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Softwares for Transliterated format and
Word Processors for Tamil Computing


Tamil texts can be handled on computers essentially in two formats:
    i) in transliterated form (phonetic reproduction) using Roman/english fonts and
    ii) using tamil fonts themselves.
    Transliterated way of writing tamil has been popular among western indologists for a long time. While some of these softwares function simply as DOS-editors or previewers, others work as Word-processors. Some softwares such as Adhawin have built- logic/intelligence to handle different transliteration schemes.
    Herein we provide some information and pointers to these softwares.

Transliteration Schemes

The following is a typical transliteration scheme used in Madurai:
    vowels:a, A/aa, i, I/ee, u, U/oo, e, E, ai, o, O/oo, au/ow, q/ah
    consonants:k, ng, c/s, NY/ny, t/d, N, th/dh, nN/n^, p/b, m, y, r, l, v, z/zh, L, R, n
    sanskrit/grantha:h, j, S, sh, sri

Text Editors for PCs with text input as per Transliteration Schemes


Dr. K. Srinivasan
Tamil word processer / vga video titler for all IBM true compatibles
(e.g. 80286 system with a Super VGA graphic card and multisync color display)
ADAMI94.ZIP: Uses an easy to remember transliteration scheme. A simple public domain editor is included. Includes a font editor for modifying existing fonts. A companion software ADAMIEN1.ZIP of Sivathayaalan (siva@civil.ubc.ca) simplies the use of ADAMI. Character size can be varied from 1/72 of an inch to 63/72 of an inch in 1/72 inch increments. Characters can be underlined, slanted, emphasized and background reversed. Character color and background color can be chosen from 16 different colors on EGA, VGA screens. On certain color dot matrix printers, they can be printed in color. Video tape titling and scrolling in Tamil is possible using VGA cards with NTSC/SVHS signal outputs.
The package can be downloaded from the web page of the author.


Dr. K. Srinivasan
Tamil word processer for Windows-based PCs
Adhawin is a multi-purpose tamil software running on MS-DOS Windows of PCs. A macro available as part of this package for Word or Wordperfect allows keying in Tamil in transliterated format and subsequent viewing on screen in Tamil. Adhawin also serves as a convertor of transliterated tamil text files (of Madurai, Adami and other transliteration schemes) into one corresponding to tamil font (tamil typewriter, Mylai,...) and vice versa.
The package can be downloaded from the web page of the author.

PCTamil of Dr. Vasu Renganathan

Vasu Ranganathan
PCTAMIL: (Tamil Transliterator and previewer)
It requires an IBM compatible PC (386 or higher) with a VGA monitor.
PCTAMIL is a PC-based software package developed for transliteration of Tamil documents written in Roman alphabets to Tamil script. It uses a bilingual ASCII font driver with Tamil and English fonts. Tamil font for this system is designed for character codes 128 to 256. Running the program tamil.com loads Tamil font into your system and allows you to use it for any application with Tamil script.
Following are some of the utilities included in this package.
TRANSLIT.EXE: This is the main program that can be used to transliterate Romanized Tamil documents into Tamil script in ASCII text mode.This program can be used to transliterate documents from IITS (Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies), Pulavan, Madurai, Adami
PCTAMIL.EXE: This is an editor and viewer. A variety of options such as bilingual editing mode, Tamil document viewer, color set up, transliteration table for an easy consultation etc., are built in this program to make things easier for both reading and writing Tamil - English bilingual (Romanized Tamil and English) documents.
INTERACT.EXE: This program helps practicing romanization of Tamil words and sentences consulting the transliteration table.
TAMIL.COM: Font driver with Tamil fonts. This program needs to be executed before running all the above programs in order to load the Tamil font. The program NORMAL.COM brings back the mono-lingual mode of your system.
This and other Tamil transliteration and learning softwares (TagTamil, Pulavan,..) are available via anonymous ftp from ftp server at clr.nmsu.edu. Please visit the webpage of Vasu Ranganathan for details on this and related tamil learning softwares.

Thiru software of Dr. K. Srinivasan

Dr. K. Srinivasan
THIRU 1.0 WYSWYG DOS editor in Romanized Tamil.
PURPOSE: Use this program to create, edit and print texts in Tamil script. The tamil words are entered in the Romanized Tamil convention.The files can be up to 65472 characters long.
You can print the selected text or the whole file on an EPSON(c) dot matrix printer or on a HP(c) Laser printer connected to your LPT1 port.
This program is fully stand alone under MSDOS. The whole software including this userguide is in one file called THIRU.EXE. The package can be downloaded from the web page of the author.

Tamilvu of Dr. K. Srinivasan

Dr. K. Srinivasan
TAMILVU 1.0 Romanized Tamil text viewer MSDOS
PURPOSE: Use this program to view Romanized Tamil texts in Tamil script on your screen, one paragraph at a time. Many formats are supported. A paragraph starts with a number or is set of lines separated by a blankline
The files can be up to 33 Megabytes long as permitted by DOS 3. The paragraph to be viewed can be selected in one of the following ways:- (i) matching string at the beginning, (ii) matching string anywhere, (iii) matching string at the end.
You can print the selected paragraph on an EPSON(c) dot matrix printer or on a HP(c) Laser printer connected to your LPT1 port. in Roman and Tamil script You can also store all the selected paragraphs in another file.
POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS: Selecting poems, songs, quotations etc. from a data base. Tamil-English-Tamil Dictionary and Thesaurus.
The package can be downloaded from the web page of the author.


Sivagurunathan Chinnaiah
Sivaguru Chinnaiah of West Malaysia has developed a tamil word processsor with Tamil user interface for Windows called Nalinam

Transliteration Softwares for UNIX /X-Windows

Madurai of Dr. Bala Swaminathan


MADURAI is used to display Tamil text using plain ASCII character set. Each line of Tamil text occupies 3-4 lines of the screen.
For UNIX computers with or without X-Windows. Has been integrated with gnus-emacs and has a package to use it with TeX and LaTeX. The m2t code bundled along can convert madurai files to TeX and get good quality print out. TeX/LaTeX users can use m2t to get the typesetting power of (La)TeX and tamil fonts easily. The basic ascii file used by libxtamil (xrn, xedit, etc) is largely compatible with m2t/madurai.
Available from UWashington archive site

X-tamil/ LibTamil of Dr. Gnanasekaran Swaminathan


X-tamil/libtamil is a family of Tamil fonts to be used with X window systems. It also has a suit of library functions that can be used effectively to transform an Xt ascii application into Tamil application. xedit, xrn, xmailtool, xgopher, and xtalk applications come with the distribution.
libtamil-1.2 is available from UWashington archive site

ITrans software of Avinash Chopde

Avinash Chopde
ITRANS creates Tamil Metafont text and Devanagari text from English transliteration. Please consult the Webpage of A.Chopde on ITRANS package or the Web Interface for ITRANS for details.

WashingtonTamil / Wntamil font of Prof. Hal Schiffman

WASHINGTONTAMIL (wntamil) is a popular tamil font developed by Prof. Harold F. Schiffman (now at the Univ. of Pennsylvania) in collaboration with Thomas Ridgeway. The "wntamil" font can be used in TeX (or LaTeX, which has pre-programmed macros for various things) and also in packages such as XLibTamil to prepare tamil texts on Unix and XWindow platforms . TeX is a photo-composing system (not a word-processor) that produces a camera-ready document. You do your input in any word processor you like, then submit it to TeX (or LaTeX) which photo-composes the page, including anyfont you want. The wntamil font is available (via anonymous ftp) as part of the TeX archives in many places. This font and a number of other Tamil transliteration and learning softwares (TagTamil, PCTamil, Pulavan,..) are available via anonymous ftp from ftp server at clr.nmsu.edu. The file wntamil.tar.Z contains Tamil (La)TeX fonts and macros developed by the above authors at the Univ. of Washington at Seattle.

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