OpenDyslexic, A Free Dyslexia Font

I find dyslexia fonts fascinating. I would love to use them, not because I have dyslexia, but because in making the fonts readable for those with dyslexia, the fonts are made very pleasant and readable to others. Unfortunately, many of these have restrictions, or are not affordable for an individual. I am making an alternative: OpenDyslexic. If you have a modern browser, you can see it is the default font for this website.

OpenDyslexic is a free as in beer open source font. It is based on Bitstream Vera Sans, and licensed under a CC license. Even though this font has a way to go, you can download it and use it today. You can use it as a system font. You can use it on your website. You can use @font-face. You don’t have to try to keep it from others. You can package it with an ebook reader. Just make sure to give credit where credit is due. :) If you are using this font and would like to share how, leave a comment below, or using the contact flyout contact form to the left. I’d love to hear how this is being used.

Download OpenDyslexic!(windows, mac, linux, and everywhere .ttf’s are used), now on dafont!

If you enjoy using this font and would like to donate (so I can work on it more without burning out. :) ), you can donate here:

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Creative Commons License
open-dyslexic by Abelardo Gonzalez Jr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at github.com.

–Update: Moving all project files over to http://dyslexicfonts.com to help consolidate all my work. Fonts, ebooks, how-to’s, etc available there.

64 thoughts on “OpenDyslexic, A Free Dyslexia Font”

    1. Yes, you can. I don’t currently have a package available for android, there is an app called font changer, that lets you change and install fonts on your rooted phone. More information about that is available here: http://bit.ly/rya3n

      If a website uses this font properly, you should be able to see the font on your iphone/android/webOS etc. Browser. You can look at the quick brown fox example above.

      For iPhones, you will need to jailbreak to use this as a system font. And for webOS, I’ve made a package available on github.

      Any other phone, I can only say it is possible, but I couldn’t tell you how. 

  1. Thanks for making this font!!! We heard of another one that was very expensive so when we heard of yours licensed under the creative commons we were very excited.

    One quick question. Do you have any plans for a serif-based version? Serifs help dislexics stay on the same line of text.

    Thanks again!!!

    1. Thank you for your thank you. It made my day. :)

      I do have every intention of expanding the font family, and can definitely make a serif version. It may be a little while before I start work on it though, as I’m one person working on one font at a time.

      Glad you like the font so far. :)

          1. Let me know what they think of it. I’d love to get more input.

            The most current version of the font is on dafont.com for the time being.

  2. Can you tell me what principles is the font based on? I mean, what does the font do to help the people read?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. By using bottom-heavy fonts and increasing differences between characters, it can help prevent letter swapping, flipping or rotating. 
      Trying to work on solutions for things like line swapping, etc. That this font may not help with.

  3. We have a school ful of dyslexic kids so we’re very excited to try it. The other…ahem…$400 one…looks great but is way too expensive for us to experiment with. Thanks for this, and we’ll let you know how it works for our kids.

  4. OpenDyslexic has been incredibly helpful for me, after only 24 hours of use. I was never diagnosed as dyslexic, although I’ve always been a very slow reader. When the “Dyslexie” font appeared, I noticed how much easier it was to read. Unfortunately its author had already switched to a non-free, overpriced, anti-piracy crusader business model which I simply cannot support. So, I was overjoyed to find OpenDyslexic, and I will happily donate to your project. Thank you a million times! I’m reading much faster, and the “reading voice” inside my head is starting to go away for the first time in my life. I’m still overwhelmed by the idea that I can go to Project Gutenberg and start digesting literature which has been out of my reach for so long.

    My only suggestion would be to increase the spacing of the bold face. It’s a bit too tight, so the characters run together for me.

    I’m using this Chrome extension to change all page fonts: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ckefmbejpadmeacgojmmgplclichanaa

    What I still haven’t found is an easy and effective way to change the fonts in PDF eBooks.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I’ve been a bit underwater with projects recently, but will update the kerning on the bold font soon. I’m also excited that you are enjoying it!

      Unfortunately, changing the default fonts in PDF’s has been somewhat of a chore. I’m not sure if this works in free versions of Acrobat, but in the preferences dialog, there should be an option for font substitution. If not, or you can’t change the fonts on the device you are using, feel free to email me one or two, and I’ll embed the font in it for you.

      The chrome extension you mentioned is pretty sweet. I’ve compiled a safari extension if you happen to use that browser, at http://dyslexicfonts.com/downloads

      Thank you again for your comment. It made my day. :)

      1. I don’t see anything like that in Acrobat X for Mac. What process/software would you use? I would be happy to find any solution, even if it’s command-line.

        1. On the mac, I have an automator action that can extract the text into a text file, and then I can print to PDF after changing the font style. Outside of that, it looks like you’d need Acrobat Pro, or another PDF editor.

  5. I’m going to try this with a student in my Kindergarten class he has dyslexia and both of his parents do too!

    1. Raul,
      I’d love to! But Calibre doesn’t do font-embedding AFIAK. :(

      If you are converting ePubs using calibre, it actually still requires some hand coding of the files. You’d need to include the files in the epub, and reference it in the CSS. There is a how-to located here: http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2010/09/22/sony-font-hack-how-to-change-fonts-on-a-sony-reader/ But instead of referencing the files where it says to put them on the sony reader, reference them from inside the epub.

      Edit: I guess things change? Just read their FAQ and it mentions font embedding there. http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/faq.html

      It would have to be a .ttf file that you use. There should be one in the github repo you can grab for that, or recompile the source as .ttf

  6. Looks great! I work with clients with dyslexia. But this font
    does not seem to work in Kurzweil 3000. Why not?

  7. Hi I really enjoying this font, in my chrome browser, but it would be great if you could enable and disable it, fast and easy, with a icon in top of the browser, instead of going, in to the option list in chrome.

    Big thanks for this nice font.


  8. HI,
    Does this work with Irlen students? Many dyslexia people really have Irlen syndrome. A colored overlay helps correct this problem. Thanks
    Bev S.

  9. I downloaded the font to try it. OpenDyslexic-Regular.otf is showing up as OpenDyslexic-Bold in Windows Font Viewer. I tried installing anyways. The font did install as OpenDyslexic Bold. I grabbed the file from both download locations.

  10. I’ve noticed that the font spacing is a tiny bit too narrow between words while reading this. My own sets of problems are similar but not the same as dyslexia and the spacing is quite important for mine.

    The wide bottom does give a good ‘ground’ for reading and does seem to help somewhat. I don’t quite notice what the differences between letters does however overall the font is quite readable past the space issue (words seem to run together for me).

    To make a quick test, I’m going to quote a section from Shakespeare (mostly because this is the easiest to read due to the flow that he had… more like poetry)
    Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns
    and a lanthorn, and say he comes to disfigure, or to
    present, the person of Moonshine. Then, there is
    another thing: we must have a wall in the great
    chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby says the story, did
    talk through the chink of a wall.

    Thanks again for making this open source and available. I’m going to see if i can make use of this in an e-book reader and test it.

  11. And on reading the Shakespeare, overall it’s a very good font. I’d say that ‘l’ is marginally harder to catch due to the thin top edge; it required me to slow down and re-read a few times to catch the letter correctly.

  12. I was excited to see this font released, but I was disappointed when I tried it. I am a dyslexic software programmer and I tried using this font in Eclipse (my development environment) and it just made me dizzy.

    Because it is a bottom heavy font made it worse for me to look at the screen. I only found this font useful if you are ready a website or book and the font size was large… say 14pt or larger. When programming we use 10pt Courier New font. Fixed width and clean lines and it is a serif font which is good for scanning characters quickly with our eyes.

    This dyslexic font seems to be sans-serif ?? Don’t know but I find this font not practical for me.

      1. I know about it, but is it dyslexic friendly? I don’t see how this font can stop users from mixing up db bd pq, I assume if the Q had a more distinct tail than the p and q wouldn’t look so similar.

        but anyways …

  13. Very interesting!

    Can you point me to any controlled studies that show that dyslexics read OpenDyslexic more successfully? … by how much? Are there different forms of dyslexia that impact how successful OpenDyslexic is?

    “Inquiring Minds Want to Know!”

    1. Thanks for the comment Walt. There have been no studies for OpenDyslexic. If you are able to get one started, I’d appreciate it. :)
      There have been studies done on letter shapes affecting readability, and of other dyslexia typefaces in the comments here. :)

  14. Instead of recommending that everbody puts it as the font on their website using css3 fonts , wouldn’t it make more sense to give us the info to target it when it’s installed on users machines?

    So we can just use our standard font-family:’opendyslexic, Arial, Helvetica…';

    That way, dyslexic people with the font installed can get the benefit of the font but for everybody else it wont impact on our designs and revert to standard fonts.

    1. That’s certainly an option also. I just wanted to provide some basic information to help, and hoped that some quick research would be done in addition.

  15. Hi Abbie,

    Thank you ! This is amazing. I am dyslexic and also teach primary children who are dyslexic and I am finding this so much quicker and more relaxing to read I’m sure my school children will be helped too….It’s wonderful to have more to help these children who find school such a struggle. I’ve just finished training as a Specialist teacher ad all my course team will be delighted.
    I will have to get my youngest daughter to do the techy part of downloading it for me. My eldest daughter sent it to me.
    THANK you, THANK you THANK you, Ali

  16. “You may have downloaded Open-Dyslexic from places other than here and thats cool. I only guarantee the files from github and dafont. Oh, and it’s cool if you wanna share this font too. :)”

    Please put an apostrophe in “that’s”. Thanks!

  17. My dad showed this to me the other day and I was reading it than the next day at school I was reading something and I realised that this was a lot easer to read. I want to thank you so very much for doing this for people!!!!

    May God bless you.

  18. Hi again, I found blog posts that analyse your open-dyslexic font and most of their conclusions were similar to mine. I didn’t like too much how you just directed me to Adobe’s opensource font for programming instead of actually analyzing the critiques of what I said.

    So see these links improve.



    I like the direction this is going in, but more studies need to be made and experiments.

    1. George,

      I am 1 person, working 1 full time job, and taking freelance projects on the side to help pay bills, and save up money towards rent, security and deposit on an apartment because my wife, child and I are still living with others (who happen to be cool people, but space is tight). And I’m doing this for free.

      TL;DR: Be nice, and don’t take offense if I’m kinda brief with replies. I need to work to support my family also. Previously, as you mentioned, I simply wanted to know if you found Adobe’s new font to be a workable solution, because I have heard from some people that it could be. These responses can help shape future decisions that I make in this area. I do consider this.

      However, you insist on studies, and toss me examples of blog posts that are supposed to show… what? Evaluation by a handful of people? I’m not sure what you are getting at here. That it doesn’t work well for everyone? That’s a given. I’m doing this for the people it works well for. I’m sorry it doesn’t help you. Perhaps when I have more time, I will explore other typeface styles. But 1 typeface style will never benefit everyone. That’s why there needs to be more people exploring this, and perhaps an actual scientific study that pleases the naysayers also. If they can be pleased.

  19. This is amazing! I am in grade 10, but was blessed (cursed? Blesred?) with a genuis level intelligence and yet somehow I’m still moderately (and openly) dyslectic. I read very very quickly, but when I go to write a paper about the amazing peice of literature I just read I spell like a drunk second-grader. If I didn’t have spellcheck you would literally not be able to read my super intresting and sexy words, but this font makes it easier to read all of the words I write when I proofread, instead of just reading what I think is there.

    I’ve already written two papers and an essay in this font. Thank you so much.

  20. A fascinating disorder and interesting font. As a designer there appears to be a weighting on the bottom-half of each font and on certain letters emphasised width on the narrow vertical lines. The end result is what I would compare taking a screenshot of text and reducing its raster size by 5%. Normal fonts are all sharp and crisp, so I can see how they can blend-in with each other; and I can see where this font could help to draw the eye’s attention to the individual letters. From an educational standpoint I love the idea of offering a font like this to a minority group likely often forgotten.

  21. I’m really curious about numbers. In particular, I have troubles with repeating numbers, and since I work with them all day, this can be an issue.

    Do you think this could help with that?

    For instance, if I see a number such as 234447800021 without the commas, I would have to count the 4s and 0s.

  22. You are making me happy! For the first time in my life the letters are standing still!!!! For the first time in my life i can read something without trouble. I don’t have to concentrate that hard, my eays don’t get tired and im really curious to read the text.
    How did you discover this?

  23. I would love to be able to use this font for stuff I print via Lulu. I have been using the doPDF converter to convert Microsoft Word 2010 files to PDF. To get this to work via Lulu, I believe I would have to embed the OpenDyslexic font in the PDF. When I’ve tried to do this using doPDF it has come out as gibberish. Can anyone tell me what the problem is likely to be, and how (if at all) I can fix it? I’m aware that I could try to upload the files as Word .docx files to Lulu but I suspect that could screw up my layout.

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