Typing Sanskrit

For Mac, download and install LipikaIME. For Windows, read on.

Synopsis
  1. Download and Install the Siddhanta font: http://svayambhava.org
  2. Install Sanskrit language Google IME: http://www.google.com/ime/transliteration/
  3. Download any of the following transliteration schemes that you prefer: Baraha, ITRANS, Harvard-Kyoto or Barahavat
  4. Copy your chosen scheme file to Google IME Scheme's directory: Google IME Canonical Scheme. The directory mentioned on the previous link is wrong (as of 5/2013). The correct directory for Sanskrit is: C:\ProgramData\Google\Google Input Tools\com.google.input_tools.t13n.ime.sanskrit\schemes\. ProgramData is usually a hidden directory under C:\.
  5. Open Notepad, select Siddhanta font, from Window's language bar select SA, in Google IME select your chosen scheme.
  6. You can now start typing according to your chosen scheme.



Overview
At the outset, figuring out the best method of typing in Devanaagari can be challenging due to the overwhelming number of options that are out there. In almost all IME solutions a certain combination the following functional dimensions are usually at play:
  • Font and its support for Ligatures
  • Input Method Engine (IME) Software
  • Transliteration Scheme 
The IME Software takes your input in alphanumeric characters and converts it to Unicode characters according to the Transliteration Scheme. The Unicode characters get rendered into Devanaagari script as specified by the selected Font. Here, I will not go over all the available options for the above dimensions but rather point to the exact solution mix that has worked for me. This will only work in Windows.

Font
As of this writing, I am aware of only two fonts that support all the attested ligatures of classical Samskritam: Sanskrit2003 and Siddhanta. These are available for download from the following locations (if these don't work for some reason, please search in Google and you should be able to locate them):

Step 1: Download and Install these fonts.

IME Software
I use Google IME for Samskritam which is available for download from: http://www.google.com/ime/transliteration. Select "Sanskrit", Download and Install the IME. After installation finishes, you will find that the Windows language bar is enabled on your system. Furthermore, you will see that Google IME would have added a Sanskrit option to it. You can configure the language toolbar to switch between English and Sanskrit using hot-keys (Ctrl-x) which I have found to be very useful.

Step 2: Download and Install Google IME.

Transliteration Scheme
I prefer to type in the Baraha scheme or something close to it because the scheme is very intuitive and requires minimal use of the Shift key for common letters. Unfortunately, the built-in Transliteration Scheme in Google IME is not like Baraha. In fact, it is not even phonetic. However, Google IME supports Canonical Schemes that override the default. I have created a Google IME Canonical Scheme with minimal tweaking to the Baraha scheme, called Barahavat. This can be downloaded from the following location: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ratreya/google-ime-scm/master/Schemes/Devanagari/SA_Barahavat.scm

Step 3: Download the above file and drop it into the "Schemes" directory in your Google IME installation.

Typing in Devanaagari
In order to type in Devanaagari, open notepad (or your favorite editor), under Format > Font, select either Sanskrit2003 or Siddhanta. In the Windows language bar, select Sanskrit. Now in Google IME, you can either press Ctrl-M to select Barahavat scheme or right-click on the Google IME toolbar and select Barahavat from the Schemes sub-menu. As of this writing, there is no way in Google IME to select a default scheme. At this point, you can type in accordance with Barahavat and produce great Devanaagari scripts.


6 comments:

  1. Just Works! Thanks.

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  2. I was trying to download LipikaIME for mac from https://github.com/mgodara/Lipika_IME. However the link seems to be broken. Is it possible to post the dmg file again?

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  3. Apologies for the inconvenience. The github link is now back up and there is a link to an installer in the wiki section.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i can not find the github link so pls help me

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    2. Here's the correct github link: https://github.com/ratreya/Lipika_IME

      Delete