Open Bug 1602192 Opened 4 years ago Updated 2 years ago

Bad font display for Punjabi (Gurmukhi script) on Linux


(Core :: Layout: Text and Fonts, defect, P5)

71 Branch




(Reporter: yoasif, Unassigned)


(Depends on 1 open bug)



(1 file)

Attached image 8rkuouitji241.png

As seen on

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Navigate to any of:

What happens:

Font used seems to be FreeSerif and is not good looking.

Expected result:

User expects to see fonts more like Chromium, which seems to use FreeSans.

User reports that setting their default sans-serif font to FreeSans shows the expected font in Firefox.

From comment:

Since the site does not specify language in <html>, Firefox will actually use Latin font setting. Try setting the Proportional for Latin to sans serif, and choose a font with the Devanagari glyphs (such as Free Sans).

I looked at the first page mentioned, and besides the lack of an appropriate lang attribute, the other thing I notice is that it provides a webfont "Khula" -- but while the site is in Punjabi (i.e. Gurmukhi script), the webfont they're using only supports Devanagari. I guess someone just copied a bunch of CSS from a Hindi site without really thinking about what they were doing.

So then all the Gurmukhi characters have to fall back to whatever default happens to be found ... and because the Firefox default for Western languages (remember, the page has no lang attribute) is serif, that's what you get.

Changing the default (Western) font setting to sans-serif would probably help, though of course it's a bit broken that you have to change Western font settings to affect the display of a Punjabi page.

If the font preferences were based more on the script of the actual characters, taking priority over the language of the page -- which is often not provided, or simply wrong -- it would probably be easier to configure this. (Bug 556237 was opened to consider this.) Meanwhile, the solution is to choose the preferred sans-serif font as the default, given that FreeSerif looks so bad for this language. Or contact the site concerned and suggest they fix their styles and language tagging.

Priority: -- → P5

(Updating the bug title, as the sites here aren't using Devanagari, they're Punjabi sites using Gurmukhi script.)

Summary: Bad font display for Devanagari on Linux → Bad font display for Punjabi (Gurmukhi script) on Linux

Meanwhile seems like showing font the right way.

(In reply to FF_user from comment #3)

Meanwhile seems like showing font the right way.

The BBC site has

font-family: "Noto Sans Gurmukhi", Gautami, "Kohinoor Gurmukhi", sans-serif;

So even if none of those specific Gurmukhi fonts is installed, it'll fall back to the system's default sans-serif rather than the default serif font.

Depends on: 556237
Severity: normal → S3
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