Teaching and Learning with Technology

Computing With Accents and Foreign Scripts

Skip Menu


This Page

  1. About the Kannada Script
  2. Browser and Font Recommendations
  3. Activate Keyboards for Typing
  4. Web Development
    1. Language Codes: kn (Kannada), knn (Konkani), tcy (Tulu)
  5. Kanada Unicode Chart (New Page)
  6. Links

About the Script

Kannada is a syllabic alphabet in that it consists of consonants with vowel signs. The Kannada script is also used for Konkani, Tulu, and others.

Unicode Chart with Keyboard Codes

See the Unicode chart for Kannada to see OS X Hex codes, Windows XP ALT codes and HTML entity codes.Note that the correct Unicode font must be installed in order for the codes to work. See the Browsers Section for details.

Top of Page

Browser and Font Recommendations

Test Sites

If you have your browser configured correctly, the Web sites above should display the correct characters. If you have difficulties, see list below for font and browser configuration instructions.

Fonts by Platform

Windows and Linux Fonts

Additional freeware fonts can be downloaded from from the sites below, but performance will vary from browser to browser. Some Linux fonts may not be recognized on Windows.
Note: Not all vowel marks may not display correctly on earlier platforms.

Mac OS X

See also

Recommended Browsers

Browsers which fully support Unicode are strongly recommended. Click link in list to view configuration instructions. You will be asked to match a script with a font.

Manually Switch Encoding

If you see Roman character gibberish instead of a South Asian script, you will need to manually switch from Western encoding view to the Unicode encoding under the View menu of your browser.

Top of Page

Setup for Keyboarding

Basic Setup

In order to integrate foreign scripts into your computer, you must set up "keyboard" or input utilities in your operating system. These utilities will allow you to switch between typing English and other languages in word processors and Web tools. This process will also make sure the correct fonts are installed and available on your operating system.

See instructions for Setting up Keyboards for details.

Top of Page

Web Development

Kannada Encoding and Language Tags

These are the codes which allow browsers and screen readers to process data as the appropriate language. All letters in codes are lower case.

Using Encoding and Language Codes

Computers process text by assuming a certain encoding or a system of matching electronic data with visual text characters. Whenever you develop a Web site you need to make sure the proper encoding is specified in the header tags; otherwise the browser may default to U.S. settings and not display the text properly.

To declare an encoding, insert or inspect the following meta-tag at the top of your HTML file, then replace "???" with one of the encoding codes listed above. If you are not sure, use utf-8 as the encoding.

Generic Encoding Template

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=??? ">

Declare Unicode

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8 ">


The final close slash must be included after the final quote mark in the encoding header tag if you are using XHTML

Declare Unicode in XHTML

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

No Encoding Declared

If no encoding is declared, then the browser uses the default setting, which in the U.S. is typically Latin-1. Some display errors may occur.

Language Tags

Language tags are also suggested so that search engines and screen readers parse the language of a page. These are metadata tags which indicate the language of a page, not devices to trigger translation. Visit the Language Tag page to view information on where to insert it.

Inputting and Editing Text in an HTML Editor

One option is to use Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression or other Web editor and change the keyboard to the correct script. This will allow you to type content in directly with the appropriate script. However, it is important to verify that the correct encoding is specified in the Web page header.

Another option is to compose the basic text in an international or foreign language text editor or word processor and export the content as an HTML or text file with the appropriate encoding. This file could be opened in another HTML editor such as Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression, and edited for formatting.

Other Web Tools

For Web tools such as Blogs at Penn State, Facebook, Twitter, del.icio.us, Flicker, and others, users can typically change the keyboard and input text. In most cases, this content will be encoded as Unicode.

Unicode Chart with HTML Entity Codes

Unless a keyboard which supports Unicode is installed, you must use the Unicode chart for Kannada and enter HTML entity codes.

PDF and Image Files

In some cases, your best options may be to use PDF files or image files. See the Web Development Tips section for more details.

Top of Page


General Computing


These fonts are designed for Windows unless otherwise specified. Windows fonts can be installed on Mac OS X, but vowel marks may not be displayed correctly.

Top of Page

Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:39:59 EDT