Original author(s)The FreeType Project
Developer(s)Behdad Esfahbod
Stable release5.1.0 (31 July 2022; 54 days ago (2022-07-31)[1]) [±]
Written inC++
Operating systemUnix-like, Windows
TypeSoftware development library
Websiteharfbuzz.github.io Edit this on Wikidata

HarfBuzz (loose transliteration of Persian calque حرف‌باز harf-bāz, literally "open type")[2][3] is a software development library for text shaping, which is the process of converting Unicode text to glyph indices and positions. The newer version, New HarfBuzz (2012–), targets various font technologies while the first version, Old HarfBuzz (2006–2012), targeted only OpenType fonts.[2][4]


Behdad Esfahbod, developer of HarfBuzz
Behdad Esfahbod, developer of HarfBuzz

HarfBuzz evolved from code that was originally part of the FreeType project. It was then developed separately in Qt and Pango. Then it was merged back into a common repository with an MIT license. This was Old HarfBuzz, which is no longer being developed, as the path going forward is New HarfBuzz.[2] In 2013, Behdad Esfahbod won the O’Reilly Open Source Award for his work on HarfBuzz.[5]

Important milestones for new HarfBuzz include:


Most applications don't use HarfBuzz directly, but use a UI toolkit library that integrates with it. HarfBuzz is used by the UI libraries of GNOME (GTK+), KDE (Qt), Chrome OS (Skia), PlayStation 4,[11] Android,[2] Java,[12] and Flutter;[13] and directly by applications Chromium, Firefox, LibreOffice (from version 4.1 on Linux only,[14] from 5.3 on all platforms[15]), Scribus,[16] and Inkscape.

See also


  1. ^ "Release 5.1.0 · harfbuzz/harfbuzz". Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Byfield, Bruce (19 December 2017). "HarfBuzz brings professional typography to the desktop". LWN.net.
  3. ^ "HarfBuzz". freedesktop.org.
  4. ^ "HarfBuzz Official website". Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  5. ^ "O'Reilly Open Source Awards: OSCON 2013". 26 July 2013. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  6. ^ HarfBuzz 1.0 Implements Microsoft's Universal Shaping Engine Released
  7. ^ HarfBuzz 1.4 Brings OpenType GX / Font Variations
  8. ^ HarfBuzz 1.8 Released With Unicode 11 Support
  9. ^ HarfBuzz 2.0 Released For Advancing Open-Source Text Shaping
  10. ^ HarfBuz articles on Phoronix
  11. ^ "HarfBuzz". doc.dl.playstation.net. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  12. ^ "JEP 258: HarfBuzz Font-Layout Engine". OpenJDK Enhancement Proposals. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Flutter Engine Wiki". Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  14. ^ "LibreOffice 4.1 ReleaseNotes". The Document Foundation. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  15. ^ LibreOffice 5.3 Enables New Layout Engine By Default
  16. ^ "Scribus 1.5.3 Released". 22 May 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.