the Multilingual Editor from IIT Madras
between Word processors and the IITM Editor
distinguishing features supported by the Editor
supported by the Editor
of application for the Editor
for IITM Scheme (Picture guide)
Mapping (Reference chart)
and Paste Options
and Replace Options
and "Saving as" Options
generated by the Editor
Local Language Browser - LB
Text Viewer - TVIEW
language to HTML format Converter - LLF2HTML
Utility to generate PDF documents
for avoiding problems
in the Editor
the Multilingual Editor
This computer program
allows you to prepare documents in one or more Indian languages (some World
languages are included as well) in their original or native scripts. One
can therefore use this program to type data into a computer in Sanskrit,
Gujarati, Malayalam etc.. The writing systems followed by all the official
languages of India constitute a set of ten scripts all of which are supported
by the multilingual Editor.
There are different
versions of the Editor for use under Microsoft Windows as well as Linux.
This version of the Editor (version 3.0 released in April 2006, works with
Windows98/Me/2000/XP. There are equivalent versions of this program, which
will run on other Computers such as DOS based machines, UNIX Systems and
the Macintosh. The help file given here relates to the Windows version.
The version for Linux was released in Nov. 2002. Most of the features mentioned
here also apply to the Linux version.
There are some distinguishing
features of this program that are worth mentioning. The most important
of them is that the program can be used with all the Indian languages/Scripts.
Thus, it is one program for all of India.
Interest in Word-processing
and data entry in Indian languages is not recent. One sees many packages
developed for Indian languages in use today (as of January 2001). The relevance
of this IIT Madras Multilingual Editor, in the context of growing number
of Word processors in Indian languages, deserves special mention. This
Editor, referred to as the IITM Editor, can prepare documents which could
further be processed and used in other applications e.g.,
To generate files
for use with the Internet, where web browsers may be used to view Indian
Language text just as easily as standard Roman text.
Perform Linguistic text processing
such as Sorting, Indexing and Concordance generation.
Setup large data base systems
using standard Systems such as Oracle, Mysql and provide an Indian language
user interface client to access the data.
It is possible to use PERL
to process text strings in Indian languages by using special PERL modules
developed as part of the IITM Software. The required PERL program may be
typed in using the Editor.
A speech enhanced version
of the Editor may be used by Visually Handicapped users to prepare documents
in Indian languages as well as obtain printed versions in Bharati Braille.
between the IITM Editor and Word Processors or DTP Software
In these paragraphs,
the term IITM software will be taken to mean the Multilingual system developed
at the Systems Development Laboratory, IIT Madras, to provide Multilingual
user interface support for general computer applications. The IITM Editor
is one component of this system.
There are several
Word processors and DTP programs in use in the country for preparing documents
in Indian scripts. Many of these are rich in features, both in terms of
editing operations as well as printing. What is special about the IITM
The major point of
difference with the IITM software is its ability to work uniformly with
all the Indian Scripts. More importantly, a document prepared using the
IITM Editor can be electronically processed in a uniform manner across
all the Indian languages/scripts. The IITM software supports a library
of functions to process text strings in Indian languages, using which many
applications can be developed which support user interfaces based entirely
on the scripts of choice. The Editor is thus a basic choice for preparing
text in Indian languages, which can be electronically processed further
using standard algorithms for text processing.
Several attempts have
been made in the past to develop programs that would allow all existing
English language applications to work with Indian languages. While this
approach allowed the applications to display their outputs in Indian scripts,
data entry procedures were very cumbersome and worse still, string processing
applications which worked well for Roman text gave substantial headaches
in handling Indian language strings. This was a consequence of the coding
methods employed to code the Indian language characters. In many word processors,
the internal coding corresponds to the glyph locations in specified fonts
or simply a scheme like ISCII or Unicode.
The ISCII coding scheme
is a standard used by many software packages and this scheme is probably
good as a minimal standard. However it suffers from several inadequacies
which include a not so easy data input scheme. Other word processors and
DTP systems allow no further processing of the prepared text and use proprietary
encoding methods, which have no uniformity across the languages.
Unicode has gained
strength as a World standard and current development of Multilingual applications
are based on Unicode (July 2004). Unfortunately, the use of Unicode may
not solve all the text and linguistic processing requirements in respect
if Indian languages. Utilities to perform conversions between Unicode and
the IITM syllable codes are available with the IITM Software.
The IIT Madras software
is perhaps one approach that addresses the issue of text processing in
a generic manner and employs a coding scheme for characters which is very
efficient in respect of size and fast string processing. It has been observed
that very useful applications may be developed quickly using the IIT Madras
scheme, based on public domain software. Thus, while most other software
developed for Indian languages is limited to specified applications, the
IITM software allows easy development of several applications, which are
peculiar to the Indian environment. One such application is the ability
of the software to perform searches for text strings where the exact word
may not be known but approximate sounds of the aksharas in the word are
known. This can be of great value while searching for strings in archives
where the exact spelling of the search string is not known.
The IITM Editor does
not alter the Operating System in any way. It does not install or use any
Drivers for the Keyboard and will therefore work on any machine that runs
the specified Operating systems. The version for Linux is sufficiently
universal to run on most machines running Linux. Xwindows support is required