Monday, October 15, 2012

more on typing in Hindi on Mac

In August, I'd passed on the following info to A, when he wanted an alternative to copy-pasting Hindi text from google transliterate for use in Google Docs and other apps:

Looking further for typing Devanagari on Mac, found this discussion,

Accordingly, there seems to be phonetic Hindi typing built-in on the Mac. It says,
activate the Devanagari Qwerty keyboard in system prefs/international/input menu and then select it in the "flag" menu at the top right of the Finder and type away.
The Mac Devanagari Qwerty keyboard is similar to the transliterate, but a little different, as described at this link.

To generate default conjuncts, type the first character followed by the Halant (also called Virama) key, then the next character. To generate explicit half-forms for alternative conjuncts, or independent half-forms, type the character followed by the Halant key and the Nukta key. To generate an "eyelash RA," type RA plus Nukta plus Halant. To generate a Nukta consonant, type the character plus Nukta. To prevent conjuncts, type two Halants.
Note that the Halant/Virama key is the D key on Devanagari keyboards and the F key on Devanagari-QWERTY keyboards. The Nukta key is the ] key on Devanagari keyboards and the Shift-F key on Devanagari-QWERTY keyboards. RA is the J key on Devanagari keyboards and the R key on Devanagari-QWERTY keyboards.

A tried it out, and used the "Show Keyboard layout" option to actually see all the keys. Pressing modifier keys like Alt, Command, Control and Shift and also combinations like Shift-Command etc are used for some of the letters. A bit more clunky than google transliterate, but more reproducible and accurate.

Later, A had a problem - the documents he produces in this manner were not compatible with CorelDraw which was being used by Ag on a Windows machine. So, A has to type on iLeap on a Windows machine for Ag's use. The issue seemed to be that of Unicode versus ISCII encoding. So I told hime the following:

The type of font used by google transliterate (and typing with Mac Hindi Qwerty keyboard selection) is called Unicode.

The type of font used by ileap and Coreldraw etc is called Type 1 font, or 8 bit Ascii font, or in the case of Indian letters, ISCII.

What you need is conversion of unicode to type 1 for Hindi fonts.

Such a tool seems to be available at this link where if you scroll down, you find a tool called Unidev which seems to do this Unicode to Ascii conversion. There also seems to be this php code, which could possibly be used to do something like the same conversion. There is also a quick and dirty fix, which probably may not work correctly for Hindi, which is suggested here, simply to use, in the Windows command prompt,
type unicode-file-name > ASCII-text-file-name

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