How do you type in Hindi?
In your answer is “using Baraha, Takthi, iTrans (or similar softwares)” then I am afraid you are living in the stone age of Regional computing. I too have been obsessed with typing the transliteration way since I first used “Leap Lite” way back in 1996. I am also guilty of making my own “Ashirwad” transliteration engine, a project I dropped in 2007, because as I said I would be in stone age I am using that.
If your answer is Online Google Indic Transliteration, you seem to be progressing but that too is 2007-ish. If you find this statement of mine as surprising, then chances are that you have not heard about Google’s Transliteration IME (Input Method Editor).
Believe me once you have used Google Transliteration IME you will not go back to online transliteration interface. Since the IME works offline and doesn’t require a working internet connection you will find the transliteration way faster than the online interface. While in the online interface the transliteration occurs only after you have finished typing a word, in the IME the suggestions appear and update on each character. Since the IME comes with its language dictionary you get accurate suggestions and can complete typing a word in least keystrokes. What’s more, the IME is available in 14 languages Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Nepali, Arabic, Farsi (Persian), and Greek.
Found interesting? Jump straight away to Google IME Download page, select your language and press the “Download Google IME” button. The file that gets download is a small 500+ kb executable which is just a wrapper application and downloading of actual IME takes place after you run this.
Once the download is complete you will be greeted with End User License Screen. On agreeing to the terms and pressing “Next” button, finish screen shows up. click on “Finish” button and you are done!!
Don’t see any trace of from where the IME starts? Just check the taskbar for the Language selection icon (“EN” if your default/installation language is English) and you will find an entry for your language (here Hindi).
After installation of IME you can type in your language not only in your browser but also in any other application that supports unicode, be it the wordpad, MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Windows Live Writer or any other software you use. You will just need to open your application, select the IME language and start typing. If you need to type in English just press “Ctrl + G” and language will be toggled. The application shown below is Wordpad in Windows 7.
As you type suggestions would be shown. You can continue typing the entire word or finish it with a click of mouse on the intended word. For example, here we would have finished the word by typing ‘atithi’ but the transliterated word shows up in suggestion as soon as I finish typing ‘ati’. Clicking on the 5th suggestion will finish the word or alternatively, you can use keyboard and press “ctrl + 5” where 5 is the suggestion number which you want to select. The first suggestion can be selected by pressing “enter” too, or arrow key can be used to move between suggestions and highlighted suggestion would get selected on pressing “enter” key.
Continue typing and you will experience the fastest typing you ever had. All the selection that you make are stored and used to determine which word is more likely to be selected for a given sequence of key stroke and it will appear as first suggestion thereafter.
While you are using the IME you will notice a small floating bar which can be used to
- Toggle language
- Use keyboard to type in complex words not showing up in suggestions
- Set preference for Fonts to be used in Suggestion area, enable/disable caching of user selections etc.
That’s all for this post. Do key in your comments and queries.