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Mylai Tamil Font for preparation of Texts in Tamil Script on Computers

Mylai Tamil Font for preparation of Texts in Tamil Script on Computers


  • MYLAI is a Tamil font created by Dr. K.Kalyanasundaram (of the Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology at Lausanne, Switzerland) primarily as a medium for archiving and distributing tamil electronic texts on the Internet.
    The following is a sample tamil text prepared using the Mylai tamil font: tamil89 gif

  • The font is available in two identical formats - truetype form for use on MS-Windows (3.x, 95 and NT) and Macintosh PCs . Once installed in the system, the tamil font can be used on almost all applications supported by Windows/Macintosh OSs. (word processing such as Word/Word Perfect, graphics such asCoral Draw, database such as Excel and so on). Postscript/type1 version is also available for use on Macintoshes.
  • NEW: Mylai tamil font is now available as a bit-mapped font file (.bdf ) (free!!) for use on UNIX machines. For details on direct downloading from internet and instructions on installation, use please visit the Murasu Anjal Webpage. The mylai font for UNIX is bundled along with similar Inaimathi font of Anjal and will get installed when you install Anjal.
During the past five years I have been heavily involved with fellow Cyber-community Tamilians towards development of a STANDARD FONT ENCODING SCHEME FOR USE IN ALL INFORMATION INTERCHANGE THROUGH INTERNET. At the last TAMIL INTERNET 2001 conference held in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, bilingual encoding schemes
TSCII and TAB have been recommended as preferred schemes for use in the Internet. Several Tamil Text Editors based on these TSCII and TAB encodings are now available free on the Net and majority of them have implemented Text input as per Mylai Keyboard Layout . Hence we strongly encourage all Tamil users to shift to TSCII and TAB encodings for all information interchanges through Internet. Text convertors are also available for conversion of Mylai based Tamil texts to these TSCII, TAB encodings.

In view of the presence of glyphs corresponding to old -style Tamil characters (e.g, old style Raa, Naa, naa, lai, ...), we continue to distribute Mylai font for these special need cases.


  • The keymapping used in Mylai font is based on two principles:
    Phonetic link of the Tamil character being typed with the corresponding Roman character and Frequency of occurrence of characters. Thus you type k to get letter ka, ka for kaa, ki for ki, kI for kii, mi for mi, pa for paa etc. The keymapping in the form of a compact table can be consulted any time on the Mylai Keymap Info. Page . We strongly recommend readers to consult the web page of Prof. T.R. Chari on mylai keymap. This gives more detailed information on the location of various tamil characters in the form of several tables and explanatory notes.

  • Mylai font uses the standard 128 ASCII keys to compose the entire 256 tamil characters and the common sanskrit/grantha characters. So tamil files created using this font can be exchanged electronically (via email) in plain text form without loss of accuracy. The receipient at the other end simply has to open the file/mail on his word-processor and change the font to Mylai to be able to read the email locally in Tamil. Numerous electronic texts of ancient tamil texts are stored in the archives this way and they can be readily downloaded via anon.ftp.
  • The font is of the "proportional" type and hence bilingual Web pages can be set up where a fixed font such as Times can be used to english/roman texts and the proportional font (Mylai) to display the tamil materials. For details see the web page on guidelines for setting up of tamil web pages.


    The mylai tamil font can be obtained FREE OF COST (direct download on internet!) for the personal use of individuals and non-profit organizations. You can download a copy of the font free right from this page if you agree to the following conditions:

    1. Mylai Tamil font and its keymapping are copyright protected and their ownership rests with Dr. Kalyanasundaram. Any use of the font for purposes other than those listed in this page is illegal.

    2. The font is for the personal use of individuals and non-profit organizations only. Any use of the font for profit or by commercial organizations should have the prior written approval of the author and developer, Dr. Kalyanasundaram.

    3. Distribution of the font to individuals by third parties should include a text version of this page suitably modified (e.g a file entitled Readme in plain text in the font package bundle) along with the font file(s).

    4. Commercial organizations (computer firms) and individual software developers are encouraged to distribute the font along with the computer hardware and develop softwares that use Mylai tamil font. But they should get prior written approval from Dr. Kalyanasundaram before such distribution or selling of the software packages incorporating Mylai font.

    5. Disclaimer:
    The font was created by the author (Dr. Kalyanasundaram) after an investment of substantial personal time and resources and is distributed to others purely as a service and on a private basis. Neither Dr. Kalyanasundaram nor his present employer (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) nor those distributing the font through internet Web pages give any warranty for any damages caused upon usage of these fonts.

  • The font is distributed as three individual files bundled in a self-executing mylai.exe file:

    i) this page suitably modified and in plain text (entitled Readme);
    ii) the TrueType Mylai font file MYP.TTF; and
    iii) Keymap.doc, a MS Word document that explains the location of various characters (keyboard mapping) and the instructions on the usage of the font.

    Click here to download MYLAI FONT FOR PCs.

  • To install the fonts on WINDOWS PCs:

    Use WinZip or other utilities to "unzip" the archive file to get the contents: mylai.ttf font, README and keymap doc files. If you have obtained a copy of the font file from other web sites, follow the procedure outlined below. Use the Fonts utility found in the Control Panel of the Program Manager (Windows 3.1), or the Control Panel of the Settings menu (Windows 95) and add Mylai font to the font directory (folder)of Windows. Mylai font should be properly installed before you open or read/print the keymap.doc file. Otherwise, the Tamil texts in the keymap file will not be displayed in Tamil.
    If you find any difficulty in installing Mylai font on a PC, please let me know or to Prof. T.R. Chari .


  • The font is distributed as a self-expanding (.sea) archive in binary form. The Mylai.sea archive has four files:
    i) a font suitcase containing Mylai font (Postscript type 1 and TrueType);
    ii) Mylai Postscript printer file;
    iii) this page suitably modified and in plain text (entitled Readme) and
    iv) keymap info file -a MS Word document that explains the location of various characters (keyboard mapping) and the instructions on the usage of the font.

    Click here to download MYLAI FONT FOR Macintosh.

  • The font is installed simply by dragging the font folder and the Postscript printer driver file onto the system folder icon (on system 7.x). On Macs running under older systems (6.x) use the Fonts/DA accessory to install the fonts.

    Mylai font should be properly installed before you open or read/print the keymap info file. Otherwise, the Tamil texts in the keymap file will not be displayed properly.
    If you find any difficulty in installing Mylai font on a Macintosh, please contact me.

  • APPEAL: In view of limited time at my disposal and my commitment to build the tamil electronic library, I am not spending any time to build new tamil font faces (even though there is a big demand for them). Since there are nearly 20000+ users of mylai font around the world, font producers are strongly encouraged to adopt the mylai keymapping. This way the availability of tamil font in different font faces can increase.
  • Dr. K. Srinivasan of Montreal, Canada (author of Adami, Adhawin,... and other softwares for tamil) is now offering FREE a copy of his Mylai-sri tamil font, corresponding to mylai keymapping. For direct download, visit Dr. Srinivasan's webpage .


  • In view of the large number of users worldwide content with the Mylai keymap based input, some of the leading Tamil software developers have incorporated Mylai keymap based input as an "option" in their Text Editors. e.g., Murasu Anjal of Muthu Nedumaran and Suvadi of Elango Sampandam.
    Using Keyboard Editors, it is possible to prepare a Tamil Text using any Tamil font but as per the Mylai input method.

    For this purpose, Mylai keymap has been slightly revised taking into account the frequency of occurrence of various Tamil alphabets in a typical text. The revised keymap is available as a compact image file . Users of these softwares are strongly encouraged to use this Mylai keyboard input method.


  • A Tamil Electronic Library available on the Internet is being built based on the Mylai tamil font. Electronic Texts (etext) of ancient tamil classical texts are being made available at this site along with information of interest to Tamil community. Detailed information on this project can be found at the Tamil Electronic Library Web Site


  • In the last five years, several thousands of internet users have obtained a free copy of the Mylai Tamil font and have been using it successfully on Macintosh and Windows-based PCs. The mylai tamil font users spread across the entire globe (Continental US, Hawaii, Alaska, most of the European countries, Gulf states, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Australasia, Japan, .....).
  • This forum has been set up to promote such exchange of tamil based materials whenever people use the Mylai tamil font to create these materials. In the initial stage, this Web page will provide all available info. on Tamil Materials that have been prepared using the Mylai Tamil font - materials that their authors are willing to share with the internet audience! Please visit the Mylai Web Forum page for more details.

Mylai Tamil fonts are being distributed free on the net to promote Net-based communication natively in Tamil script form.
For further information on Tamil Electronic Library or Mylai font please contact
Dr.K. Kalyanasundaram. Lausanne, Switzerland
Email: kalyan@geocities.com

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