I need to automate a process of verification which Unicode characters have actual glyphs defined for them in a True Type Font file. How do I go around doing that? I can't seem to find information on how to make sense of the numbers I seem to be getting when I open a .ttf file in a text editor.


3 Answers 3


otfinfo looks promising:

-u, --unicode
  Print each Unicode code point supported by the font, followed by
  the glyph number representing that code point (and, if present,
  the name of the corresponding glyph).

For example DejaVuSans-Bold knows about the fl ligature(fl):

$ otfinfo -u /usr/share/fonts/TTF/DejaVuSans-Bold.ttf |grep ^uniFB02
uniFB02 4899 fl
  • This tool is exactly what I need but it also doesn't seem to work with TrueType fonts, only OpenType ones.
    – Sanuuu
    Dec 3, 2015 at 13:03
  • It works with ttf, too. See my example above. (According to wikipedia ttf is a special type of OpenType font.)
    – michas
    Dec 3, 2015 at 13:04
  • Hmm... my version of otfinfo (2.92) doesn't seem to have the -u option at all. Which version are you using?
    – Sanuuu
    Dec 3, 2015 at 13:13
  • 2
    @Sanuuu, the -u option does not appear in --help, but still seems to exist. However (at least in Debian 2.105 build) it seems to only list basic plane (up to U+FFFF). The -g option knows about the extended planes, but that does not work for all fonts.
    – Jan Hudec
    Jan 27, 2016 at 20:25
  • 2
    fyi: on mac otfinfo can be installed with brew install lcdf-typetools
    – ccpizza
    Aug 25, 2020 at 11:52

I found a python library, fonttools (pypi) that can be used to do it with a bit of python scripting.

Here is a simple script that lists all fonts that have specified glyph:

#!/usr/bin/env python3

from fontTools.ttLib import TTFont
import sys

char = int(sys.argv[1], base=0)

print("Looking for U+%X (%c)" % (char, chr(char)))

for arg in sys.argv[2:]:
        font = TTFont(arg)

        for cmap in font['cmap'].tables:
            if cmap.isUnicode():
                if char in cmap.cmap:
                    print("Found in", arg)
    except Exception as e:
        print("Failed to read", arg)

First argument is codepoint (decimal or hexa with 0x) and the rest is font files to look in.

I didn't bother trying to make it work for .ttc files (it requires some extra parameter somewhere).

Note: I first tried the otfinfo tool, but I only got basic multilingual plane characters (<= U+FFFF). The python script finds extended plane characters OK.

  • I don't understand why and how it works, but ... it works giving results which I won't be able to get with otfinfo.
    – Claudio
    Mar 8, 2023 at 21:24


fc-match --format='%{charset}\n' "DejaVu Sans Mono"

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