Several pages on Wikipedia use Indic scripts to illustrate the native representation of names, places, quotes and literature. Unicode is the encoding used on Wikipedia and it contains support for a number of Indic scripts. However, before Indic scripts can be viewed or edited, support for complex text layout must be enabled on your operating system. Some older operating systems do not support complex text rendering and you should not use such systems to edit Indic scripts.
This page lists the methods for enabling complex text rendering based on the operating environment or browser you are using. Many of the methods highlighted can also be used for non-Indic complex scripts such as Arabic.
The following table compares how a correctly enabled computer would render the following scripts with how your computer renders them:
|Mac OS X
|Linux or BSD
|Correct rendering||Your computer||10.4||10.5/6||10.7/8||10.13||KDE
|Devanagari||? + ? ->||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Tamil||? + ? ->||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Gujarati||? + ? ->||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Gurmukhi||? + ? ->||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Kannada||? + ? ->||needs font||needs font||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Telugu||? + ? ->||needs font||needs font||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|? + ? ->||needs font||needs font||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (SP2)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Malayalam||? + ? ->||needs font||needs font||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (SP2)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Tibetan||? + ? + ? ->||needs font||Yes||Yes||Yes||needs font||needs font||needs patch (SP2)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sinhala||? + ? ->||needs font||needs font||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||needs font (SP2)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Oriya||? + ? ->||needs font||needs font||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||needs font (SP2)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Thai||? + ? ->||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Lao||? + ? + ? ->||needs font||needs font||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||needs font (SP2)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Khmer||? + ? + ? + ? -> ?||needs font||needs font||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||needs font (SP2)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Burmese||? + ? ->||needs font||needs font||Yes||Yes||No||needs font||needs font (SP2)||needs font||needs font||Yes||Yes|
|Javanese||? + ? + ? + ? + ? ->||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Yes||Unknown||Unknown||No||No||No||Yes (8.1)||Yes|
|Balinese||? + ? + ? + ? + ? + ? ->||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Yes||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||needs font||needs font||needs font|
|Sundanese||? + ? + ? + ? -> ?||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Yes||Unknown||Unknown||needs font (SP2)||needs font||needs font||needs font||needs font|
If the rendering on your computer matches the rendering in the images for the scripts, then you have already enabled complex text support. You should be able to view text correctly in that script. However, this does not mean you will be able to edit text in that script. To edit such text you need to have the appropriate text entry software on your operating system.
To type in Devanagari script, use of InScript keyboard is a permanent and easy solution. Inscript is standard developed by CDAC and approved by Government of India.
This keyboard can be configured to work with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Ubuntu Linux and fedora Linux etc. See below sections for detailed instructions.
Supports: Bengali (XP SP2), Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada, Malayalam (XP SP2), Tamil, Telugu. The default Bengali font, Vrinda, appears too small, so it might be desirable to install another font. Oriya works with SP2 and later if you install unicode fonts.
This is an optional step, only when you want to use a specific Unicode font for your chosen particular language(s) for viewing webpages.
Tibetan is properly supported since Firefox 4.
Windows XP has inbuilt InScript Keyboards for nearly all Indian languages. You can add them via Control Panel. You must follow the steps above before you perform the remaining steps.
You can use the combination + to switch between different keyboard layouts (e.g. from a UK Keyboard to Gurmukhi and vice versa). If you want a language bar, you can select it by pressing the "Language Bar ..." button on the "Text Services and Input Languages" dialog and then selecting "Show the language bar on my desktop". The language bar enables you to visually select the keyboard layout you are using.
Baraha and PramukhIME are Phonetic based software and includes nearly all of Indic languages. Baraha Direct included in Baraha Package supports both ANSI & Unicode while Baraha IME supports only Unicode.
Supports: Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan. The default Bengali font, Vrinda, appears too small, so it might be desirable to install another font. The same applies to the default Tibetan font.
Complex text support is automatically enabled.
You do not need to do anything to enable viewing of Indic text, except Burmese script (examples: ? + ? -> and ) which needs a font not pre-installed on Vista. Follow the help provided in the template to the right.
The pre-installed Khmer fonts in Windows Vista and Windows 7 are generally considered illegible because of their tiny default point. If desired these fonts may be replaced with other Khmer Unicode fonts available online. See http://www.selapa.net/khmerfonts/ for a list of Khmer Unicode fonts.
The pre-installed Tibetan fonts in Windows Vista and Windows 7 known as "Microsoft Himalaya" is generally considered illegible because of their tiny default point. If desired the font may be replaced with a fix to the size - "Big Microsoft Himalaya". See http://www.yalasoo.com/English/docs/yalasoo_en_bigger_himalaya_font.html to replace "Microsoft Himalaya" with "Big Microsoft Himalaya".
The default hot key combination for switching between languages is +.
The following software allows typing in Indian scripts:
Another alternative is User:Keymanweb/Keymanweb which provides a web-based keyboard that is integrated into Wikipedia and supports 300 languages, including most of the complex scripts listed on this page. The ISIS keyboards are available through Keymanweb.
Non-free fonts and keyboards for all Indic scripts are available from xenotypetech.com
Note: Additional fonts for these scripts have to be in /Library/Fonts in order for text to be displayed.
You do not need to do anything to enable viewing of Indic text as long as you have installed a suitable font. The Indic text will be displayed by Safari or most other Cocoa applications, which fully support rearrangement and substitution for AAT-based fonts, and it will be displayed by Firefox after 4.0 which fully supports rearrangement and substitution for OpenType-based fonts by using HarfBuzz. Opera also provides some support, although considerable bugs remain as of version 11.01 (though Opera at least renders the glyphs).
Specific keyboard layouts can be enabled in System Preferences, in the International pane. Switching among enabled keyboard layouts is done through the input menu in the upper right corner of the screen. The input menu appears as an icon indicating the current input method or keyboard layout -- often a flag identified with the country, language, or script. Specific instructions are available from the "Help" menu (search for "Writing text in other languages").
Mac OS 10.4 system software comes with two installable Keyboard input options for Tamil: Murasu Anjal and Tamilnet 99. One needs to do the following steps to activate them:
i) Open "international" located within System Preferences and select "language". Select the "edit list", select "Tamil" from the list of languages shown and click OK.
ii) Select "input menu" to see a list of keyboard options available. Select "Anjal" and "Tamilnet99" keyboards under Murasu Anjal Tamil and Click OK.
iii) Anjal and Tamilnet99 keyboard icons appear immediately in the list of keyboards to select under the country flag in the top menu bar.
An alternative way to activate the keyboard(s) for Devanagari (Hindi etc.):
i) Open "International" located within System Preferences and select the "Input Menu" tab. (ii) Check the option for "Devanagari" and/or "Devanagari - QWERTY". (iii) Check the "Show input menu in menu bar" option at the bottom of the "International" panel. Close the panel, and the new keyboard(s) should be available for selection when you click on the menu bar icon (upper right corner).
SIL distributes a freeware Ukelele that allows anyone to design their own input keyboard for Mac OS X. For Telugu input method using ukelele two types of keyboard layouts PraSankar has been developed by navataramgam team to encourage their readers to post comments in Telugu.
You do not need to do anything to enable viewing of Indic text in GNOME 2.8 or later. Older versions may have support for some, but not all Indic scripts. Ensure you have appropriate Unicode fonts for each script you wish to view or edit.
Some web browsers may require you to enable Pango rendering to view Indic text properly.
gconf-editorand click Run. The Configuration Editor window will appear. In the left pane, unfold
epiphanyand click the
websection. In the right pane, check the box next to the
enable_pangooption, then restart Epiphany.
MOZ_ENABLE_PANGO=1 firefox. After this, all future sessions of Mozilla or Firefox will have Indic language support.
sudo apt-get install language-pack-kn language-support-kn language-pack-gnome-kn ttf-kannada-fonts
sudo apt-get install language-pack-ta language-support-ta language-pack-gnome-ta ttf-tamil-fonts
sudo apt-get install language-pack-te language-support-te language-pack-gnome-te ttf-telugu-fonts
MOZ_ENABLE_PANGO=1to your .profile to make the effect permanent.
Another option is to use SCIM. To enable it,
For more check (on Fedora) http://www.ruturaj.net/fedora-6-hindi-support-scim on Fedora, or (on Debian/Ubuntu) http://dev.sampada.net/Baraha_like_Input_on_Linux
You do not need to do anything to enable viewing of Indic text. Ensure you have appropriate Unicode fonts for each script you wish to view or edit.
sudo apt-get install fonts-indic
1. Go to a Virtual Terminal, say ++ (anything from to ). You will see a console. Login with your user credentials. 2. Then enter the following commands as root or sudo
service kdm|gdm3|xdm|lightdm force-reload
The package name for the TrueType font of Thai is fonts-thai-tlwg
Enter as root:
apt-get install fonts-dzongkha
Smart_Common_Input_Method supports text input in Indic languages including phonetic layout. SCIM should be working by default in recent distributions. More instructions on using and configuring SCIM can be found on help.ubuntu.com 
For example, to install Kannada fonts, Simply enter as root on the console and type in the command:
yum install fonts-Kannada
This will download the Kannada fonts from the repositories and install it.
Similarly, for Hindi, say, enter as root on the console and type in the command:
yum install fonts-Hindi
Start the Add/Remove software applet. For example in KDE, say, navigate to System and then Add/Remove software. In the applet window, select Languages on the list box to your left hand side. In the right hand side list box, select the Indian languages of interest to you.
For example, to have Kannada key board support, check the box for Kannada Support. Similarly, for Hindi support, say, check the box for Hindi Support.
It has been observed that for Kannada, Fedora not only puts in Kannada keyboard support, but also provides transliteration support and also the keyboard support for KGP (Kannada Ganaka Parishad) keyboards. With this feature, users can directly type in Kannada words in Roman script to be transliterated to Kannada text in the application of your choice. For example into your browser, text editor, document editor, email client etc. Users can also use native Kannada keyboards, KGP based or otherwise to type in Kannada texts directly.
To install Indic fonts:
pacman -S ttf-indic-otf
To enter Indic text in GNOME/KDE, follow the instructions in the respective sections above.
Supports: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu,
Note: The lohit-fonts package was earlier named media-fonts/fonts-indic.
The fonts above do not include Tibetan scripts used in Wikipedia, additional package needs to be emerged for those:
emerge -av scim-tables scim-m17n
Study the USE flags and the LINGUAS flags and set them accordingly depending on your desktop environment and language support needed. The following needs to be set whenever you login (append it to your .xinitrc or .xsession).
export XMODIFIERS=@im=SCIM #case matters for this variable! export GTK_IM_MODULE=scim export QT_IM_MODULE=scim
Mozilla apps and precompiled software such as acroread might not play well with scim (C++). In such cases, make use of scim-bridge (C - avoiding C++ ABI issues) .
and startup Firefox as:
% GTK_IM_MODULE=scim-bridge Firefox
You might have to start the scim daemon manually. (Add it your session's startup)
SCIM is a unified frontend for currently available input method libraries.
Slacko PPM (Puppy Package Manager) will install packages from the Slackware Repository, including the indic fonts package . If the package lists are up to date, and PPM is set to show the Slackware repository, searching for the word "indic" in PPM will show the package to click on if PPM is set to show the Slackware repository (There is no package for indic fonts in the Puppy Slacko repository .).
Slackware uses slapt-get instead of apt-get , and it is used the same way apt-get is used in Debian based systems . By following the Debian instructions above for using apt-get, one should be able to figure out how to install indic fonts with slapt-get . (i.e. Just do the same thing except add the letters "sl" at the beginning .)
Supports: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu.
cd /usr/ports/x11-fonts/fonts-indic && make install clean
The binary package of Firefox (when you do pkg_add -r Firefox) might give the same problems as in Gentoo's bin package (needs confirmation)
cd /usr/ports/x11-fonts/fonts-te && make install clean
The above port is for Telugu Pothana2000 Fonts.
See Gentoo's section above.
Similar to FreeBSD
cd /usr/pkgsrc/fonts/lohit-fonts && make install clean
If you have followed the instructions for your computer system as mentioned above and you still cannot view Indic text properly, you may need to install a Unicode font:
The governmental Department of Information Technology (India) has provided Unicode Indic fonts for four of the Indic scripts used in India (several versions for Devanagari, one version for each of Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil).
WAZU JAPAN's Gallery of Unicode Fonts is an excellent resource for all Indic scripts.