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Introduction

Writing systems
-   Western alphabets
-   Non-Western alphabets
-   Phonetic and offbeat
-   Varying glyphs
-   CJK
-   Miscellaneous

Solutions
-   -
Types of fonts
-   Inserting single characters
-   Inserting diacritics:
á, à, â, ä, ...
-   Keyboard layouts
-   Input methods
-   Multilingual browsing
      Using languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Thai on your Windows system requires some system tuning. The characters used in these languages are "context-sensitive", i.e. different glyphs are used for the same character depending on its position within a word.

For example, Hebrew tells between regular and final letters, and Arabic letters have initial, middle, final, and standalone variants. On the other hand, some of these languages are written from right to left, so RTL (right-to-left) or BiDi (bidirectional) edition is required.

If you want to type text in such languages in VTrain, you have to install a script-specific
IME (Input Method Editor). For this purpose, you can choose between the IMEs shipped with Windows and the utilities developed by third parties.

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For languages not listed below, please visit the miscellaneous font downloads page.


 Contents
 

Arabic
Hebrew
Hindi, Sanskrit, and related languages
Thai

 
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Arabic

      Fonts:

http://slis-two.lis.fsu.edu/~editors/Arabic/Afonts-down.html -
Intl Systems Consultancy (Australia) - Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Kurdish and Assyrian fonts.


Discussion:

To edit text in the Arabic script or any of its variants, you will need a Windows add-on, either the Arabic IME (input method editor) shipped with Windows or a third-party product.

Sadly enough, the Arabic IME provided by Microsoft does not always work properly. A frequent side-effect is a lack of control over the cursor movement. Moreover, Windows forces text editors to use MS fonts when typing in Arabic.

Hence, we recommend you to try IMEs supplied by third parties. (On the other hand, for the reasons explained in
Unicode fonts, it is advisable to use language-specific one-byte fonts instead of Unicode fonts.)


We have found the following
IMEs destined for this group of languages:

MultiKey - Supports Arabic, Greek and Hebrew. You can switch to and from right-to-left mode by using a shortcut. Learn more about this program from our page Keyboard Remappers: MultiKey.

RTL 2.02/2.06 - Freeware. For Windows 95 only. Supports Arabic, Hebrew and other languages. Uses keyboard remapping schemes as defined by the SDF engine of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). Several such language-specific files are available for download. (You can design your own remapping code, anyway). No need to install native Windows keyboard layout of the target language. RTL will always  behave as if you had the US standard layout active. Major limitations: you can edit only the last 25 words or the current line, etc.

Keyboard Remapper -can also write right to left, but it does not tell between initial, intermediate, etc. variants. This is a drawback for Arabic, but not too important for Hebrew and Yiddish, for example. This program stores the characters you type in right-to-left mode as reversed strings. So, real bilingual documents are yielded that are readable in any rich text editor. Read more about this program at Multilingual Tuning: Keyboard Remappers.

R2L 1.02 (by Silver Mountain -, $20): you have to input the text into its own Input window, and the program sends it to the target editor. This is somewhat awkward, and the application fails to send the text to the editor in Windows 2000 (this is not a bug of R2L, but due to new procedures in the code of Windows 2000).


Editors running on Western Windows:

MirzaAli Farsi & Arabic Editor 4.0.0 -, 4.7 MB Freeware Arabic and Farsi editor.
Formatted text, keyboard switch, e-mail client. Works on Western Windows only.
ParsNegar 2.0 - Shareware. Arabic, Urdu, etc.
NasherNet 1.0 - HTML and plain text editor. Automatic HTML syntax correction, OLE support.
Devalapi Arabic [etc.] 1.5 Shareware (crippled demo, $25)
Arabic / Urdu / Malayalam / Tamil versions available separately. (They come with one font each).
You can use this editor on a non-Arabic version of Windows (only). Basic rich text processor. Saves in its own proprietary format, but other "export" options available in regd. version. No need to install Arabic / Asian keyboard layouts, the program itself will override the English layout. List of chr matches between foreign and Latin alphabet available as a floating window.
Does not support Windows 2000.
QText 8.0 - (Shareware, 30 days trial)
For Windows 3.1 and later (1998). Hebrew and Arabic word processor. English and Hebrew interface (bug: some things remain in Hebrew in English mode). Macros. Spellcheck. Ignores native Windows layout and forces English layout etc. Displayed Arabic fonts etc. in Western codepage (!) in 32-bit Windows. No uninstall.


More info:

Amr's Arabic Archive - Many links for Arabization software.
Computer Digest: Arabic software - Mostly commercial software.
NYU ACF Multilingual Web - Information about Arabic computing, software and many links to other resources.
AramediA Group - Provides information about fonts, CALL software, Arabic software, and links to newspapers and other Arabic sites.
   
                 
                 
   

Hebrew

      Fonts:

http://choccult.8m.com/hebfonts-down.htm -
http://www.internity.co.il/hebrew_fonts-down.html -
Dapey Reshet Help Page - Links to downloadable fonts for Mac, PC and Unix to view Hebrew text on the Web.

If the Hebrew IME (input method editor) provided by your copy of Windows does not work properly, or for editors capable of handling Hebrew texts, see the section about
Arabic.


More info:

Hebrew on the Internet - Links to public domain applications, software and tips which help you deal with Hebrew on the Net: fonts, Hebrew in HTML documents.
Reading Hebrew Texts - Instructions for downloading, installing, and using public domain Hebrew fonts on the World Wide Web.
   
                 
                 
   

Hindi
Sanskrit
and related languages

      Some Indoiranian languages (e.g. Sanskrit, Hindi) and Dravidian languages (e.g. Tamil) have their own scripts, in part variations of the Devanagari script. [Urdu uses a variation of the Arabic script.]

In Indian scripts (Devanagari, Telugu, Kannada, etc.), many letters for the same sound vary depending on context. Since Indian fonts contain many characters, the native keyboard layouts (drivers) for Indian languages are very complex and make extensive use of the ALT key -- which may (or may not) interfere with the function of the menu commands.

They are quite complex to use, and that is why
transliteration systems from a regular English keyboard layout into Indian scripts have been developed. ISCII and ITrans are two encoding standards for Indian languages developed by the Indian Institute of Information Technology (Hyderabad). They are not codepages (like ANSI), but standards for transliteration from the English alphabet into the various Indian scripts.

This way, for reading WWW pages you will need a
browser plugin (mirrored at Bhajans), which includes the necessary fonts to view webpages in the script of your choice (read the FAQ for the plugin).


Fonts:

Mike Colley's font collection -


Keyboard remappers / system-wide transliteration systems:

Hindi Writer 1.3 -by Devendra Parakh (Freeware)
A transliteration system that uses the iTrans scheme of transliteration with (Unicode) Indic fonts supplied with recent versions of Windows: you type in English characters and it generates the Hindi wording.

DiacWin Unicode -by Michael Best (Freeware)
"DiacWin Unicode is a tiny utility that stays in the background allowing you to easily type Sanskrit diacritic characters anywhere in Windows."


Transliteration word processors:

Shusha by
Harsh Kumar -(Freeware)
Keyboard remapper with fonts included.

Ekushey 1.99 beta - (Freeware)
Add-in for MS Word (97 and later) that eases input of Bengali and Assamese fonts. Includes keyboard remapping module and free fonts.

Translite 2.01 - (Shareware)
(Version 2.0 was freeware, and is still available from
Kerala or ZDNet)
474 kB, Win95/NT
"Transliteration word processor" for Indian languages (English characters typed).
You can embed TransLite documents into other documents (e.g. into a Word 6.0 document) by way of OLE, and edit them in-place. You can email documents from
within TransLite.
Support for document types like Rich Text Format and HTML format.

Native editors:

Dishaa -
HTML editor for Indian scripts.
   
                 
                 
   

Thai

      SEASite (Northern IL Univ.) -
Khosana Fonts Page
- Fonts for Windows and Mac. Not for browsers.
http://seasrc.th.net/font/font.htm - (Includes Burmese fonts, too.)
SiamWeb -
   
                 
                 
   
     
   
    Updated: 2016 January 1
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