This page focuses on utilities for Russian. See the Cyrillic page for information on other Eastern European and Central Asian languages written in the Cyrillic script.
The CLC Student Computing Labs at University Park gives you a choice between the traditional Russian keyboard layout and the transliterated layout. In the transliterated layout, the keys are mapped to match English and Russian letters. For instance Latin "S" would be Cyrillic "C", Latin "R" would be Cyrillic "Ρ" Latin "P" would be Cyrillic "Π", and so forth. Below are instructions for how to activate either keyboard on either Windows XP or Macintosh OS X .
See Detailed XP Instructions for more detailed instructions with screen capture images.
Apple supplies the following keyboards. See instructions below for details on how to use them.
Student Computing Labs - Many language keyboards have been activated in the labs and are available through the flag menu on the upper right. Skip to Step #4 in the instructions below.
Home Computers - A variety of keyboards are available from Apple, but you may have to install it from the Macintosh System disk then they can be activated through the International System Preferences. See details below.
See the Macintosh Keyboard Activation for complete instructions with screen captures.
These are links on where to download Russian keyboard utilities for your own computer.
Student Computing Labs -The third party transliterated/phonetic/QWERTY keyboards described below are also available in the Student Computing labs
Russian ASDF Keyboard - freeware phonetic keyboard has been installed in CLC Student Computing Labs as of January 2004. View the Detailed Activation Instructions above for information on how to activate and use this keyboard in the labs.
Cyrillic.Com for Windows - Reasonably priced and relatively easy to install. This vendor sells other Cyrillic fonts and utilities. Follow installation instructions given at the Web site.
The Russian Keyboard layout comes free with Microsoft XP . Follow the activation instructions above to activate.
Northwestern Translit Keyboard for Mac OS X - Freeware keyboard for OS X . Does not support Unicode yet, but supports older
Cyrillic encoding. Follow the installation instructions given at the
Web site. Once installed, you would select the •Translit Russian flag icon from the Mac OS X keyboard.
Note: This was installed in the CLC Student Computing labs as of Fall 2003.
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.
Please note which fonts are needed for each platform before viewing instructions to configure your browsers in the Preferences or Tools menu. Most browsers are recommended, but older browsers like Netscape 4.7 may need more adjustments.
All modern browsers support this script. Click link in list to view configuration instructions. In some cases, you will be asked to match a script with a font.
If you see Roman character gibberish instead of Russian you will need to manually switch from Western encoding view to the Cyrillic encoding under the View menu of your browser.
Some Web sites specify a font which may not be available on your machine.
NOTE: This problem is especially prevalent for users of Netscape 4.7 for Macintosh.
To view the Web site, you need to override the font of the Web page. Click on the appropriate browser to see instructions in a new window. Once the font is overridden, the Russian characters should be displayed.
These are the codes which allow browsers and screen readers to process data as the appropriate language. All letters in codes are lower case. If you are developing a new Web page, Unicode is recommended since the page can also support characters from Western European and Cyrillic languages.
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.
If you wish to input a word or short phrase, you can use Unicode entity codes. See the Cyrillic Unicode Block Codes page for details.
University of Arizona Slavic Information Literacy Font Tools - Includes PDAs
These fonts include many supplementary Cyrillic characters
©Penn State University, 2000-2013.
This Web page maintained by Teaching and Learning with Technology, a unit of Information Technology Services. For questions or comments on this Web page, please contact Elizabeth J. Pyatt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This site uses Unicode to display non-English characters. This site is best viewed in the most recent versions of your browser.
Unicode character names and hexadecimal entity codes are taken from the public Unicode Character Charts.
This publication is available in alternate media upon request.
Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:40:04 EDT