Tamil font converter

Hi, Happy to know that you have included Tamil Keyboard (Suratha_Bamini) for Mac OS. Now, I have a difficulty in using this font in specific applications like OmegaT. I need to use this app for translations. But, the font seems not working in this app. Besides I need to convert fonts from Unicode to Bamini and back. At present I don’t find any Tamil font converter. Could you please suggest any or develop such a tool?

This question was originally posted in the “How To | Language Forge” category, but it looks like it belongs in either the “SIL Fonts” category or the “Keyman” category. I have chosen to move it to the “SIL Fonts” category because it seems to be more about font conversion than about keyboards. By putting the question in the right category, more people who are knowledgeable about our fonts will see it and be able to answer.

There are font design programs (such as Fontforge, Glyphs, or FontLab) that you could use to convert a font, but it would be a lot of highly technical work. However what you really need may be something that can take text in the Bamini font and convert that text to Unicode and vice versa. If you search for ‘Bamini Unicode’ there are many converters out there.

(Please note that this is a support forum for SIL fonts and applications, and we don’t develop or support OmegaT or Bamini fonts.)

Hi Robin,

Thanks for your reply. You have very well understood my concern. My question has two parts:

  1. About the Tamil Keyboard – “Suratha Bamini” for MacOS. The keyboard works in few applications and not in others like OmegaT. Whereas the Tamil fonts inbuilt in MacOS viz. “standard” and “Transliteration” works very well. But, they are not Professional ones. So, why this Suratha Bamini which should be platform independent is not working in some applications?

  2. Tamil font converter: This is about font converter. I don’t find any Tamil font converter for MacOS. We need to convert fonts from Unicode to Bamini and back. There are many font converters like e-kalappai, Azhaghi, NHM converter for Windows but not for MAC. So, there is a need for a font converter for MacOS.

These are my concerns.



I’ll move the discussion of question 1 to the Keyman category

I still suspect that the problem is not with Keyman or with the Suratha Bamini keyboard but rather with the text encodings. Bamini is not Unicode, so it requires special fonts other than the standard MacOS ones. It may be that some applications such as OmegaT won’t use those special fonts. In that case it looks like the keyboard is not working - however the problem is that the Bamini fonts are not Unicode. There is nothing that can be done in the keyboard or Keyman to fix this.

As for a Bamini <> Unicode font converter for MacOS: We don’t write or support font converters. There are commercial apps that will do that for MacOS. You can also find someone who uses Windows and have them convert the font for you using the converters available on that platform.

I’d suggest that you contact the creators of Bamini fonts and request that they convert their fonts to Unicode.

Hi Victor,

In Tamil there are various keyboard styles. MacOS inbuilt font styles are (a) Standard (Tamil 99) and (b) Transliteration. Both these styles are not professional ones. That is why we download keyman – Suratha-Bamini. When we use this, Suratha-Bamini, we type in Unicode fonts in Bamini style. This Unicode works in many applications like MS-office with some issues, (I’ll explain this issue later), but the font style does not work in OmegaT (Translation tool), instead, English letters appear. But the Mac inbuilt font styles (mentioned above) work well in the same application. So, the problems is with Keman – Suratha-Bamini and not with OmegaT.

Although the Suratha Bamini keyboard works in MS-Office, there is a small issue. To type Certain letters in Tamil, we need to press three characters like ”கௌ”. This is a single letter in Tamil we need to press three letters ‘nfs’. But, these kind of “three press letters” do not appear in MacOS- MS-office. This has to be rectified.

Hope, I have made it clear to you.