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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Corel Draw X6 Malayalam Font Problems

Recently for my college magazine I had to troubleshoot the Malayalam section.

A friend collected the Malayalam articles from various students of the college and sent to someone in Kerala to type them out.
The stupid typist in Kerala typed that using some software in an ascii font.

You have heard of arial, times new roman, etc. These are fonts that make English letters come beautifully. Now, imagine we replace the symbol 'A' in Times New Roman and keep malayalam letter അ there. Then, whenever you type 'A' in that modified font, you'll get the Malayalam character. But if you change the font you'll get 'A' itself. This is how an ascii font works.

So this typist had typed the entire thing such that it works only with Ambili font.

It would have been fine if that worked properly in corel draw. But the letter ണ്ട  (nda) does not work in such a case because corel draw thinks that the ascii font does not need complex processing. ( )

Since there was no time to convert all that to unicode, I converted it using this software called payyans.
Remember, the pip repository has a very old version of payyans. You're better of downloading the latest version from savannah.

After I converted all the text to unicode, there was another problem.
The letters ണ്‍ ന്‍ ര്‍ ല്‍ ള്‍ are given its own position in unicode. But in the past they used to be a sum of different letters and zero width joiners.
Corel Draw X6 could recognize only those letters with zero width joiners.

So I had to manually replace in a word document the following:
ല്‍ to ൽ
ണ്‍ to ണ്‍ (they were the same)
ന്‍ to ൻ
ള്‍ to ൾ
ര്‍ to ർ

Now the corel draw x6 would show these fonts properly using a unicode font like Rachana or Meera.

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