The SALRC recommends the following fonts for Malayalam language pedagogy and Internet applications:
[Click on font names or samples for specific information and text samples for each font.]
Free download via the Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) site.
Commercial font bundled with the Service Pack 2 update for Microsoft Windows XP.
Free download from Supersoft.
Note: There is also a version called ThoolikaTraditionalUnicodeNew0 (TholTrd1.TTF) which may only be used with Uniscribe/USP10.DLL versions 1.473.4067.0 or later.
For typing in Malayalam on Windows platforms, the SALRC recommends the following options:
- Windows 2000/XP Keyboard Layouts: Microsoft Windows 2000/XP offer full support for typing with Malayalam 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).
- 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.
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).
OSX currently does not offer Malayalam as a part of its international language support; however, a Unicode Malayalam Language Kit may be purchased from XenoType Technologies.
These fonts are compatible with most distributions of Linux running Gnome or KDE. Most major distributions also offer or include free Malayalam language packages, which include keyboards and fonts.
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 additional Unicode support. Don Davis, Jr. (University of Wisconsin, Madison) has provided invaluable assistance and guidance in the creation of this page.