I know it may be hard or not possible to achieve technically, but is it possible to set the font family to Tahoma, and make this font family apply to only Arabic letters? i.e, not affect Latin letters.

If not, is it acceptable to change the font family to Tahoma anyway even if it will affect Latin letters?

The difference is good enough to think about it, here are print-screens that show how more readable Arabic is read when written in Tahoma instead of Helvetica Neue (currently used), while Latin is not greatly affected. Not that I haven't increased the font size, the Tahoma font is bigger by default.

"Helvetica Neue" Font (Currently used) "Helvetica Neue" Font (Currently used)

"Tahoma" Font (Suggested) "Tahoma" Font (Suggested)

So what does the community (users) say? is it better?

And what does the SE management say? is it possible?

You can see the font used live Here.

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  • Just for the sake of being pedantic: Are you sure the first shot is of Helvetica Neue, rather than the fallback Arial? – goldPseudo Sep 3 '12 at 21:00
  • @goldPseudo: Should be, I should have the 'Helvetica Neue' font and so it will be applied, also I tried to remove Arial but nothing changed. If you think sth other you can edit and include a PrintScreen – Tamer Shlash Sep 3 '12 at 21:06

Actually, I think the Tahoma Arabic font looks uglier and harder to read :( I think the problem can be solved with a bigger font size and other minor styling tweaks.

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  • I agree with you that it's ugly as heck, but I do find it more readable in smaller sizes. So unless we're upping the font size for the whole site (making the English fonts uncomfortably large) I still think Tahoma, ugly as it is, is our best course. – System Down Sep 4 '12 at 16:07
  • @SystemDown Arabic text can be styled differently to have a larger font size. – Ansari Sep 4 '12 at 16:18
  • Automatically? How can that be done? I thought CSS treated all languages equally when it comes to styling? – System Down Sep 4 '12 at 16:20
  • @SystemDown you would enclose the Arabic text in a separate div, either by automatically recognizing the Unicode codes or by having the user select Arabic mode or Arabic region or something like that (like the blockquote region). – Ansari Sep 4 '12 at 16:29
  • That would require server side mojo. Can we actually do that? Change how the server side of things work? – System Down Sep 4 '12 at 16:35
  • @SystemDown I don't see why it should be a problem. Most "feature requests" will involve some server side work. – Ansari Sep 4 '12 at 17:01
  • Then that would definitely be cool with me. UV – System Down Sep 4 '12 at 18:03
  • 2
    If they would accept supporting Arabic blocks, then we should ask them to make the text direction RTL too. – Tamer Shlash Sep 4 '12 at 19:31

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