to displayed uniformly across computer systems, it is essential that the
font rendering process be the same in all the systems. Unfortunately, the
approach to handling fonts varies so much across systems that most
of the fonts available (or used) for Indian languages work only on specific
computers, usually under Microsoft Windows (95/98/2000/XP). Perhaps the
term "variety" is generic to india and is admirably well suited when it
comes to dealing with the hundreds of fonts seen on the net, each requiring
its own software or interface mechanism for data entry and display.
IIT Madras has put together a set of fonts, one each for the eleven different
scripts commonly used in the country. These have been selected from
freely available (or distributed) fonts and in some cases, IIT Madras has
provided her own fonts designed for multilingual use. All these fonts have
an important characteristic that they can be rendered properly on all computers
using the native support provided in the respective Operating Systems.
Each one of the fonts
recommended by IIT Madras is ISO-8859-1 compatible in respect of Glyph
locations. However, the version for a particular platform has been custom
encoded to honor the 8859-1 arrangement. Hence the text will render properly
on most systems either from local applications or web based applications
including Java applets. Please note that mere compatibility with ISO-8859-1
does not guarantee proper rendering across different applications. The
selection of glyphs has also been made on the basis of requirements relating
to the proper display of as many samyuktakshars as possible, specifically
for Sanskrit, Telugu, Malayalam and Oriya.
the TrueType fonts
The Truetype fonts
are used on Microsoft Windows based systems and the set of fonts mentioned
above is included in the
Editor package distributed by IIT Madras. Since the Editor and related
utilities rely on an independent lookup table for displaying the aksharas
for each script, a corresponding .tab file is included with each font for
use with the Editor. Without the .tab file for each font, the editor
will not be able to display the text. The .tab files carry the information
to render each akshara and it is quite possible that we have not thoroughly
checked out the correctness of the display of each of the more than 13000
aksharas. From time to time. the .tab files may be updated. Please download
the most recently updated .tab file for each script when you are downloading
the fonts for use with the Editor (The .tab files are common to all platforms).
for use under Linux (BDF and PostScript)
Fonts suited for use
with XWindows under Unix (Linux) are provided in the BDF format (Bit mapped
Format). BDF fonts will be correctly rendered on most Unix systems running
XWindows. Being bit mapped, they are not amenable for scaling. Five font
sizes are included in the distribution of each font. Each distribution
also includes a fonts.dir file to help install the fonts under X11. Please
note that the file name for the file in the archive may not be exactly
fonts.dir but sans_fonts.dir tam_fonts.dir etc. Please rename each file
to the required name which is fonts.dir.
The availability of
the free "truetype font rendering engine" (from freetype.org) has made
it possible for truetype fonts themselves to be used under Linux. Please
read about the "Freetype" project and the Xfstt application which may be
used to render truetype fonts directly on a Linux system.
The Postscript fonts may be used under Linux or with applications which can display PostScript files. The PostScript fonts are supplied in the .pfb format along with the metric files.
for use on the Macintosh
Fonts for use on the
Macintosh are provided as Mac True type fonts. These fonts when installed
on your system will correctly display web pages presenting text as html.
Each font is given in the Mac suitcase format. Just download the font using
your web browser which will correctly convert the Macbinary to the required
Mac format. After downloading the font file, move the file in to the fonts
folder in the systems folder. Each file is a Font Suitcase conforming to
the Mac specifications.
Viewers are encouraged
to download the full set of fonts for all the scripts and install the same
on their systems. Guidelines for installation of the fonts are included
on the right. The presentations at the "Acharya" web site will
conform to the fonts indicated here and viewers will be able to quickly
download and see text served in the html format, if they have the fonts
installed locally. The fonts are available in four different formats.
Please remember to download the fonts in Binary. If your browser displays
garbled text after downloading a font, you may reload the same by pressing
the shift key as you click on the download link. This will force the browser
to do a binary download and prompt for a location/file to save the font
locally on your system.
True type fonts for Win 95/98/2000/XP
BDF fonts for use with XWindows
Recent versions of Linux
distributions support Truetype fonts under X11. Hence, one may consider
using them as well.
Macintosh true type fonts
PostScript fonts for use
with DTP applications. These may also be used on X11 based applications
Fonts supported by The IITM Software and utilities.
Applications page of this web site discusses several other applications
developed as part of the Multilingual user Interface project. Many of these
applications support other languages as well using fonts which have been
offered free on the net and in the opinion of the Lab., constitute an important
set for free public use.
The Multilingual editor
also includes support for these fonts. Specifically, one should think of
the Tamilnet99 standard for Tamil, the superb Sanskrit98 font for Devanagari
and the similarly placed Pothana for Telugu. Also included are fonts for
Sinhala, Urdu (to be used with the Right to Left Editor), Brahmi, Grantha.
These have to be used in the IITM Editor along with the given Tab Files.
The IITM designed fonts include special versions for Vedic symbols both
in Devanagari and Grantha. these are needed only if Vedic text is being
prepared. These can also be used as such for normal work but the line spacing
may be excessive considering the fact that vedic symbols are written above
and below the aksharas.
The following is the
list of fonts which are additionally supported by the editor. To use these
fonts with the editor, you will have to replace the original .tab file
with the one shown along with the font. The help file included with the
editor has details on using new fonts. Please download the fonts from the
original web sites where they are offered. You may have to effect a search
for the font name.
editor will also support Grantha, Brahmi, Vatteluthu, Bali, Tibetan, Bharati
Braille, classical Greek, Japanese Kana and scripts written right to left
such as Arabic, Urdu, hebrew, Avestan etc. Please get in touch with the
lab if you are interested in these. These fonts will be given only
on specific request.
SDL has also created
a single Unicode font to support the basic scripts. The Glyphs in this
font are located in the private use area (E000-E8FF). This a Truetype font
and html documents prepared in UTF-8 get rendered correctly on Win2000/XP
systems. As of this writing (May 2006), the private use area is not properly
recognized under Linux and the Mac and the web page gets rendered differenty.
This is a minor problem which should get fixed one of these days.
Plese note that standard
Unicode text in Indian languages cannot be seen with this font because
it does not conform to the rules of Unicode rendering. A document prepared
with the multilingual editor can well be deployed on the web and seen properly
by creating the web page to map the syllables to glyph strings in the E000-E8FF
region. Linked below is a web page containing the text of Vande Mataram
in different scripts. This document will be displayed properly with the
iitmuni.ttf font. You can download the font from this site.
Download the iitmuni.ttf
font (single font for all the scripts)
web page (Vande Mataram in all the scripts) in UTF-8.