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

Recommended Fonts

The SALRC recommends the following fonts for Sinhala 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, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu.

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Dinamina (dina-b-3.ttf)

Packaged with the beta version of Sinhala Kit for Windows XP, download from the website (ICT Agency of Sri Lanka).

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Iskoola Pota (iskpota.ttf)

A commercial font from Microsoft, packaged with the beta version of Sinhala Kit for Windows XP; currently available for download from the website (ICT Agency of Sri Lanka).

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Malithi Web

Free download from the website (ICT Agency of Sri Lanka). Also packaged as a part of the beta version of the Sinhala Kit for Windows XP.

Font Image

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Input Software and Keyboard Layouts

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

  • Windows XP Keyboard Layout: Currently there is no native keyboard support for Sinhala on Windows systems. However, a built-in Sinhala keyboard layout is installed with the beta version of the Sinhala Language Kit, available for download from the website. Once this kit is installed, the Sinhala keyboard layouts may be accessed through Control Panel > System > Languages. (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).
  • 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

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 Sinhala as a part of its international language support; however, a Unicode Sinhala Language Kit may be purchased from XenoType Technologies.

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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. Dr. Gihan Dias (ICTA, Sri Lanka) and Anura Tissera (The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.) have provided invaluable assistance and advice in the creation of this page.

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

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