Kannada, Tulu, Kodagu

Recommended Fonts | Keyboard Layouts | Mac vs. PC vs. Linux Rendering Issues | Credits

Recommended Fonts

The SALRC recommends the following fonts for Kannada, Tulu, and Kodagu language pedagogy and Internet applications:

[Click on font names or samples for specific information and text samples for each font.]

Akshar Unicode (akshar.ttf)

Free download from Kamban Software.

Note: This font also supports Devanagari, Malayalam, Sinhala, Tamil, and Telugu.

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Arial Unicode MS (arialuni.ttf)

A commercial font available as part of Microsoft's Office 2000/XP, FrontPage 2000, and Publisher 2002. To access this font, the 'International Support' feature must be installed. See Microsoft support for more details.

Font Image

JanaKannada (ROJanaKannada.TTF)

Free download from the Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) site.

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Tunga (Tunga.ttf)

Commercial font included in Microsoft Windows XP. Note: In order to use this font, "Supplemental Language Support" must be activated. See either Microsoft's support for XP, or click on "How to Install Fonts and Layouts" in the left navigation bar.

Font Image

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Input Schemes and Keyboard Layouts

For typing in Kannada on Windows platforms, the SALRC recommends the following options:

  • Windows 2000/XP Keyboard Layouts: Microsoft Windows 2000/XP offer full support for typing with Kannada keyboard layouts in its multilingual support. These may be accessed through Control Panel > System > Languages, and are an optional installation (Click on "How to Install Fonts and Layouts" in the left navigation bar for more information). The keyboard may be viewed with the On-screen Keyboard Viewer (Start > Program Files > Utilities > Accessibility > On Screen Keyboard). See Microsoft's Keyboard Layouts page to view various layouts available for Windows XP/2000/Server 2003.
  • Kannada Indic IME: Microsoft's BhashaIndia site provides a set of phonetic input method editors (IMEs), compatible with Windows 2000/XP, for Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, and Tamil. The IME is a separate application that must be run alongside Microsoft Office software. Note: The IMEs are designed specifically for MS Office, and do not function with other software.
  • OpenOffice.org: A free, open-source office suite project that is Unicode-savvy, OpenType enabled, and able to run on Linux/Sparc, Mac OS X (with X11), and all modern Windows platforms, including Windows 95.

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Rendering issues: Mac vs. PC vs. Linux

The fonts recommended on this page have been tested for functionality on PCs running Windows XP/2000/2003/NT. They are unsuitable for use with Macintosh computers, because they make use of OpenType technology, developed jointly by Microsoft and Adobe, for displaying vowel signs (matras) and ligatures appropriately. While OS X also recognizes OpenType layout tables, it uses a different rendering engine (ATSUI), and these fonts are written for Microsoft's engine (called Uniscribe).

There is currently no built-in Kannada support in OS X. However, a font and keyboard developed by Nick Shanks is available from here.

These fonts are compatible with most distributions of Linux running Gnome or KDE. Most major distributions also offer or include free Kannada-language packages, which include keyboards and fonts.

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Additional Resources and Credits

The content and design of this page rely largely Alan Wood's Unicode Fonts and WAZU JAPAN's Gallery of Unicode Fonts; these sites are excellent and up-to-date resources to find fonts, text editors, browsers, and other Unicode resources. The statistics and other font details appearing on this page have been used with their permission. Visit Penn State's South Asian Computing Information pages for additonal Unicode support. Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi (University of Chicago) has provided invaluable assistance and guidance in the creation of this page.

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