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I wanted to use Indian rupee symbol (₹) with Arial font, in TextEdit on macOS Mojave.

However, whenever I select the text which includes that symbol and change the font to Arial in the dropdown, rupee sign font changes to PingFang SC font and the remaining text changes to Arial.

Can someone explain this behaviour?

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This is because macOS Mojave uses Arial version 5.01.2x, which includes the following list of characters:

! " # $ % & &#x27; ( ) * + , - . / 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ? @ A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ ] ^ _ ` a b c d e f g h i j k l
m n o p q r s t u v w x y z { | } ~   ¡ ¢ £ ¤ ¥ ¦ § ¨ © ª « ¬ ­ ® ¯ ° ± ² ³ ´
µ ¶ · ¸ ¹ º » ¼ ½ ¾ ¿ À Á Â Ã Ä Å Æ Ç È É Ê Ë Ì Í Î Ï Ð Ñ Ò Ó Ô Õ Ö × Ø Ù Ú Û
Ü Ý Þ ß à á â ã ä å æ ç è é ê ë ì í î ï ð ñ ò ó ô õ ö ÷ ø ù ú û ü ý þ ÿ

Indian rupee sign is not on this list, so TextEdit uses PingFang SC, which is a system fallback font introduced in OS X 10.11 El Capitan:

OS X 10.11, aka El Capitan, comes with a new system font for Chinese users, named PingFang, it includes 6 weights for both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. The same font also appear on iOS 9 as the default UI font, though Apple didn't mention it explicitly.

No single font contains every possible character. To see which ones a particular font does have, go to Applications > Font Book, select the font, and do View > Repertoire. To see which fonts do have the rupee symbol, open the Character Viewer (Edit > Emoji & Symbols), select the character, and look at the Font Variation pane.

  • No single font contains every possible character because the common font formats are limited to 65,535 glyphs. But the Code2000 family, the Gnu Unifont family, and the Noto family all make a good try at supporting the full 137,994 characters of Unicode, and the omitted characters tend to be things like Linear A or Sumero-Akkadian Cuneiform. – Mark Jul 2 at 19:56
  • @Mark Good point, but of course that's not why Arial doesn't have rupee. Countless fonts omit large numbers of characters simply because the authors don't think them relevant to the purpose of the font. – Tom Gewecke Jul 3 at 9:35

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