Friday, May 24, 2013

Urdu on your PC

Haven't written in Urdu since you left school? No wonder, most of the writing you do is on the internet or atleast on your PC. Try setting up Urdu fonts on your system and write in your own language. It's not that difficult and the typing is phonetic so, the same as your English typing.

Furthermore, you will be able to read the Urdu text in a good font rather than the broken fonts your browsers mostly gets you. I used to dislike Urdu on the internet because the fonts weren't good. All you need is the same font that you are used to reading in your text books and news papers; Nastaliq.

Go to the CRULP website and download the Urdu phonetic keyboard and install it. All you're going to have to do now is to place the fonts in the windows fonts folder in your C drive. The website also explains in details and step-wise, how to do it.

Doing it in Linux is even easier... Linux just gives you the complete setup. You only need the Nastaliq font which you can place in your fonts director.

Both methods are covered on the CRULP site. The point being, you don't have to be scared of typing Urdu when you have a phonetic keyboard with a reduced learning curve. Time to take your own culture to the internet ;)

See a shared "how to" below:

Installing Urdu Phonetic Keyboards:

After enabling right-to-left languages on your windows, the next step is to install the Urdu Phonetic Keyboard created by the guys at the Centre for Language Engineering at Al-Khwarizmi Institute in UET, Lahore.

The benefit of installing phonetic keyboards layouts is it makes it easier to type in Urdu and reduces the learning curve. For example, the key A can type ا or آ. Key B can type ب. And so on and so forth.

Currently there are two layouts available:
1. Urdu Phonetic Keyboard Layout v1.1 for Windows
2. Urdu Phonetic Keyboard Layout (2 layers) v1.0 for Windows

My personal favourite is the 2 layer layout as it removes excessive glyphs and reduces the complete alphabets and symbols used in Urdu to two layers.

Here are the installation steps for Windows XP:
1. Download the preferred layout from the following links:
http://www.cle.org.pk/software/localization/keyboards/CRULPphonetickbv1.1.html

http://www.cle.org.pk/software/localization/keyboards/CRULPphonetickb2Lv1.0.html

2. Unzip the downloaded file and double click the setup.exe to install a keyboard layout.

3. To add Keyboard Layouts:

Double click “Regional and Language options” icon
Press “Language” tab
Press “Detail” button
Press “Add” button
Select “Input Language: "Urdu", and Keyboard layout/IME : ”CRULP Urdu Phonetic v1.1" or ”CRULP Urdu Phonetic 2 Level v1.0"

4. To remove, select a layout and press “Remove” button

Here are the installation steps for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

1. Follow steps 1 and 2 from above.

2. To add Keyboard Layouts

Double click “Regional and Language options” icon
Press “Keyboard and Languages” tab
Press “Change keyboards…” button
Press “Add” button
Select “Input Language: "Urdu", and Keyboard: ”CRULP Urdu Phonetic v1.1" or ”CRULP Urdu Phonetic 2 Level v1.0"

4. To remove select a layout and press “Remove” button

And you are all set to write Urdu with ease. Have fun.

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