Tamil Modular (Visual Media) Keyboard Help
Keyboard © 2008 Visual Media and Tavultesoft
Using this Keyboard
Complete Keyboard Reference Chart
Related Keyboard Layouts
Download this documentation in PDF format.
This keyboard is designed for the Tamil language and is similar in concept to the Tamil typewriter layout. The keyboard is designed for users who are familiar with both this layout and the Tamil script, and is intended for use with a normal QWERTY (English) keyboard.
Most computers will automatically download a special font if needed to display this language correctly.
Click here to see other keyboard layouts for Tamil.
Using this Keyboard
This keyboard is similar to the Tamil typewriter in that it has separate keys for consonants, vowels and vowel components. However, the layout is quite different from that of the typewriter, with the most commonly-used characters arranged for ease of typing. Most of the characters used in Tamil are combinations of consonants and vowels, and these do not appear on the keyboard. Instead, the appropriate vowel component is typed after the consonant.
For example, the standalone vowel இ is entered by typing I, but in combination with a consonant, the ி component (h key) is usually typed instead, after the consonant, and the consonant-vowel combinant will be displayed. Pressing Backspace once will delete only the vowel component, so the character displayed on the screen will change back to the consonant, and change again if a different component is typed.
Grantha letters, which are used for typing Sanskrit, appear on the keyboard and are treated as normal consonants.
|Language||Phrase||Meaning||Type the following keys|
|Tamil||தமிழ்||Name of language||yehxf|
The visible keyboard layout consists of the eighteen consonants க ங ச ஞ ட ண த ந ப ம ய ர ல வ ழ ள ற ன, the five Grantha consonants and SRiiஸ ஷ ஜ ஹ க்ஷ ஸ்ரீ, eleven vowels அ ஆ இ ஈ உ ஊ எ ஏ ஐ ஒ ஓ, a range of vowel components and combinants characters, and the Pulli ் and Aytham ஃ marks, as well as various punctuation marks. The majority of characters are typed using a combination of keystrokes.
Although many Tamil characters are typed using separate keys for consonants and components, the characters that appear on screen will be combinants, which the computer sees as a single character. This means that while two (or more) keystrokes are required to display most consonant-vowel combinants, when you use the arrow keys to move the cursor through the text, only a single keystroke is needed to move past each character. Moving the cursor to the left of a combinant character and pressing Delete will erase the whole character, but if you move the cursor to the right of a combinant and press Backspace, only the vowel component will be erased. This is the case whether the vowel component appears to the left or right of, above or below the consonant.
Vowels and Pulli Marks
The standalone vowel characters which are on the keyboard will produce that character and will not combine with consonants. Long vowels have their own keys. Vowel-consonant combinant characters are entered either by typing a specific key for that combinant or by typing the consonant and vowel components separately.
Vowel components that combine with consonants are always typed after the consonants, even when the vowel component appears before (to the left of) the consonant component (such as ெ or ே). If vowel components are typed before a consonant, they will not be combined with that consonant.
Because the consonants contain the implicit vowel அ, to produce a pure consonant it is necessary to add the Pulli mark ் by typing f immediately after the consonant. Any vowel component that is typed immediately after typing the Pulli mark will not be combined with the consonant. However, because this keyboard acts in a similar way to a modular, it is possible to type a preceding vowel component followed by a consonant and the Pulli mark, or even a standalone vowel followed by the Pulli mark, producing odd combinations such as மெ் or அ். In every case, a consonant-Pulli mark combinant behaves the same way as a consonant-vowel combinant when you use the arrow, Backspace and Delete keys.
The SRii Character
This character is entered by typing | (Shift+Vertical Bar or Shift+Backslash). Currently, some browsers do not display this character correctly. Click here if you are having difficulty entering this character.
Note: for a complete table of characters and keystrokes, click here.
The following table gives specific examples of how to input characters based on the consonant க. The Grantha consonants use the same input method. Examples of these with the consonant ஜ are also given below.
|Tamil Consonants||Grantha Consonants|
Some of the fonts included with Windows do not include all the Tamil characters that are available with this keyboard. In order to display every character correctly, we recommend you download and install Tamil fonts.
If the characters you type or those on the On Screen Keyboard do not appear to display correctly, please read the KeymanWeb troubleshooting guide.
Related Keyboard Layouts
Other Keyboard Layouts for the Tamil language:
Other Internet Resources
It is recommended that you use an English QWERTY hardware keyboard with this keyboard.
This keyboard complies with Unicode 5.2
This keyboard was created by M. S. Murali. Tavultesoft gratefully acknowledges the contribution made by the author in developing this keyboard and making it freely available for use with Keyman Desktop and KeymanWeb. This effort assists in enabling people to communicate in their own language..
The Visual Media Tamil Modular Keyboard for Keyman Desktop and KeymanWeb is Copyright 2008 Visual Media and Tavultesoft. It may be freely distributed for non-commercial use, but may not be modified or adapted in any way without permission from the authors.