Fonts and keyboards for written languages

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Getting a computer to work with a written language can be tricky. If you've already been using the language on your computer, you probably have everything you need, already installed. 

But, it isn't always that easy. Suppose you get a dictionary project from someone else, or you view a dictionary in SooSL Web. It may use a different written language, one that you don't normally use. In that case, you may need to install a font to read the characters in that language. If you want to type in that language, you may need to install a keyboard. 

Computers today usually have fonts and keyboards for many languages. Sometimes, though, they aren't installed. 

First, you need a font that can display all the characters in the language. If a font is not designed to work with a language, it may not have all the characters the language needs. Especially, if the language uses a non-roman script, you need a font that is designed to work with that script. 

Most fonts today are built around Unicode. Watch out for older fonts that don't use Unicode; they are harder to use. If you use a Unicode font, it will make it easier to share your dictionary project with other people.

Then you need a keyboard that is designed to make it easy to type the characters in the language. If you use a Unicode font, you need a Unicode keyboard. If you have an older font that doesn't use Unicode, you will need a special keyboard for that font. The keyboard must match the font.

If there is no keyboard for a language available in your operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux), take a look at Keyman. It may have what you need.

In Linux, you might find some special problems. 

sudo apt-get install --reinstall ibus

Then restart your Linux system and your missing languages should return.


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