Writing Urdu using beautiful Nastaleeq font

nastaliq_abjad_urdu_letters
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Reading and writing in Urdu on Word, Web and even smart phone has become a standard. After all, there are over 200 million Urdu speaking Pakistanis and an additional 50 million worldwide audience that speak and communicate in this language. However, a good nastaleeq font is hard to come by. Even BBC Urdu uses a font that is so hard to read for a native Urdu speaker.

But there are ways around this mess. We can actually read and write in beautiful Nastaleeq font. I would also recommend reading the following post on how to write Urdu text on Web to get the formatting of the page correct for Urdu fonts. Things like right to left rather than the traditional left to right and encoding the text to UTF-8 etc.

For importing the right Nastaliq font we have multiple solutions. But one solution is from Google under their open source Noto fonts. First install the font on your local system. This will allow you to view all web pages that use Noto Fonts. There are not many yet, but each day new ones are getting added using this font. The Ghalib’s shair written later in this post uses Noto Font. If you have installed it correctly, the font will automatically change to Nastaliq.

Here is what one needs to do to.

  • In the <p> tag formatting add the following code:

    <p style=”font-size: 125%; font-family: ‘Noto Nastaliq Urdu’;”> Add Urdu TEXT here: غالب

    </p>

This method assumes that the system (laptop, desktop etc) reading the text has Noto Nastaliq Urdu installed natively. In case if that is not possible then do the following in the header of your page. It will dynamically load the font to any page.

<style>
@import url(‘https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Noto+Nastaliq+Urdu‘);
</style>

The results will be spectacularly beautiful as shown below from a verse from “Dewan-e-Ghalib”

ريختہ کے تم ہی استاد نہیں ہو غالب
کہتے ہیں کہ اگلے زمانے میں کوئی میر بھی تھا
Enjoy using Nastaliq font.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.
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