Features of the Unicode Tab

Unicode Tab image

After I created the Gujarati Tab for Harikrishna-like fonts, I found that typing with Unicode Gujarati fonts was much easier and offers many advantages over non-Unicode fonts like Harikrishna. The benefits of Unicode fonts are many:

  • Efficient typing. Unicode fonts do not require character codes. Typing conjuncts is accomplished by using the Virama key. When the Vimara is typed between two characters, these two characters are automatically substituted. Hence, character codes are obsolete with Unicode fonts. You'll notice in the image above that the Unicode Tab lacks the Half-Letters group as it is not necessary. Even the Conjuncts group is not necessary; however, I included it anyway. My All about Gujarati Typing site is dedicated to the benefits of Unicode fonts.
  • Operating System Integration. Unicode fonts integrate into the OS. You can give files Gujarati names, search for Gujarati text within documents, change the user interface to Gujarati, and search the web in Gujarati with Unicode fonts. See System Integration for more information.

Font Selection Group

The first group in the tab is the Font Selection group. This group is exactly similar to the one in the Gujarati Tab with one difference being the Gujarati Font selection menu. It contains four fonts: Shruti, Arial Unicode MS, Lohit Gujarati, and Samyak Gujarati. These fonts can be downloaded free on the Internet.

Punctuations Group

Unicode Punctuations Group image

The Punctuations group contains the punctuations that are not mapped on the lower-case or upper-case keys. Because there are so many characters in Gujarati, we need to use Ctrl+Alt and Ctrl+Shift states for some infrequently-used characters. I included these punctuations in the menu.

Hari to Unicode

Unicode KeySavers Group image

The Conjuncts and KeySavers groups are identical to those in the Gujarati Tab. One difference is the Hari to Unicode button, which converts characters typed in Harikrishna-type fonts to Unicode characters.

Font Conversion Panel image

Clicking on the button calls the Font Conversion Panel that allows you to choose which font you want to convert to Unicode. Similar to the Gujarati Tab, if your content is primarily English with few Gujarati words, you should not convert the spaces. However, if you content is primarily Gujarati with some English words, you should convert the spaces.

Gujarati Language Input

Gujarati Input image

Unlike the Gujarati Tab, use of the Unicode Tab requires Gujarati language input to be installed from control panel. This was mentioned in the Installation page. When using the Unicode Tab, many of the buttons will switch the language to Gujarati as shown in the image. This is because the OS works with Unicode fonts to provide language integration. You should assign keyboard shortcuts to switch back-and-forth; such as Ctrl+1 = English and Ctrl+2 = Gujarati. By default, Alt+Shift will cycle through your keyboard layouts.