Webpages of Tamil Electronic Library (C)K. Kalyanasundaram



Guidelines for setting up of Bilingual
(Tamil/English) Webpages




Currently there are two methods by which texts can be displayed directly in Tamil on a Web page: using graphics/image files or via appropriate tamil fonts. With the availability of a number of tamil fonts, there is a growing interest to display tamil text materials directly in Tamil (instead of using transliterated/romanized texts) in WorldWideWeb (WWW or simply Web) pages.
Using graphics/Image files: The first is to use a graphic/image file (.jpg or .gif) to display the tamil text. The image file is created using any of the graphic softwares in conjunction with a tamil font or even packages such as Xlibtamil. The advantage of this approach is that, the graphic display on a Web page is system independent - can be read on all platforms (UNIX, Macintosh and Windows Pcs). Disadvantages are that the image files are quite large in size as compared to plain text files (hence longer time for complete access). Also the local usage of the displayed text material and word search using word processing programs not feasible. Typical examples of this approach are the Tamil thirukuRaL Browser of Dr. Siddarthan Ramachandramurthi and Tamilweb News page(s) of Cyrinus Joseph .
Using Tamil Fonts: The alternate approach is to use the capacity of Web browsers such as Netscape and Internet Explorer to use system installed fonts to display texts in Tamil locally. An obvious requirement is that appropriate tamil font is installed on the computer where the web browser is installed. Web pages can be in bilingual (tamil/english) format. For this method to have maximum utility, it is essential to have the same tamil font be available FREE in more than one computer platforms (Windows, Macintoshes and UNIX systems where web browsers are used). A minimum requirement for fonts is different font faces use the same keymapping. For example, the popular Tamilfont Mylai is available FREE in identical form for use on Macintosh and Windows PCs.
Till the recent version of HTML (3.0) came up, the tamil pages could be displayed by using the "predefined" format of the HTML language. A fixed size font such as Helvetica or Courier is used to display the english/roman part of the texts and a proportional type tamil font used to display the tamil part of the Web page. The "preformatted text" tag of HTML (
) is tobe invoked. The choice of fixed and proportional fonts are made locally using the preferences option of browsers such as Netscape. The preferences needs to be put back after viewing of the tamil page(s) to Times or whatever font used before. 
With the implementation of HTML 3.0 by the new versions of the popular web browsers (Netscape 3.0 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0), setting up web pages to display bilingual (Tamil along with English) is very simple. HTML language protocol 3.0 allows defining the font itself in the HTML text using the tag . Three font faces can be specified in priority sequence. If the tamil text part is enclosed by the appropriate tamil font face begin and end tags, the browser will automatically load the appropriate tamil font available locally and will display tamil texts in tamil along with the roman-font based texts.

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Steps to follow to create Web pages with bilingual ( Tamil/Roman) Texts

IMPORTANT: Indicate the following points clearly at the beginning of the web page that
i) the web page uses "HTML 3.0 tag " and so the readers must use the recent versions of web browsers that can handle the tags. Use for example: Netscape 3.0 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 .
ii) the page is set up with the tamil fontface specified in the text with the tag . The font faces could be mylai for macintosh and windows PCs" or its equivalent font face "Mylai-Sri Truetype font " or whatever. The reader must have this font loaded on the same computer where the web browser is used for the automatic display of tamil texts in tamil to work properly.The font face tag is simply ignored if none of the font faces specified are available or an earlier version of the web browser used.
Note: Some of the popular tamil fonts (such as TamilFix of Naa. Govindasamy and Inaimathi font which is part of the Anjal Newsreader) are of the ANSI-type - use lower 128 ASCII slots for roman characters and upper 129-256 slots for tamil characters. Documents must be prepared carefully to ensure adequate encoding for 8-bit (256 character set) transmission. To view Tamil web pages based on these ANSI-type fonts on Macintosh PCs, the local user/reader also need to choose "User-defined" under 'document encoding' available within the 'Options' Menu in the Web browser. Else you will see tamil texts rather scrambled!!!
iii) Those who still use earlier versions of web browsers (2.x), need to do the following to view this document in Tamil:
Open Options ->General Preferences ->fonts/colors and
Change the proportional font to Mylai/MylaiPlain (or whatever is needed) and
Press OK.
After you are done viewing the document, do not forget to reset the
proportional font to whatever Roman font that was there before.
A large list of Web pages containing tamil materials is available. Please consult to see examples.
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Creating Web pages that are based on Mylai tamil font

Mylai truetype font for macintosh and windows PCs and the equivalent Mylai-Sri font can be downloaded freely from the internet (use the pointers) !!
1. Prepare your documents by direct keyboard entry with a word processor which supports fonts. Use MylaiPlain or Mylai-Sri on Windows or Mylai font on Macintoshes.
2. Then globally replace all > characters by > and all < characters by < to convert Mylai documents to HTML documents. This part is easily done on word-processing programs such as Word or Word-perfect in one step using the find/replace option.
3. Add at the start of tamil part of the document and add at the end of this part.
4. Save the document as unformatted text and with a html or htm extention.
You should not include normal English texts within this font face enclosure parts. (But Tamil and Roman Texts can be alternatively displayed without any restrictions on the number of switching)
Here are some web pages containing tamil texts based Mylai-font:
  • thiruisappa (select collections of 9th thirumarai)
  • Thina Bhoomi, Tamil Newspaper of Madras on line
  • songs of Poet Bharathidasan
  • songs of Poet C. Subramania Bharathiyar
  • songs of Gopalakrishna Bharathi (R. Ravi, USA)
  • Devotional songs on Goddess AkilandEswari (by Mr. Rajagopalan of London, UK)
  • Devotional songs on Lord Muruga (by Mr. Rajagopalan of London, UK)
  • kanda guru kavacham (Dr. Kumar Mallikarjunan, Georgia, USA)
  • Muthamizh Manram Tamil Pages (of K. Sathiah, Auckland, New Zealand)
  • Thamizh Poem of the Day (of Ramani , Hong Kong)
  • Stothramala (Vishnu SahasranAman, ...)(of Prof. T.R. Chari , New Foundland, Canada)


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    Creating Web pages that are based on ADHAWIN tamil font

    Adhawin tamil font is available as part of the ADHAWIN windows package. You need not have to use the entire package.
    1. Compose your text in readable romanized Tamil (Adami/Madurai format).
    2. Convert the document to Adhawin font using ADHAWIN MS-Windows based software.
    3. Add at the start of document and add at the end of the document.
    4. Save the document as unformatted text and with a html or htm extention.
    You can include normal English texts within this font face text. They will appear in English.
    Here is a web page containing tamil texts based Adhawin-font:
  • kanda guru kavacham (Dr. Kumar Mallikarjunan, Georgia, USA)
  • Vaanavil Online Singayil Thamizh page


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    Creating Web pages using Tamil typewriter Keymap based fonts

    There are a number of tamil fonts commercially available that uses the classical tamil typewriter fonts. e.g, Tamil (of Prof. George Hart, Free), Saraswathi (of Vijayakumar), Ananku (of Kuppuswamy).
    Here is a web page containing tamil texts based such tamil typewriter fonts:
  • Thendral, Tamil Electronic Magazine on the internet

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    Creating Web pages using Inaimathi Tamil Font

    Inaimathi Tamil font, part of the MURASU ANJAL Newsreader (ANSI type), has also been used to set up web pages on tamil. Murasu Anjal is Free. Consult Murasu Anjal Web pages for details.
    Here are some web page containing tamil texts based Inaimathi-font:
  • Tamil Murasu - Singapore Internet Tamil Daily
  • Kuyil (malaysian tamil monthly publication

  • Ananda Vikatan , the populal tamil weekly from Madras
  • Tamil pages

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    Creating Web pages using Singapore Naa. Govindasamy's Tamil Font

    TamilFix of Naa. Govindasamy (of ANSI type) is available for direct download from the singapore tamilweb site.
    Here is a web page containing tamil texts based TamilFix font :
  • Tamil Web pages


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