Symbol (typeface)

Symbol (typeface)

Symbol is one of the four standard fonts available on most PostScript-based printers. It contains a complete unaccented Greek alphabet (upper and lower case) and a selection of commonly used mathematical symbols as well. Insofar as it fits into any standard classification, it is a serif font designed in the style of Times Roman.

Due to lack of diacritical characters, a non-standard character set, and inappropriate type design for continuous text, Symbol cannot easily be used to type the Greek language, though it has been used for such in the absence of proper Greek fonts. Its primary purpose is to typeset mathematical expressions. Also, the Symbol font is occasionally used—to the amusement of those who recognize Greek characters—as a source of wiggly dingbats. [ Kibo: Virtual Reality Tour: Bad Spelling ] ]


It has its own character encoding created by Adobe [] , with the Greek letters arranged according to similar Latin letters. (Chi = C, etc)

The characters ®, ©, and ™ are encoded twice—one version is serifs, the other (highlighted in yellow) is sans-serif.

The character highlighted in red does not appear in Unicode, and maps to the Private Use Area code U+F8E5, described as “RADICAL EXTENDER”, with the adobe glyph name “radicalex”

Note: The Adobe mapping is from before Unicode 3.2, and maps more characters to the PUA. The Apple mapping, found [ here] , is used for this table. Apple places the logo (U+F8FF) at 0xF0, this is omitted from the table.

The glyphs for the two lowercase forms of Phi, φ U+03C6 and ϕ U+03D5, are reversed from how they typically appear in most fonts other than Symbol. Lowercase Greek letters appear in italics in many older versions of Symbol.

Font comparison

*encoded as ascii for older browsers


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