Tolkien Gateway

Tolkien Gateway is 10 years old. Sign up today to edit TG and help us grow for years to come.

Dan Smith

Revision as of 11:03, 20 April 2009 by Sage (Talk | contribs)

Daniel Steven Smith is a programmer and science fiction hobbyist who maintains a "Fantasy Fonts for Windows" website.

In 1997 he created Tengwar fonts, the first being titled "Tengwar Quenya" and "Tengwar Sindarin". Since then he created other variants (ornamental/capital tengwar shapes etc) and Cirth fonts as well as historical Rune fonts as the ones seen in The Hobbit.

His website contains descriptions of the best known Tengwar modes and have been a usual reference point.


  • Tengwar Quenya (regular, capitals, doubled-stroked capitals, and alternate)
  • Tengwar Sindarin (regular, capitals, doubled-stroked capitals, and alternate)
  • Tengwar Noldor (regular, capitals, doubled-stroked capitals, and alternate)
  • Cirth Erebor (regular, barred and double-barred)
  • Cirth Erebor Capital (regular, doubled-stroked and pointed)
  • Germanic Rune fonts (reg, 1-bar, & 2-bars)
  • AngloSaxon Rune fonts (reg, 1-bar, & 2-bars)
  • Dwarvish Rune fonts (reg, 1-bar, & 2-bars)

Note that the tengwar fonts differ only visually or stylistically (they all utilize the same keymapping) and are not language specific. The names "Quenya" and "Sindarin" are used only as their titles and have nothing to do with the languages themselves.


The Tengwar letters and tehtar signs on the keyboard. Their position is according to the Tengwar Table and not of the Roman letters they represent.

Dan Smith had to devise a layout to fit the tengwar into the keyboard which was subsequently adopted by other fontmakers ever since, maintaining thus some unofficial de facto "standard", and compatibility with each other.

Dan Smith's idea was to divide the keys into rows and series as appear in the tengwar table of Appendix E. That way for example, the first 4 Tengwar that consist the Row I (Tinco, Parma, Calma, Quessë) are assigned to the leftmost keys of the keyboard (1, q, a, z). The next 4 keys (2, w, s, x) correspond to the Row II (Ando, Ambar, Anga, Ungwë) and so on.

The uppercase letters are used for the tehtar and alternative forms; for example the four leftmost keys (that correspond to the four first Tengwar), when uppercase (!, Q, A, Z) display various positions of the a-tehta. Extended characters correspond to Tengwar numerals, punctuation marks and less common tehtar or letters.

Tengwar typefaces that use Dan Smith's encoding include Johan Winge's Tengwar Annatar, Måns Björkman's Tengwar Parmaite, Enrique Mombello's Tengwar Élfica or Michal Nowakowski's Tengwar Formal, Cursive, Hereno and others, therefore being mutually compatible, excepting some minor differences. Also, there has been some software that help transcribe a Roman text to tengwar fonts that follow this keymapping.

External links