See also: Glyph coverage by standard.
This page shows the glyph coverage for various popular academic fonts.
Fonts were selected based on recomendations on various sites, or for having wide glyph coverage, particularly in mathematics and historical languages.
The focus is on western academia, so I did not consider CJK-and-related coverage. Font styles are typically "classical" serif, with a few sans-serifs. Arial is included, but not Calibri, due to its peculiarities. Neither is really recommended for serious publications.
I am not including the actual fonts, or links to them, due to wanting to keep the page weight down, and avoid dealing with licensing issues. Your friendly neighbourhood search engine will find them for you.
The "defining features" of a font are usually in how certain letters are drawn, in particular capitals A C E G I J K M O Q R S W, lowercase a e g i j l o y, some punctuation like ? , . (&), and the numerals. These are highlighted in the custom sentence, which also gives a feel for the "darkness" of the font, and its typical kerning. "Smirnoff" highlights issues with r n looking like m, and how ff renders.
You could also check the full Kurinto fonts collection (some included here), and the TypoPro collection. The Kurinto fonts are based on and extend popular free fonts like Arimo, Kelvinch, Cardo, Carlito, Noto Sans, Fira Sans, Junicode, Libertinus Sans, Tinos, Charis SIL, and Courier Prime.
I have included Arial, Helvetica and Times New Roman, since they are so pervasive. I did not include the usual Latex fonts because they are getting old and their glyph coverage is not keeping up.
The text samples were generated programmatically using PHP and GD. The maths samples were done in LibreOffice, and then screenshotted (?). LibreOffice seems to have a bug and ignores the specified font for the Σ and ∫ symbols. Setting up custom fonts (converting from TTF and OTF) for Latex would have been a lot of work, hence LibreOffice.
First are sample images of each font, and abbreviation for the column headings in the table below.
Font size for the letterforms is 28pt, while the sentences are 12pt.
The user-selectable glyph coverage tables are below.
We also have the Google Fonts collection as at 11 April 2022 analysed according to these criteria, as a spreadsheet (.ods).
The table excludes U+058B, U+058C, U+169E, U+2065, U+208F, U+4E2D, U+A8FB, U+FB10, U+FB11, U+FB12, and U+FFFF codepoints, any blocks not present in any of the fonts, and the following blocks which are in some of the fonts:
Select fonts (maximum 12) to compare. You probably don't want more than 5 or 7 at a time. Trust me.
The table below is supposed to render using Symbola font, your browser may substitute different glyphs as needed..