Hindi Typing had always been a difficult task for untrained people but after emergence of computers, Hindi typing became simpler and simpler.
Problem associated with Hindi typing is mainly Hindi keyboard. There are few people who do Hindi Typing through Hindi type writer. Now typing work is mostly done with computers. Computers algorithms have tried to simplify the Hindi Typing. Before going into the real tools of Hindi typing, let us understand the basics of Hindi typing and then move to tools of Hindi typing. Computer typing mechanism has few technical terms and learning those can simplify the understanding of typing/printing of any language over computer display.
Input device is keyboard, output device is computer screen. So when a keyboard key is pressed, it generates a code. This code is compared from the character table in font script and corresponding character is printed on display. So first understand keyboard and character mapping that will give a broad idea of computer printing.The same will apply to Hindi Typing also.
Keyboard – Keyboard layout can be broadly classified as Mechanical, Visual and functional.
Mechanical layout is the placements and keys of keyboard. Type of keyboards has different number of keys and placements.
Visual Layout – Visual layout represents the marking and labels of keyboard.
Functional Layout – It is determined by the software of the keyboard. Functional layout creates code for each and every key of keyboard. If functional layout is changed, then same keyboard function changes accordingly. In windows operating system, Keyboard and input language setting is done for the proper keyboard layout of a language. For example, default input language setting is US (English) and Keyboard is US type. For same English language, other keyboards like Canadian Spanish keyboard, Canadian multilingual keyboard, Irish keyboard etc. can be selected. All these English keyboards have slight difference so whichever type of keyboard is active, similar code is generated for each key.
Font – The code generated from the keyboard is compared from the active font script. Fonts are installed in the windows directory. Fonts are generally scripts which have glyph (Shape) of letters and associated code for each shape. So a table keeps information of each shape and corresponding code. There are other attached information also with font script like positioning, language etc.. There are different types of fonts available but most used types are true type, open type and Unicode fonts.
Earlier Hindi Typing works were done through the type writer which used the Remington keyboards. While the computers treat Hindi as complex script which involves certain typing algorithms to function along with keystroke. For example, typing in English is straight .Any letter can be small or capital but cursor moves further with each key stroke. But same is not true with Hindi Typing. Hindi words have letters (Consonants) and vowels (Swar/ Maatra). Maatra takes shape before, on or after the letter. So method of Hindi Typing is different in different keyboard. That’s why it is treated as complex script in computers. So first understand different Hindi keyboards and then Hindi fonts for those keyboards.
– There are mainly four different Hindi keyboard. These are Remington, Inscript, Phonetic and Traditional. Out of these, Remington is oldest and works on same pattern of Type Writer. Inscript, Traditional and Phonetic are quite similar and designed for use on computers.
Remington – This is the oldest type of Hindi keyboard. Old type writers used this keyboard. This works similar to English keyboard, means that the letters print one after other in accordance to key stroke in a sequence. When someone has to type कि, then he has to first type ि and then क. Similarly he has to type क and ी for making की .Remington keyboards use ASCII code for each key. Hindi fonts in Remington keyboards function similar to English letters. Typist has to follow the sequence of print .All open and true type fonts work with Remington keyboard. User need to be familiar with layout shown below for Hindi Typing.
Inscript – This Hindi keyboard layout is specifically designed for computers and it is the latest design. Whenever Inscript keyboard layout is active that automatically use Unicode font only. True and open type font does not work in Inscript layout. Mangal is the Hindi Unicode font which is developed by Microsoft. Inscript layout use complex script for rendering the text before print. Hindi Typing style in Inscript is same as we write Hindi by hand. When we write Hindi by hand, we first write letter and then place maatra/Swar. Similar keystrokes are done for writing through Inscript keyboard. For example, press क and ि for writing कि and press क and ी for की.
– There are number of Hindi fonts available. Most of these are either true type or OpenType. Kruti, Shivaji, Ravi, Devlys, Vishnu etc. are some of famous Hindi fonts . Mangal is the Unicode font which is developed by Microsoft.
How to Type in Hindi
Use of Remington keyboard
– This is oldest way of Hindi Typing in computers. Keep your keyboard layout as English (US or other Latin style which is working on ASCII code) then use any Hindi true type or open type fonts in your windows applications. Whenever any key is pressed that generates an ASCII code which is compared in your font script and corresponding Hindi letter is printed. So this is like using English keyboard except change to Hindi font. Here every keystroke generates sequential letter therefore Hindi Vowels (Maatra) has to be taken care. User must be familiar with visual layout of keyboard for Hindi Typing.
Use of Indic Keyboard
–This keyboard can be activated from the control panel. Go to regional and language options then go to Language, then Text services and Input language then choose default language as Hindi and text input service as Indic. Once Hindi is selected as default language, computer selects Mangal as default font which is the Unicode font. Computer treat Hindi as complex script and method of typing is same as writing on a paper. Computer script takes care for rendering the text for printing properly. User must be familiar with visual layout of keyboard for Hindi Typing and Hindi Typing style in this layout.
Use of Google Transliteration Tool
– These are the latest development and most convenient in present scenario. Transliteration tools use English keyboard and script for typing other language. Every word needs to be typed in English letters according to pronunciation of particular word. It is difficult to practice different language keyboards that’s why transliteration tools are getting preference. Transliteration depends on the intellectual capacity of software application which was not efficient earlier but now these tools are highly efficient. Whenever any word is typed in English and space bar is pressed then corresponding Hindi word appears. Most of the time, computer projection is correct. In case word is not printed correctly then try to pronounce correctly with English letters. When space bar is pressed and printed word is found incorrect then press Backspace .This will show the options for the similar pronunciation.
At present most efficient transliteration tool is from Google. Google Transliteration is available online and offline also. Online Google transliteration tool can be accessed through this [Link]. New Google Transliteration IME can also be downloaded from this same page. Once installed, bottom tray of icon in windows shows the option for selection of Typing Language.
This video shows the use of Google Transliteration Tool.