Gurmukhi is a syllabic alphabet in that it consists of consonants with vowel signs. It's specifically for the Indian language of Punjabi and is similar in structure to Devanagari. This script is also closely related to the Sikh religion and is said to be created by a Sikh guru.
In the past, proper encoding was not always considered a major issue and many larger news or information sites would offer their own fonts to download, but they would only work with those sites. Other sites will use the Roman alphabet instead of Gurmukhi.
Note: Punjabi is also written in the Arabic script in Pakistan.
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.
Microsoft includes a keyboards for Punjabi, but it may need to be installed from the Windows System disk. See the Windows Complex Scripts Keyboard Instructions for details on how to activate the keyboard. To see where the critical keys are, go to the Microsoft Keyboard Layouts Page.
Apple has two keyboards called Gurmukhi and Gurmukhi QWERTY (phonetic) keyboard. See instructions for activating Macintosh keyboards.
The following applications most fully support vowel placements.
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.
Read pages for instructions on whether it is Windows compliant or Linux compliant.
Note on OS X: These fonts can be installed on a Mac, but vowel marks may not display correctly.
Browsers which fully support Unicode are the strongly recommended. Click link in list to view configuration instructions. You will be asked to match a script with a font.
Note on OS X: Only Opera displays most vowel signs correctly on the Mac. Vowel signs are visible in Firefox/Mozilla or Safari, but are displaced off the letter. Users of these browsers can cut and paste text into TextEdit is content is not clear
Note on System 9: Because Unicode support is incomplete in System 9, it may be beneficial to upgrade to OS X if you need to work with Unicode.
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.
These are the codes which allow browsers and screen readers to process data as the appropriate language. All letters in codes are lower case.
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=??? ">
<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" />
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 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.
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.
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.
For short texts, it may be desirable to use Unicode entity codes for Gurmukhi and enter HTML entity codes.
In some cases, your best options may be to use PDF files or image files. See the Web Development Tips section for more details.
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Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:40:03 EDT