About the Ogham Alphabet

The Ogham alphabet was developed in Ireland during the early Christian period in Ireland and was used primarily to label gravestones (Ogham stones). The language used was a form of Irish, but one that pre-dates later Old Irish texts.

Note: This Ogham alphabet should not be confused with the Runic alphabet. Although the forms look superficially similar, the pronunciation and symbols are quite different.


Vertical vs. Horizontal Text

On the stone inscriptions, text was written vertically bottom to top, but a manuscript tradition of horizontal Ogham from left to right has also developed. Since support for vertical text is not widespread, horizontal display is currently recommended.

Font Recommendations

Test Passage

If you see a question mark or a bunch of squares below, then you need to install a runic font. See the list in the following section for details.


Freeware Unicode Fonts for Ogham

Inputting Ogham

Inputting from Character Utilities

For short passages, it may be practical to input characters from either the Windows Character Map or the Macintosh Character Viewer/Palette. In some cases, you may need to adjust the font to a Ogham font.

Typing Ogham Characters

Neither Microsoft or Apple provide a Ogham keyboard, but there may several freeware keyboard utilities which can be installed
Note: Not all applications have been tested.

Web Development

This section presents information specific to the Runic script. For general information about developing non-English Web sites, see the Encoding Tutorial or the Web Layout sections.


Unicode (utf-8) is the required encoding to correctly display Ogham. Pages not encoded as Unicode may not display Ogham characters correctly.

Language Codes

Language Tags allow browsers and other software to process Runic text more efficiently. For Ogham, the language is usually Primitive Irish.

  • pgl (Primitive Irish)

Unicode Entity Codes

Ogham numeric Unicode entity codes can be used for small pieces of text or when other
methods to not work.


Ogham Language

Ogham Unicode Fonts

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