When typing Pali... - Dhamma Wheel

When typing Pali...

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When typing Pali...

Postby texastheravadin » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:41 pm

So here's a random question. I downloaded a copy of da Silva's Pali Primer, and I noticed my good friends, those lovely dots and tildes all over the place. It would take a super long time to type the answers to the exercises this way...unless there are shortcut keys!!! So are there? Or is it just better to type arahang sammaasambuddho bhagavaa buddhang bhagavantang abhivaademi with all those loooong vowels?


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Re: When typing Pali...

Postby Kare » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:09 pm


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Re: When typing Pali...

Postby yuttadhammo » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:13 pm

How about this?

Just write your piece out in velthuis, then copy and paste. The DPR has the same tool, that's what I use.

There are, of course, ways of allowing for direct pali input... Bhante Pesala is good at that:

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Re: When typing Pali...

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:15 pm

Google Pali unicode and you will see some options for downloading unicode. Then, depending on the program or your computer, you just type something like ctrl + n for

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Re: When typing Pali...

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:22 pm

I think the best way to type in Pāli is to just use dead keys. It's very easy to use. You press a modifier key (like Right-ALT) plus one of the symbols, release both, and then press one of the letters. This causes the special Pāli character to appear. Just google on how to create a keyboard layout to do this (for Linux, etc). I used Microsoft's ... this works for Windows XP and up.

Bhante Pesala (the link shared by Bhante Yuttadhammo above) has a couple layouts that are already ready-made. They have way more letters than is necessary for Pāli (but still nice if you need those options). They don't seem to work with the keyboards where the tilde is above the grave character (instead of above #, which is already above the number 3)... so you can't do the ñ or Ñ if you have that kind of keyboard. So, I ended up making my own.

In the MS's Keyboard Creator, I just loaded in the default US keyboard layout, and then for the ALT+CTRL keys, I turned the ` , - , ' , and . into dead keys. With the ALT+CTRL keys set up like this, you can just use the right-ALT... the CTRL is not needed (a nice bonus).

I originally tried to set it for the solitary-CTRL keys, and found that it doesn't work for some programs, like Opera, and MS Word 2003 for some reason. ALT+CTRL (or Right-ALT) definitely works, in everything that I've tried it, including notepad.

The following is the way I have it set up:

ALT-CTRL + . :
t d n l m = ṭ ḍ ṇ ḷ ṃ
T D N L M = Ṭ Ḍ Ṇ Ḷ Ṃ

ALT-CTRL + - :
a i u = ā ī ū
A I U = Ā Ī Ū

ALT-CTRL + ` :
n N = ñ Ñ

ALT-CTRL + ' :
n N = ṅ Ṅ

David mentioned Unicode. It's just a standard for the mapping of characters. You definitely prefer the fonts to be mapped in that for consistency's sake (or else it might come out wrong, depending on what mapping you use). Many of the unicode fonts support macrons and the letter Ñ, but unfortunately many of them (the fonts) don't have the dotted characters. In the unicode map, the macrons are in the "Latin-1 Supplement" block, and the dot letters are in the "Latin Extended Additional" block.

BabelMap is a good program to see what characters are available, or to find out what letter is where if the mapping is odd, or even just copy-and-pasting these special characters. Windows XP (and up) has "Arial Unicode MS" which is the only (included) font that has all of the letters. It's great for on-screen reading, but not ideal for printing... so get another font for that. Bhante Pesala has some, I recommend "Pali" for printing.

By the way, many online sites still don't use unicode fonts for the Pāli, so you need to download their own fonts, which might appear awful on your screen. :\

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Re: When typing Pali...

Postby Khemadhammo Bhikkhu » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:39 pm

Dear all,

There is on this website a Vietnamese program that has a language bar with the option of typing Pāli or Sanskrit. I personally use it, and I think it works quite well. You just type two a's to get an ā. Type a t with a period and it becomes a ṭ . You can try it. ... r_2000.htm

With mettā,

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"I have stopped, Angulimāla, you stop too."
(M ii.100)

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Re: When typing Pali...

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:02 pm

While searching for "Velthuis" I found this old thread, and see that the link to my Pāli keyboard is now out of date.

This is my .

I wanted to ask if there are any Velthuis fans here, and if so how do they type ś ṝ and ḹ, or Ś Ṝ and Ḹ using the Velthuis system.

I thought it might be useful to add Contextual Ligatures to my fonts for the benefit of Velthuis fans — type aa to get ā, type ii to get ī, type uu to get ū, type .m to get ṃ , etc. I would suggest: type "s to get ś, type "r to get ṝ and type "l to get ḹ . Is there any existing standard for typing Sanskrit using Velthuis?
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Re: When typing Pali...

Postby Dmytro » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:58 am

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Re: When typing Pali...

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:01 am

Thanks. That is just what I wanted.

Velthuis Contextual Ligatures.png
Velthuis Contextual Ligatures.png (29.29 KiB) Viewed 1574 times
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Re: When typing Pali...

Postby mirco » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:51 am


"Windows Keyboards for Typing with Unicode Latin-script Pali Fonts"

Layout for german keyboard, for example:



And yes, nothing wrong with .

Kind Regards :-)
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