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Home -->  Software Design Issues --> Fonts (from IIT Madras)
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Fonts used in the IITM software
The IITM Multilingual Editor
  The fundamental principle behind the design of the Multilingual software for Indian languages is the representation of text as "aksharas" (syllables). This representation permits very efficient processing of text in all the Indian languages. As a result of this design feature, the Multilingual Editor can handle a variety of fonts for displaying the text in each language/script.  The files prepared using the IITM Editor or the related utilities will contain a font independent representation of the text (i.e., purely as aksharas). The display of text is effected by using standard eight bit fonts for Indian scripts through script dependent lookup tables. This offers many advantages in practice since most systems handle eight bit fonts without difficulty.
  For text 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.

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About the TrueType fonts

  The Truetype fonts are used on Microsoft Windows based systems and the set of fonts mentioned above is included in the Multilingual 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). 

Fonts 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.

Fonts 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.

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List of Fonts

  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.

  • True type fonts for Win 95/98/2000/XP systems
  • BDF fonts for use with XWindows (Unix systems)

  • 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 under Linux.
  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.
 
Language
Font Name
File(Windows)
Sanskrit
iitmsans
iitmsans.ttf
Hindi
iitmhind
iitmhind.ttf
Tamil
iitmtam
iitmtam.ttf
Telugu
iitmtel
iitmtel.ttf
Kannada
iitmkann
iitmkann.ttf
Malayalam
iitmmal
iitmmal.ttf
Oriya
iitmoriy
iitmoriy.ttf
Bengali
iitmbeng
iitmbeng.ttf
Gujarati
iitmguj
iitmguj.ttf
Punjabi
iitmpunj
iitmpunj.ttf
Diacritics
iitmipa
iitmipa.ttf

 
Language
File (Linux X11)
File (pfb)
Sanskrit
sansbdf.zip
sanspfb.zip
Hindi
hindbdf.zip
hindpfb.zip
Tamil
tambdf.zip
tampfb.zip
Telugu
telbdf.zip
telpfb.zip
Kannada
kannbdf.zip
kannpfb.zip
Malayalam
malbdf.zip
malpfb.zip
Oriya
oriybdf.zip
oriypfb.zip
Bengali
bengbdf.zip
bengpfb.zip
Gujarati
gujbdf.zip
gujpfb.zip
Punjabi
punjbdf.zip
punjpfb.zip
Diacritics
ipabdf.zip
ipapfb.zip

 
Language
File (Macintosh)
Font Suitcase
Tab File
Sanskrit
iitmsans
iitmsans.tab
Hindi
iitmhind
iitmhind.tab
Tamil
iitmtam
iitmtam.tab
Telugu
iitmtel
iitmtel.tab
Kannada
iitmkann
iitmkann.tab
Malayalam
iitmmal
iitmmal.tab
Oriya
iitmoriy
iitmoriy.tab
Bengali
iitmbeng
iitmbeng.tab
Gujarati
iitmguj
iitmguj.tab
Punjabi
iitmpunj
iitmpunj.tab
Diacritics
iitmipa
iitmipa.tab

Other Fonts supported by The IITM Software and utilities. 

 The Multilingual 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.

Tamil
TamKalaigner
Indo-web-Divya
tiscii (gomathi)
tn99.tab
divya.tab
tiscii.tab
Telugu
Pothana
pothana.tab
Kannada
Langscape-Padmini
padmini.tab
Bengali
itxbeng
itxbeng.tab
Gujarati
itxguj
itxguj.tab
Devanagari
xdvng
Sanskrit 1.2
xdvng.tab
Sans12.tab
Sinhala
padma
padma.tab
  The multilingual 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.

IITM Unicode fonts

  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)

Multilingual web page (Vande Mataram in all the scripts) in UTF-8.

 
Contents

Multilingual Editor

True type fonts

X11 and PostScript fonts

Macintosh Fonts

List of available fonts

Additional Fonts

IITM Unicode font



 

Notes on installing the fonts

 1. Win 95/98/2000/XP Systems

  Download the Truetype font to a temporary directory. Open the control panel and select fonts. Select install new fonts from the file menu and when prompted by the system select the directory into which the font was downloaded and click on the fontname which will be displayed. Control panel will install the fonts.

We have provided a test document to view the glyphs of the fonts installed in your system. It is provided a Word document as well as an html document. Please visit the associated page for details.


2. Linux (Xwindows)

  Download the zip file which contains five bdf fonts (14,18, 22, 26 and 28) point sizes. The zip archive also contains a fonts.dir file. Keep the fonts and the fonts.dir file in a convenient subdirectory and include that in the fontpath. The required commands are, (after you have changed the working directory to the directory mentioned above)


$ xset fp+ $PWD


$ xset fp rehash

The leftmost Dollar is the prompt and should not be typed in. 

The fonts are ready for use.

If you would like to install fonts for multiple scripts, you will have to integrate the entries in the fonts.dir files included with each script. This can be done by appending the files together and removing the lines corresponding to the font count except for the first line which should be adjusted to the total count of fonts.


3. Macintosh

  Download the font which is in the Macbinary format. Your web browser should automatically save the font locally as a suitcase. Just move the suitcase from the saved location into the fonts folder with in the system folder. The font is ready for use.


Acharya Logo
Text in Brahmi script at the Gate of the Great Stupa at Sanchi. The text records the donation of the pillar by a desciple of Arya Kshudra. The text reads "aya chuDasa atevAsino balamitasa dAnam thabho". More information about the Brahmi script is presented under Languages and Scripts.

Today is Apr. 23, 2017
Local Time: 19 52 39


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