slice-of-thai.com Thai Language Free Thai Fonts

Free Thai Fonts

Table of Contents

Introduction

On this page you can download or link to various Thai fonts for modern Windows and MacOS computers.

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Garuda: Free, Easy-to-Read Thai Font

The Thai fonts that come with Windows and MacOS are pretty hard to read, and differ a lot from typical Thai book fonts. Sure, eventually, you'll need to be able to read many different Thai writing styles, but for someone who's just learning the Thai alphabet, they are an unnecessary impediment to progress!

There is a very easy-to-read, familiar, free, public-domain Thai font called Garuda which you can download to your computer from this webpage and use to read slice-of-thai.com. Here is what Garuda looks like at one particular font size:

Garuda Font Sample

The font files are in the TrueType format that works on Windows XP (and beyond) and MacOS 10 computers.

Here are the font files. In the sections below, we will explain how to download and install font files on your Windows or MacOS 10 computer and how to use them on our website.

If you have any problems using Garuda, you might want to try ST-TT-Garuda, which is another TrueType font that looks identical to Garuda but which has a slightly different organization inside that may help your software to accept the font. You can install ST-TT-Garuda alongside Garuda and the two fonts won't interfere with each other.

If you are "lucky" enough to be using Photoshop or Illustrator, or old Windows 95/98 data, you might also want to try AD-TT-Garuda, which is yet a third version of Garuda designed to work around the many flaws and problems with various versions of Adobe software and, in some cases, old Windows software too. AD-TT-Garuda won't interfere with ST-TT-Garuda or Garuda, so you can install them all simultaneously if you need to.

If you were wondering, Garuda was designed by Unity Progess Co. as part of the Thai National Font Project, placed into the public domain by some very nice people at NECTEC, and further modified under the GNU General Public License by some equally nice people at the Thai Linux Working Group (but the fonts work on Windows and Mac, too).

Other Free and Commercial Thai Fonts

I have never found a font as clean and readable as Garuda, not even amongst the commercial set, but here are some other cool sources for fonts:

ThaiFonts-Scalable

The Garuda font is actually distributed in a package called ThaiFonts-Scalable that includes a set of other free fonts such as Kinnari, Loma, Norasi, Purisa, Sawasdee, TlwgMono, TlwgTypewriter, TlwgTypist, Umpush, and Waree. As of January 2008, this set of fonts, already excellent, is still under active development and improvement (and they're not just for Linux).

You can see font samples here and you can visit their home page to download the complete set. Be sure that you pick the latest version, and be sure that you download the precompiled fonts (whose filenames generally begin with thai-ttf rather than thaifonts-scalable).

These packages are in .tar.gz format, which is Unix's version of the popular .zip format. They contain a bunch of .ttf files (the fonts) along with a file named INSTALL that you can ignore (it applies to linux).

Chances are that the .tar.gz format will just work on your computer, but if it doesn't, download IZArc or WinRar or WinZip or one of the many other free/shareware archiving tools.

As an alternative, I have also created a standard .zip version of thai-ttf-0.4.11.zip here, but by the time you read this, there will probably be a more recent .tar.gz version available on the ThaiFonts-Scalable website!

Commercial Fonts: PSL, DS, JS, SV, DB

There are several sets of commercial Thai fonts that everyone seems to have, whether they paid for them or not.

Most of these fonts are good, calm, general purpose Thai fonts that aren't trying to be whimsical, but I have found that for a first-time Thai learner, none of them are more readable than the free Garuda font.

To look at screen shots of the commerical PSL font series, see http://www.fontpsl.com.

There's also a DS and JS series, for which you can see screen shots on this website.

I can't figure out what the commercial/free status of DS, JS and SV are. For JS, I have found references to "JS technology Co Ltd" but can find no website. I am guessing that maybe they all got pirated out of existence. If anyone has some insights, let me know!

There are also some venerable old DB fonts (which presumably refers to "Dear Book Co") such as DBThaiText which used to dominate the web, but they are not very good-looking and do not have the modern Unicode encoding and glyph positioning tricks needed to work on today's browsers and applications.

f0nt.com (That's Zero, not O)

The website f0nt.com is an amazing grass-roots site with literally hundreds of fonts, most of them very whimsical and fun, created by amateurs and Thai artists and placed up for download. Check out the amazing variety you can create with Thai characters!

Despite the initial impression from looking at these colorful images, the site really does just have normal .ttf fonts: with the classic Thai flair, they like to dress up their fonts with backgrounds and color and blinky shiny effects for display on f0nt.com!

Problems? The ST- Version May Help

The font files we pointed you to above should work on most modern computers and browsers.

However, there are a few cases where browsers or OSes are deeply broken and cannot handle modern TrueType Thai fonts like Garuda. For example, Firefox under MacOS 10.4 seems to barf on nearly any Thai font, and some early-2000 versions of Microsoft Word are picky about which fonts they will accept.

Here at slice-of-thai.com, we offer an ST- version of the free/public domain fonts above, such as ST-TT-Garuda (ST stands for slice-of-thai.com). These fonts look identical to their base font, but they have a slightly different organization inside that may help your software to accept the font.

If you're lucky, once you have installed the ST- version, it will just pop up in our font menus and work. But if you have any trouble, see below.

ST-TT-Garuda

To install ST-TT-Garuda, follow the standard instructions for Windows or MacOS 10 below, and use these files:

ST-TT-: Complete Set from ThaiFonts-Scalable

To install the complete set of ST-TT fonts, which are based on the excellent, free ThaiFonts-Scalable fonts, download this .zip file:

Unpack the fonts from this file into a folder, and follow the part of the Windows or MacOS 10 that pertains to installing the fonts from your hard drive.

To see all the files contained in ST-TT.zip, click here.

What makes ST- Fonts Different?

For the ST- fonts, the font name that you see in your applications will be different from the original. For example, you will see ST-TT-Garuda, not just Garuda (don't forget to scroll down to "S" when you look for it), and you can install these fonts on your computer alongside the originals with no interference.

The ST- fonts are designed to be as compatible as possible with existing applications, usually moreso than the original font.

They are not always better, and it's better to use the originals if you can. The ST- fonts are intended as last-ditch solutions in cases where you cannot use the original fonts at all.

Remember that as soon as you use an ST- font, you need to keep that font around. For example, if you use ST-TT-Garuda in a Microsoft Word file, and then bring that file over to a computer that has only Garuda and not ST-TT-Garuda, Microsoft Word will not "fall back" and use Garuda. To the application, they are completely different fonts.

In the ideal world, the original fonts will evolve to be as compatible and then we can retire the ST- fonts.

Here are some ways in which ST- fonts attempt to increase compatibility:

AD- Versions: Working Around Adobe Apps

You've probably noticed that Thai almost never seems to work in any Adobe application (Photoshop, Illustrator), and that when you finally do find one font that allows you to type Thai in these applications:

I have no idea what is wrong with the developers at Adobe, but they are now more than a decade behind the internationalization curve and showing no signs of improvement.

The AD- fonts, such ase AD-TT-Garuda, are specially designed to work around a huge list of the defective, non-standard idiosyncracies of several different versions of Photoshop and Illustrator. They may or may not work on your particular version, but you can give it a try.

The AD- fonts, like the ST- fonts, have a totally different name and can be installed alongside the original font with no interference. Be sure to look under "A" in your application for these fonts.

The AD- fonts are not meant to be used for websites, or in 21st century software appications.

AD-TT-Garuda

To install AD-TT-Garuda, follow the standard instructions for Windows or MacOS 10 below, and use these files:

AD-TT-: Complete Set from ThaiFonts-Scalable

To install the complete set of AD-TT fonts, which are based on the excellent, free ThaiFonts-Scalable fonts, download this .zip file:

Unpack the fonts from this file into a folder, and follow the part of the Windows or MacOS 10 that pertains to installing the fonts from your hard drive.

To see all the files contained in AD-TT.zip, click here.

What makes AD- Fonts Different?

The AD- versions have most of the same compatibility changes listed for the ST- fonts above, plus many special changes to increase compatibility with Photoshop and Illustrator. You may also find that the AD- fonts can be used to solve problems with Windows 95/98 based data or applications as well.

Just like with the ST- fonts, the AD- fonts are not always better, and it's better to use the originals if you can. The AD- fonts are intended as last-ditch solutions in cases where you cannot use the original fonts at all.

How do I Install Fonts on Windows?

First, you need to download the font files to your C:\ drive. For example, let's say you wanted to install the Garuda font files:

To do this, right-click on the link for each font file in your browser, and when the little menu pops up, choose "Save File As...," "Save Link As...," or "Save Target As...." Then, in the "Save As" window that pops up, tell your browser that you want to save the files to the C:\ drive (not the desktop).

If your browser insists on downloading the files to your desktop, as some do, move them to C:\ afterwards using Windows Explorer.

Now, select "Start...Settings...Control Panel...Fonts." In the "Fonts" window that pops up, select "File...Install New Font." In that window, select the C: drive and the C:\ directory, and you should see the four fonts listed. Make sure "copy fonts to Fonts folder" is checked. Click "Select All" and "OK." Windows will install the fonts. You may now delete the font files from C:\.

Now reboot your computer to make sure all your applications can see the new fonts.

You might be tempted to just drag your fonts into the Fonts folder. My experience is that this doesn't always work. Sometimes the fonts are rejected when installed in this manner, whereas they are not rejected if you follow the procedure above.

How Do I Install Fonts on MacOS 10?

To install fonts on your computer, you'll need to download the font files to your Fonts folder. For example, let's say you wanted to install the Garuda font files:

To do this, control-click on the link for each font file in your browser, and when the little menu pops up, choose "Save Link As...," or "Download Linked File As...." Then, in the "Save As" window that pops up, click on your computer hard drive, then go inside the folder called Library, then from there go inside the folder called Fonts. Save each file in Fonts.

Now reboot your computer to make sure all your applications can see the new fonts.

How do I Install Fonts on Linux?

Back in 2012, helpful reader Brad Carroll offered this basic guide for how to install font on Linux in general, and this guide should work for the font files mentioned on this page.

How do I Install Fonts on Linux?

Method 1 - Using a file manager

  1. Download the ttf files using your web browser
  2. Open your file manager and navigate to the folder where you downloaded to, usually ~/Downloads/
  3. Select the ttf files and then right-click and select "cut" (or Ctrl + X)
  4. Navigate to /usr/share/fonts/truetype/
  5. RIght-click in some empty space and select "paste" (or Ctrl + V)
  6. Fonts are now installed and you can close the file manager window

Sometimes you won't be able to do this because you don't have permission to write to the /usr/share/fonts/truetype folder, but fear not because you can always try ....

Method 2 - Using the terminal

  1. Open a terminal window
  2. On the command line type: cd ~/Downloads/ (if this is where you downloaded to)
  3. Type: ls /usr/share/fonts/truetype
  4. If anything was listed then this means the destination directory exists, which means you can go to step 5 otherwise stop and get help.
  5. Type: sudo mv *.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/
  6. Enter your password when prompted
  7. Close terminal when ready, fonts installed successfully.

If you had any software such as LibreOffice open during the installation, you may need to quit the application and then start it again before you will be able to see the new fonts in the font list.

If you do not have a /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ directory then it means you are using a version of Linux that stores fonts in a different location to that which we expect. Contact your Linux provider for help with this situation.

The mv command is a risky one and can overwrite existing files without warning. You should check very carefully that you type everything correctly before you press the Enter key.

How Do I Use My New Font on slice-of-thai.com?

If you have installed one of the "standard" Thai fonts that slice-of-thai.com knows to look for, then the next time you start up your web browser and visit a page of slice-of-thai.com, you should immediately see that font listed on our font selector (click "Choose"):

Choose Your Own Thai Font and Size
Font Size:
%
Font:
Sample: คุณ เก็บ เสื้อ ไว้ ไหน

If you do not see your font at all, then perhaps it is not on slice-of-thai.com's list. We tried to include all the fonts that a first-time Thai learner might want to use (generally avoiding the crazy esoteric ones). You can email us the font name and we will be happy to add it. In the future we may also add a field where you can type in your desired font.

To see our current list of fonts, click here.

If you were wondering, there is no technical way for us to just list all your fonts: this is a limitation of web browsers and JavaScript in general, and we don't want to foist Java or Flash on you to "fix" the problem.

If you do not see your font listed in our font chooser, or if you do see the font listed but the Thai text is not actually in that font, there could be several causes:

Support
This Site
If you have enjoyed this site, here are a few ways that you can help me get time to expand it further:
donate now   Donate Now
Use your credit card or PayPal to donate in support of the site.

get the best thai-english phrasebook app
Experience Thailand richly with my Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook app.
get the best thai-english dictionary app
Learn Thai with my Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary app for iOS, Android, Windows.
get a cool thai-english paper dictionary
Don't leave home without the Thai-English English-Thai Compact Dictionary I co-authored.
get thailand fever
I co-authored this bilingual cultural guidebook to Thai-Western romantic relationships.
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