all glyphs necessary for writing Vietnamese. But…

The primary idea of Glyphs is not so much the altering of existing fonts as the design and production of your own fonts. Opening an existing font and exporting it right away will yield a different file. There’s more to consider. Please read this first:

I do not know what you mean by ‘ệ is 39’. As a character, it is U+1EC7 in Unicode. As a glyph, it is ecircumflexdotbelow in Glyphs. Read about the difference between character and glyph here:

Dear Makkablue,

Thank you for your quick reply to my questions. I will study the links you provided but it will take me a bit of time since all the terminology is new to me.

Sorry I was not clear in my reference to typing in Vietnamese.

On this Mac computer changing the flag in the upper right from USA to Viet Nam makes it very easy to type in Vietnamese if the font was constructed with that language in mind. So, typing “1234” will yield “ăâêô”; a “9” will place a dot below a vowel; “[” and “]” will give us “ư” and “ơ”; and etc.

The font one of my NGO clients uses in its logo gives the desired result only if the diacritical mark is common with French. Diacritics specific to Vietnamese such as the dot below the vowel will result in the Lucinda Grande effect.

What I would like to be able to do is give these NGOs the ability to use their own fonts in the language of the people they are trying to help.

A last question: Do I need Glyphs or will Glyphs Mini accomplish my goals?

Thank you.


All you have to do, is make sure that all the Vietnamese characters are covered in your font. How you type it, is merely a problem of the keyboard layout and has nothing to do with the type design.

You can accomplish the task with both the pro and the mini version. Which one you take, is up to you. The pro version gives you more options, also advanced stuff. But you can do it with the mini version as well. Take a look here before you make your decision: