Tamil Fonts, Tamil Keyboards and Software

தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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CONTENTS OF
THIS SECTION
Last updated
24/01/09

Tamil Digital Renaissance
Tamil Computing Information - Penn State University
Bilingual Tamil Search - Yarlthevi
Tamil Word Processing, Editors, Converters, Keyboards...
Tools at Jaffna Library
Tamil Spell Checker

Azhagi - The Complete Tamil Word Processor
1.
Direct Tamil Input in ALL windows applications in both tscii and unicode.
2. Three input modes - phonetic, tamilnet99 and Tamil typewriter in all windows applications

3.
Bulk unicode converter (convert multiple files at the same time)
4. 
Completely flexible and user friendly English to Tamil key mapping making phonetic transliteration easy.
5.. 'Dual Screen' Tamil Transliterator
6.
Auto-Transliteration, Auto-Insertion, 'Reverse Transliteration' (Tamil to English conversion)

[see also தமிழ் வளர்க்கும் அறிஞர்கள் -  அழகி.காம் விஷி (எ)விஸ்வநாதன் - Nilarchal Interview]

Ponku Tamil Unicode Reader & Converter
Sarma's Tamil Font Converter - எழுத்துரு மாற்றி
NHM Writer including "Windows Text Services" for typing of Unicode in MS Office applications

LedLineIt! Multi Lingual Text Editor

அடங்காத்தமிழ் TSC/TAB conversion to Unicode
புதுவை தமிழ் எழுதி - சுரதா யாழ்வாணன் 
Tamil Language Keyboard Stickers - Overlays
Kural Tamil Keyboard Manager - "A keyboard manager that helps to input Tamil characters in any Microsoft Windows Applications. It is completely free for personal, Educational or noncommercial use. It can be used with MS Word, WordPad, Notepad, Open Office, Internet Explorer, Netscape, Adobe products and many more applications. And also helps to chat in Tamil using Yahoo, MSN and AIM chat clients. Kural Tamil software is bundled with Kavithai word processor, Tamil spell checker, Paravai SMTP based email client, Encoding/Font converters and Osai
Tamil Bharateeya Open Office -  (Spread Sheet, Presentations, Word processing & drawing tools) for Linux and Windows
Tamil Browser
TamilPad Wordprocessor
Min Olai - A Tamil Editor with Spell Checker
PonVizhi Tamil OCR
Tamil E-Mail
Thiruwin Tamil Transliterator Roman script- இல் இப்படி தட்டெழுதும்போதே தமிழில் காணலாம். இதிலிருந்தே E-mail, Print செய்யலாம். இதனுள் இன்னும் பல சாதனைகள் உள்ளன. இலாபகர நோக்கமில்லா பணிகளுக்கு இலவசமாக பயன் படுத்தலாம்.
Suvadi Text Editor  "allows a Windows user to choose any of the TSCII conformant font faces. MylaiTSC is bundled as part of the Suvadi.zip file for those who do not yet have any TSCII-based fontface in their computer.  The Editor can save files in Rich Text Format (RTF) or plain text. It can also open multiple files. Suvadi  is also a Text Converter and allows conversion of Mylai and Inaimathi based files to one corresponding to TSCII format."
Tamil Unicode Keyboard
Tamil Key Board

Kamban - Universal Editor - Word Processor - Tamill Editor - Tamil Mail

Murasu Anjal - Email, Chat, Write and Publish in Tamil
Thunaivan "Thunaivan supports all standard Tamil Keyboard layouts including Tamil99, Typewriter and other non-standard layouts including Romanised, Thunaivan, Mylai, IE and many others. Thunaivan also fully supports all Tamil Font Encoding Standards including TSCII, TAM, TAB and Unicode."

Unicode

Audio Lesson in Tamil on Unicode - Suratha Yarl Vannan -  படலை - ஒரு அறிமுகம் - Port;
இணையவிதிமுறை இலக்கம் IP number; &
தானிறங்கி எழுத்துருக்கள்  Dynamic fonts
What is Unicode?
Tamil in Unicode - Helmut Steeb
Tamil Unicode Key Map - Abdul Samad
Standardising Tamil Unicode Sort Order
Wikpedia Unicode - Comprehensive Help
South Asia Language Resource Center - Tamil
Aksharamala "a Free Edition of Aksharamala  for use by individuals to communicate in Tamil via Unicode. You can use any of the supported transliteration schemes to input text into Microsoft and other Unicode enabled products "
e-Uthavi Discussion Group exists to provide help to those who have - questions or have troubles with sending/reading mails in Tamil  - have questions on how to set up web pages in Tamil - any other font problems for simple day-to-day use thro email/phone/in person
Internet Work Shop on using Tamil in your Computer - Ram S. Ravindran
Setting Tamil Unicode in Windows XP
Tamil Unicode - Sinnathurai Srivas
Tamil Unicode- Alan Woods
Unicode Consortium accepts proposal to have Tamil number zero in the Tamil Unicode range
Investigation of Unicode Standards in Tamil -abstract of Paper presented at Tamil Internet Conference, 2002 - Dr.M.Ponnavaiko
Glyph Choices for Unicode based Tamil Fonts - abstract of paper presentedat Tamil Internet Conference, 2002 - Muthu Nedumaran
Unicode for Tamil Range 0B80 -0BFF
Unicode for Tamil: Chart - James Kass
View Unicode Tamil through Roman transliteration  
Does Your Browser support Multi Language?
Tamil Font Support
Tamil Fonts & How to Install Them
Kaninith Thamizh - Muthu Nedumaran, May 2003
Kanithamizh Sangam - Association for Tamil Computing

Microsoft

Microsoft Tamil Keyboard
Enabling Tamil Language Support in Windows XP/Server 2003 Family
Tamil Language Support in Outlook Express
Windows East Asian (including Tamil) Scripts Keyboard Instructions - Windows XP
Microsoft Web Embedding Tool (WEFT)
Tamil OpenType Specification - Microsoft

Linux

Announcement of Tamil Linux Web Site

Tamil Linux World

Tamil Linux - FAQ
Tamil Linux - Unix Discussion Group - A group involved in the development of Tamil on Linux/Unix. Members are self-interested enthusiasts who contribute in their free time. Anyone is free to join this group and contribute to Tamil on Linux/Unix.

Tamil Font Standardisation

Tamil Fonts, Keyboards & Beyond - Dr. M. Anandakrishnan
Proposal for TSCII standard for Tamil Computing - Dr.K.Kalyanasunderam, 1997
An overview of different tools for word processing in Tamil and a proposal for standardisation -  Dr.K.Kalyanasundaram, 1997
Towards a Total Internet Solution for the Tamil Language Through Singapore Research, 1998
Implementation Tools
(Fonts, Keyboard Editors, Convertors,..) for the Proposed Tamil Standard Code for Information Interchange (TSCII) - Dr.K.Kalyanasunderam, 1999
Tamil Nadu Government Order on Standardisation - June 1999
C.S. Senthilnathan on the New Tamil Font Encoding & Keyboard Standards, 1999
Tamil font encoding standard
& standardised Tamil keyboard, Government of Tamil Nadu, 1999
Products certified by the Government of Tamil Nadu
Move to standardise computing for Tamil SMS, July 2006
Other Selected Links
Thamizha - Powering Tamil Open Source
Tamil Research - Sinnathurai Srivas
Tamil Software
Tamil Software at Tamil Nadu Home Page
Standards for Tamil Computing Official TSCII website
Tamil Computing - Indy Ram, 1998
KDE Translation Project for Tamil
Softech Creations - Tamil Kalvi
Lastech Software Development
K. Srinivasan's Home Page
Tamil Araichchi Discussion Group
Tamil Nucleus

 


Tamil Fonts, Keyboards & Software

"..The talent, interest and energy in Tamil Computing are widely scattered around the world. For nearly two decades, the expertise and enthusiasm of this community were reflected as individual efforts mainly engaged in development of fonts and keyboard drivers. The fast changes in the computing environment and worldwide proliferation of Internet usage have widened the base of interest in Tamil Computing and Internet applications..." Dr. M. Anandakrishnan at Tamil Internet 2000


Stepwise instructions - to view Unicode Tamil text -

1. You need to have Unicode Tamil fonts  installed on your computer and the Operating System capable of rendering Tamil Scripts. Windows XP comes with a Unicode Tamil Font (Latha) and you should not need to download/install a unicode font. 

2. In the Control Panel, in Regional/Languages Options you will need to ensure that Indic/Asian Language option is checked.

3. Use a browser that is capable of handling UTF-8 based pages (Netscape 6, Internet Explorer 5) with the Unicode Tamil font chosen as the default font for the UTF-8 char-set/encoding view. Unicode Tamil Fonts may be downloaded from here

Some users of Windows 98/NT/ME/2000 Windows NT may find that even with a Tamil Unicode font installed and the browser correctly set to View > Encoding > Unicode, some of the Tamil letters are incorrectly displayed. An example of  this incorrect display may be viewed here using any TSC font -

"அதோ அந்த பறவை போல வாழ வேண்டும்
இதோ இந்த அலைகள் போல ஆட வேண்டும்
ஒரே வானிலே ஒரே மண்ணிலே
ஒரே கீதம் உரிமை கீதம் பாடுவோம்
"

This may be due to the earlier version of usp10.dll used in these operating systems. To correct this, it may be necessary to update the usp10.dll file in Windows.  To do this,

1. Download the latest version of the usp10.dll file. [one of the sites for this download is here . Alternatively, you may download the file from the Microsoft site here - save the downloaded .exe file - double click on the file - give a temporary folder address - the program will extract a few files into the folder - of these 'usp.zip' is the one you will need - discard the other files - unzip usp.zip - it will give two files viz: usp10.dll and readme.txt ]

2. Go to the Windows folder and find the file named usp10.dll (usually in the System and/or System32  sub folder). Rename the file to a different name say usp10.old .

3. Place the newly downloaded usp10.dll file in the same folder as the renamed usp10.old file.

6. Re start the computer.

[in addition see also - How to Switch usp.dll and Making Uniscribe (USP10.DLL) Available for All Programmes]


Ram S.Ravindran on using Tamil Unicode in Personal Computers -

"Most of the PC computer users use either Win 98 or XP operating  systems. I recognize there are some of us who use Mac and Linux machines.

Win 98 OS and the applications that go with them don’t support Unicode format. However, if you have Win 98 you can input in Unicode Tamil.

Recently (March 2004) most of us came to know of a neat freeware program called LedLineIt!. This program allows you to create  Unicode font Tamil documents. All you need is e- Kalappai 1.0 or 2.0 with the Unicode kmx file.

You can create a Unicode Tamil document with the use of Thenee, aVarangal or TSCArparnar fonts. This program doesn’t use any dll or Windows hook ups. However the exe file is about 3.4 megs.

 If you have IE explorer 5.5 or higher you can use Ledlineit to create Unicode Tamil text and cut and paste it in Hotmail or  Yahoo Webmail email text boxes. So if you have Win 98 you can in fact read and write in Unicode Tamil in the email. Likewise you can paste it in Blogs.

Using Leadlineit , you can save the Unicode document file and print it out as well. As a matter of fact, you can even save the document as a HTML file for uploading to a free Web hosting service. So you can use it as a HTML editor as well.

If you have Win XP machine, to get the best Unicode capability, you need to install the Asian font capability. From start, go to settings, control panel and then select the regional settings. Install the Asian font capability. (you might be asked to place the WinXP  OS disk). After you install the Asian font capability , select the regional font option again and select advanced. Select the Tamil language option. 

With MS office XP Word and selecting  Tamil driver and selecting Latha font and using Ekalappai you can create a  Tamil Unicode document. Using Publisher 2003 you can create a  Web page. Of course you can cut and paste into a Blog page.

You can enter in Tamil into the text boxes of Yahoo mail and Hotmail as well. The most important thing to do  is to make sure that you have the Internet options set with Thenee UNIX font and Tamil language selected. If you don’t do it right then things won’t be right.

Now you can input in Unicode Tamil in both Win 98 and XP systems. Thanks to Ekalappai, (Keyman module) and Ledlineit we have the ability to input in Unicode Tamil." - (in Tamil dot Net mailing list in March 2004)


Tamil Fonts, Keyboards and Beyond

Dr. M. Anandakrishnan
Vice-Chairman, Tamilnadu State Council For Higher Education,
Lady Willington College Campus, Kamarajar Salai, Chennai 600 005 at Tamil Internet 2000, Directions to the Digital World, Singapore 22-24 July 2000


Preface

The talent, interest and energy in Tamil Computing are widely scattered around the world. For nearly two decades, the expertise and enthusiasm of this community were reflected as individual efforts mainly engaged in development of fonts and keyboard drivers.

The fast changes in the computing environment and worldwide proliferation of Internet usage have widened the base of interest in Tamil Computing and Internet applications. In this evolution, the first Tamilnet'97 Conference in Singapore identified the key issues and outlined the scope for further intensive efforts. The second Conference, Tamilnet'99 held in Chennai provided the basis for evolving common schemes for Tamil font encoding and Tamil keyboard configuration.

Since then, there has been a sharp increase in he level of activities in development of products and initiating efforts in new directions responding to the rapid advances in information technology. Current momentum includes, attention to operating systems, OCR, Text to Voice, Tamil Browsers, remote communication, printers, font and Tamil menus, dynamic fonts, Tamil e-mail, Tamil Domain Names, Tamil Virtual libraries, Web-based Tamil Courses and so on. This paper presents an overview of the efforts in Tamil Nadu.

Introduction

    Since the early eighties, when personal computers became available extensively, a number of persons with deep interest in Tamil began development of Tamil fonts for use in the computers. A large number of Tamil fonts were created as glyphs allocating the upper half of the 8 bit ASCII Table. Individual font developers assigned different code positions to different characters and modifiers.

Since most of these initial developments were in English speaking countries with easier access to personal computers than India, many chose to adopt Romanised Keyboards, with some small variations in using the QWERTY keys for some Tamil fonts. There were also developments of Tamil keyboard configurations, either resembling largely the Remington Tamil Typewriter or with configurations of individual taste and reasoning.

    The Singapore Tamilnet 97 Conference organized by Dr. Naa Govindasamy highlighted these variations and the consequent handicaps in promoting use of Tamil in computers and in effective penetration of Tamil in Internet. This challenge was articulated extensively by a group of enthusiastic persons through the discussion group TSCII (Tamil Standard Character for Information Interchange). At the same time Dr. Naa Govindasamy evolved font encoding schemes and keyboard configurations through the IRDU (Internet Research and Development Unit) of Singapore.

    The Tamilnet 99 at Chennai provided an occasion to review these initiatives and suggested that the Tamil Glyph Encoding should consist of a monolingual (TAM) as well as a 2 bilingual (TAB) scheme. It also recommended a phonetic keyboard layout. The conference drew attention to the various important and urgent efforts required to be undertaken.

Convergence in Font Encoding

    Most, if not all, of the Font Developers are since converging towards one of the following encoding schemes:

Anjal, TSCII, TAM, TAB , and Unicode

    The user community is getting accustomed to the products based on one or the other scheme determined by their convenience for exchange of documents, e-mail communication, operating environments and ease of availability and support. In Tamil Nadu all of these schemes are in use. There are also a few, mainly some Tamil newspapers on the Internet, who continue to use fonts outside these schemes either due to inertia or backend compatibility.

Convergence in Keyboard Configuration

The Tamil keyboard configuration in computer has also been converging towards the following:

Romanized
Tamil 99 (phonetic)
Typewriter
Unicode

The Romanized keyboard is mostly akin to Anjal sequence. Some variations in this need to be resolved. It is very convenient for those familiar with the English language.

The Tamil 99 keyboard does not require the use of shift key except for Grantha characters. Since one needs to remember only about half the key positions as compared to other systems, the new learners are attracted to this. The availability of bilingual keyboards based on Tamil 99 configuration facilitates its widespread use. The automatic - pulli - is an add-on convenience.

The typewriter keyboard is used by persons accustomed to the Remington Tamil Typewriters. The Government of Tamil Nadu has also recommended a common configuration for the typewriter keyboard configuration for computers.

The recent introduction of Unicode Tamil in Windows 2000 will require familiarity with its keyboard configuration.  It may be pointed out that it does not matter which keyboard configuration is used as long as the associated keyboard driver is available. It is a matter of individual's choice and convenience.

Certification Objective

    For the users in Tamil Nadu Government system it has been decided that they would use TAM or TAB primarily to ensure transportability of data and information. To ensure that the purchases of Tamil Software products by Government users are assured of compatibility, the Government designated the Kanithamizh Sangam to undertake the responsibility to evaluate and certify that the software products conform to the TAM/TAB encoding scheme.

It also required the keyboards to conform to the Tamil99 and/or the recommended typewriter configuration and the associated prescribed key sequence. The process of evaluation by Kanithamizh Sangam has built-in transparency and checks. It has been helpful in expediting product evaluation and to build in confidence in government purchases without procedural hurdles. It is also a convenience for Tamil software developers. The users outside the government system need not insist on certification for encoding.

Certified Products

    After the Tamilnet 99 Conference on 7-8 February 1999, the Government of Tamil Nadu announced on 13.06.1999 the encoding standards for TAM/TAB fonts and Keyboard configuration of Tamil 99. Kanithamizh Sangam has so far certified 17 products for conformity to Tamil 99 standards.

Other Products in Use

    Apart from the certified products, many other products that are now available in the market have followed the Tamil 99 Standards exclusively or as one of the options, as for example:

MURASU ANJAL 2000 With 6 Keyboard and 6 Encoding Options, including TAM and TAB Fonts and Tamil 99 Keyboard Works with TAM Fonts and Tamil 99 Keyboard
MIN TAMIL Works with Tam Fonts and Tamil 99 Keyboard
TAMIL ANJAL Email Software Works with Tamil 99 Keyboard
TAMIL DOMAIN NAMES By I-DNS, Singapore - incorporate TAB Fonts
i-LEAP Word Processor with TAM and TAB Fonts and Tamil 99 Keyboard as one of the options
TEXT TO SPEECH SOFTWARE Multilingual software developed by IIT, Madras including TAB Fonts

Ongoing Activities

A number of initiatives are currently underway in developing new Tamil softwares and tools such as:

- IDHAM 2000 - An Advanced Tamil Interface for MS Windows**

- Bilingual Search Engine for Tamil and English Sites**
- Tamil JAVA - A Tamil Pre-processor for JAVA**
- Tamil 99 Keyboard Driver under DOS**
- Optical Character Reader (OCR) Software** (** These are described in separate papers sub-nitted for the Conference.)
- Text to Speech Synthesizer - This will convert any machines readable text into speech
- PONN - A Tamil Operating System - This will provide an operating environment both in Tamil and English with facility for user communication and design to execute the commands given in Tamil.

Conclusion

    Considering the rapid changes in the hardware systems, application software, operating environments and communication devices, there are many new challenges that are to be undertaken with time-bound goals and involving the best talents available worldwide. It would be useful to assign the primary responsibility for undertaking the development tasks to a particular institution or a research group who should be funded adequately. The progress of work should be reviewed at predefined intervals not only by the funding agency but also through another designated mechanism such as INFITT.

    New demands for development of unique products which are of immediate relevance should also be identified through such a mechanism and evolve a method to analyse the involvement of competent persons. It is high time that the perspectives on Tamil computing and Tamil Internet are guided by vision and hope far beyond font encoding and keyboards.

 Tamil Font Downloads

Tamil Font Downloads

Unicode Fonts
Latha
Elango Bharathy
Sooriyan
VaigaiUni
TheneeUni

Wazu Japan's Gallery of Unicode Fonts

Avarangal
Akshar
Code 2001
ThendralUni
JanaTamil

Tab & Tam Fonts

Pathippu-250: 200 TAM fonts, 50 TAB fonts
TAMKalaignar and TABAnna
TAMKamban
TAMmaduram
Vanavil Avvaiyar
TABUnix
Tamil True Type Fonts: C-DAC
TABAvarangal
TABKamban
TABMylai

TSCII Fonts

TSCII Official Site
Aparanar TSC
Canna
ComicU
Janani TSC
KomathiTSC
MylaiTSC
Parab
Paranarital
Sai-sai
Tamil Avarangal3 TSC
TimesTSC  
Andal
ArulmathiTSC
ComicTSC
InaimathiTSC
KannaTSC
MadhuramTSC
NanthiniTSC
Parah
SaiIndra
Sri-TSC
ThunaivanTSC
TimesU
TneriTSC

Other Tamil Fonts

Aabohi
Adhawin
Anangu - Valluvar
Anantha 
Barani
Boopalam
Eelanadu
Hindolam
InProS
Kalki
Kamaas
Kathanakuthugalam
KTS  Keyboard Driver and Fonts
Lathangi
Malayamarutham
Mylai
Mylai-Sri
Needhimathi
Paranar
Ranjani
Saavaeri