Unicode and non-Unicode Bengali Typing



Bengali typing software

We can not type Bengali without the help of additional typing software! Different typing software is required for typing Unicode and ASCII or non-Unicode text. There are a few good Bengali typing software are available which are completely free for personal use:

For Non-Unicode Typing:

Provided by the Bangla Software Group. Supports over 200 Bengali fonts. It uses Smart Bangla Typing Technology.

Provided by the Altruists Org. It supports 4 different font families.

For Unicode Typing:

Ekusheyr Shadhinota:
Provided by the Altruists Org.

Avro Keyboard

There are some paid Bengali typing software such as Bijoy, but the free typing software are providing every facility that we need to type Bengali. So, there is no need to go for the paid software.

Problems with Bengali typing:
There are lots of conjunct characters in Bengali and you need to know precisely how to type them. The typing software often comes with an instructional manual which describes how to type various conjunct characters or juktakhhors. So, you need to follow the instructions carefully.

Problem with ra-japhala:
May people can not write ra-japhala and hence face trouble to write words like RAB, Random, RAM etc. Well, you can simply copy and paste these words from here: র‍্যাব, র‍্যান্ডম, র‍্যাম

Problem with Khondo-to (Khanda-ta):
The older version of the Unicode fonts do not have khndoto because at that time the Unicode Consortium did not consider khondoto as a separate character. Later, after a lot of struggle the Unicode Consortium included khondoto as a separate character in the Unicode database. So, the latest version of the Unicode Bengali fonts included khondoto as a separate letter. You can download some of the latest versions of the Unicode Bangla fonts from here.

Problems in Using Unicode Bengali in DTP software:
It is easy to use Unicode Bengali in Microsoft Office and other related software. However, most DTP software (such as InDesign, Illustrator etc.) DO NOT support Unicode Bengali texts. Many of them CLAIM that they support Unicode but this does not apply to Bengali. These software can not put the Bengali vowel characters in the proper places. If you intend to typeset the Bengali text, be sure that your DTP software would support Unicode Bengali.

Recently the World Ready Composer AddOn of InDesign CS4 and CS5 is supporting Unicode Bengali text but the problem is, InDesign itself does not support the World Ready Composer AddOn out of the box. You need to do some tweaks to make it work in InDesign. Details of the process could be found in the Blog of Phinney.

If you need any help about writing Bengali or get into trouble about anything related to Bengali typing, please feel free to contact us (click here).




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