Re: Urdu Unicode website [Was: Novice question]

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Thu Mar 25 2004 - 08:19:52 EST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: Urdu Unicode website [Was: Novice question]"

    On 25/03/2004 03:33, Antoine Leca wrote:

    > ...
    >As Peter correctly noted from day 1, all this stuff is not very important,
    >since Urdu users really expect nastaleeq style, so either they are not using
    >Urdu support, or they use proprietary solutions which extent remains to be
    >explained by competent persons.
    There are Unicode Nastaliq fonts available, although not from Microsoft.
    See; both of the links
    to fonts called nastaliq are currently broken, but one of them can be
    found at, see also These
    are supposed to work with Windows, presumably with Uniscribe, but I
    don't know how well; there is a sample of in this PDF file. The
    Microsoft Urdu keyboard presumably produces the required characters.

    >>(and of course Windows 9x/ME which does not support easily
    >>multiple layouts,
    >This is news to me.
    >What it does not support easily are other scripts like Gurmukhi or Bengali,
    >particularly on input ;-). Neither do the supplementary Arabic characters
    >needed for Urdu, for instance. For this very reason, one of the first
    >answers to the original question, made by Edward, correctly pointed out that
    >testing on 9x or 16-bit boxes would be probably useless.
    I disagree. There is no reason why these scripts cannot be displayed on
    Windows 9x with IE 5.5 and later, and suitable fonts, installed. See
    "Display" below.

    >>and where Tavulesoft Keyman is probably a good solution).
    >Tavultesoft (<URL:>). I do not know the
    >extent of it. I am not competent this about. Their home page does not seem
    >to target specifically at the Urdu market, and historically they did not.
    >So I have no clue about the real extent of this solution to type Urdu into
    >IE/Gecko/Opera on 9x. I am not even sure it is really helpful (have to see
    >with WM_UNICHAR support, as you probably know; Peter should be able to tell
    >us if it works with IE; about Gecko, a quick search on returned
    >no matches...).
    >And of course if you have to type it first into Wordpad or Word then
    >cut-and-paste, well surely Unipad is a better solution then... and
    >definitively they are not operational.

    Here there seems to be confusion between two different issues,
    keyboarding and display. These are entirely separate issues when we
    consider browsers, except perhaps for search boxes.

    1) Keyboarding: Microsoft keyboards for Urdu (and for any other language
    not supported by code pages) work only on Windows 2000/XP (and perhaps
    some versions of NT), not on 9x. Tavultesoft Keyman 5/6 Unicode
    keyboards, including the Urdu Unicode keyboard, work on 2000/XP, and
    also on 9x with a limited set of applications, including MS Word
    97/2000/2002 with the special Wordlink add-in program (but Word 97 does
    not support RTL scripts). Tavultesoft does not support Urdu or any
    specific languages (except for Thai and Lao) itself, but provides a
    repository for keyboards produced by those who are presumed to be
    experts in the specific languages.

    2) Display: In principle scripts like Urdu, whether Naskh or Nastaliq,
    display correctly on Windows 2000/XP, and also on 9x with the complex
    script display facilities installed with IE 5.5 and later. This display
    is supported in other programs, including other browsers, as long as IE
    is installed. Unicode is no problem for display with IE 5.5 and later
    even on 9x. In practice there may be some limitations in display of
    complex scripts, especially Nastaliq, on 9x because of the limitations
    of earlier versions of Uniscribe. And of course suitable fonts need to
    be installed, and do not necessarily come with the system.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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