Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tibetan Unicode Fonts and this Blog

I will start using Tibetan Unicode fonts in this blog from this time forward.

Here's an example: ཆོས། 

Why? Of many reasons:
  • It is much better to see the actual Tibetan words and letters instead of Wylie. The more you see them, the better.
  • It is really time for all of us to start using Tibetan on the computers now that it's feasible for anyone who really wants to do this.
  • I could easier do full conversions of Tibetan texts and use copy/paste of text material instead of using images.
  • Copy/paste will make it possible to copy parts to your documents, as well.
  • Finally when Google catches up you could do searches using Tibetan fonts, wow.
If you use Vista or Leopard (MacOSX 10.5) things should be fine. If you use Windows XP or Tiger (10.4), the stack alignment might look funny. Depending on the Windows installation it might either look fine or odd. Older systems and Linux systems, you need to figure out how to install a default Unicode Tibetan font and also configure various parts.

Anyway, Dharmadictionary is also switching over, slowly, to using Tibetan Fonts, see here for an example.

Anyway, feel free to put comments below in case you have issues or points about this switch. Depending on my schedule I might fix older entries, but there are over four hundred postings so I suspect it won't really happen all across all the postings, at least in the short term.


Anonymous said...

I find that the unicode just doesn't stack up.

Have you found a way around problems with stacking letters in unicode?

I mean things like: རྒ་ྱ or སྤྱ་ or རྒྱ་ and even རྣ་ that just don't look right.

I find that a text in Tibetan Machine Web will render perfectly when viewed using the Opera browser.

I don't have any technical knowledge of these things, but the fact that Opera can do what Firefox and IE cannot should be an indication of what could be done.

In the mean time it's Opera time for me. (Maybe some Apple products are available for those with Macs, but I use Firefox [Iceweasel, actually in Linux] and Opera in both Windows and Linux).

S. Law said...

I'm using Win XP - with the Firefox browser and there's something necessary to seeing the unicode that I evidently don't have. All that I see is a lot of question marks - ?????? like that. Any suggestions? (If I use my Opera browser instead I get vertical lines instead of question marks.)

Anonymous said...

update: The new version of Firefox (3) - including Iceweasel seem to render the stacked letters better - even complex ones like: སིདྡྷི
Even the title bar is properly rendered. This makes everything much more accessible.

S.Law (I hope M Sandvik won't object): make sure you have Tibetan Unicode fonts installed on your computer. Other than that WinXP seems to do things pretty automatically. (Some fonts to consider can be found at and among others - do a Google search).
If you have Unicode fonts installed, then look around for encoding (try Help search) for ensuring that UTF-8 is enabled.