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Bangla fonts and typesetting - What software do people use, how do they rate

ananga - Fri, 09 Jul 2004 21:22:02 +0530
As I have mentioned elsewhere I am growing increasingly dissatisfied of HK for transliterating Bangla cos it simply doesn't do the job adequately. I don't like using balaram for exactly the same reason and it encourages ghastlinesses like :
"sri guru chaaaaaraaaaanaaaaa paaaaadmaaaaa...".

I have created my own transliteration font cobbled together from balaram based partly on the thinking behind the transliteration scheme used in Dr Radice's excellent Teach yourself Bengali where the transliteration must adequately show the pronounciation (Radice's scheme also conveys the correct spelling which for me is less inportant)

I also use a fabulous font called Executive Bengali, which costs about 150 (sterling) and gives lovely output and very good conjuncts (although it does tie me to using Micro$oft Word for text entry). When I have a machine that can run XP I will probably try out out one of the Open Source Unicode fonts that has become available lately but I'm sure I'd miss the superb keyboard layout of Executive Bengali. The layout enables me to touch-type in bangla almost as fast as I can in english.

Unicode does seem to be a great improvement on the scene but it is taking a while for applications to cope with the extra complications of the extra processing needed for bengali. Eg. typing "ni" should produce "short i-kar" followed by "na" and the software needs to do the reversal.

A promising site which also leads to further sites is:

What software/platform does everybody else use?


Glastonbury, UK
ananga - Fri, 09 Jul 2004 21:23:13 +0530
screenshots please!
Keshava - Sat, 10 Jul 2004 08:55:21 +0530
Here is Hare Krsna mahamantra in Bangla script made by using the online Itrans tools at
Attachment: Image
Keshava - Sat, 10 Jul 2004 09:00:48 +0530
Here is Hare Krsna mahamantra in Tamil script made by using the online Itrans tools at
Attachment: Image
ananga - Tue, 24 Aug 2004 17:13:56 +0530
That shna conjunct is to my mind unacceptable. Would any users of Bangla Word like to do a screenshot of the mahamantra for comparison?

I've included a PDF file of the latest version of Executive Bengali which has the linotype fonts which are thruly the creme-de-la-creme of bengali typography but do come at a price and are I think only available on the PC.

It has the juiciest conjuncts and special consonant-vowel combintations, just look at the du nu dya and all the profoundly beautiful Sya and the other _ya conjuncts which I've never seen anywhere before.
Attachment: Executive_Bengali_Pro_Gate_Seven.PDF
Jagat - Tue, 24 Aug 2004 17:35:13 +0530
I enjoyed your enthusiastic and loving description of Bengali script. It looks fairly good. I still don't see the "avagraha" character. The keyboards on all Bengali fonts need to be completely customizable. I have yet to find one that I can use with complete satisfaction.

I notice that Tarapada Mukherjee was one of the consultants. I knew him fairly well when at SOAS.
ananga - Tue, 24 Aug 2004 21:40:50 +0530
what's an "avagraha"?

you could e-mail the developer and ask him whether it does actually have one. They seem to take feedback very seriously and they mention that they have included to include characters for the transliteration of arabic and english and other obscure things. Perhaps it is already there and if it isn't they'll put it there.

You were at SOAS, my my! You've been around!

Did you know William Radice who wrote the Teach Yourself Bengali and I think Mukherjee's successor there.

He complimented me on my bengali accent!

I initially phoned Radice when I was looking to buy a bangla font and he gave me the e-mail address of Fiona Ross who was also on the team and wrote the very lovely "origin and development of the printed bengali character" which alas only goes as far as developments in photo-typesetting.