Sunday, November 13, 2016

Issues when using Google Docs fonts for Malayalam

When entering Malayalam text with Google docs, Firefox on Windows XP, one cannot choose the font - only one font seems to be available. This font also had issues like showing

instead of
and so on.

So, I used MS Word and the Rachana font instead, which looks good. But this has an issue - chillaksharams are automatically joined to the next letter whenever we save and re-open the document - like
മാര്‍ഗ്ഗത്തില്‍_ഗ്രഹങ്ങള്‍_സഞ്ചരിക്കുന്നതും becomes മാര്‍ഗ്ഗത്തില്‍ഗ്രഹങ്ങള്‍സഞ്ചരിക്കുന്നതും

My workaround was to add the character _ after each such letter, and finally, using the Find and Replace tool, change the font colour for this _ character to white, so that it is not visible.

This issue with web fonts seems to be well documented. Following the advice on the comments on that page, I installed Meera and other fonts given at
After a restart, now I see പ്രകാശം - rendered as
Meera seems to have now become the default on Google Docs and Blogger on Firefox / Chrome, replacing the buggy Windows default Karthika. Now, probably, I can directly write with Google Docs instead. 

Friday, November 04, 2016

How to edit a Hindi document in Google Docs

Copy-pasting from an email sent to one of our collaborators:

I assume that you are using Google docs on a desktop computer. Then, when you click on the links I sent, Google Docs will open up. In the toolbar of google docs, please choose the "Select Input" button, which may be showing a Hindi A letter, as shown in the screenshot below.

Unless you know Hindi typing, the Devanagari phonetic option is the easiest to use. If you choose that option, if you type padaarth, it will give a list of options, and just pressing the spacebar will choose the topmost option, which would be पदार्थ
In case your window is too small, you may need to click twice in order to get to the Select Input button, as shown in the screenshot below - first click on More... and then on the Select Input button.