For over a decade now Inpage Urdu has enjoyed being the single most popular Urdu text processing application on Windows operating systems. It’s beautiful Nastaleeq font (although not 100% comlying to the Urdu calligragraphic standards, but something is better than nothing), ease of use and most of all availability of pirated versions facilitated the popularity of Inpage and even now when Unicode has been widely adapted throughout the world, Inpage is still the most extensively used software in the publishing industry for magazines, ads, newspapers, TV& film titles and so on. Unfortunately due to its closed proprietry file format and inability to communicate with other text processors like MS Word and most noteably not being able to produce text usable in HTML for internet, Inpage users often find themselves in a closed box having no option but being forced to export text as images and then use dead “picture text” in their web sites which is neither searchable by search engines nor easy to download due to heavy size of the “image text” pages.
Unicode Urdu is the solution to all such problems and here is a brief guide on how to enable Urdu language support in Windows XP.
=> You will need your Windows installation CD to complete these steps so keep it handy.
Step 1 – Enabling the Urdu Language Support on a Windows XP Machine
- Go to Control Panel
- Depending on your view of control panel, choose Regional and Language options
- if you have a category view of control panel click on Date Time Language and Regional Options icon
and in next view choose Regional and Language Options
- Alternately if you are in the classic view of control panel, simply double click the Regional and Language Options
- A new window will popup as below
- Select Languages Tab in new window and you will see lower part named Supplemental language support with two check boxes
- Enable the first check box of Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages [including Thai] and click Apply.
- A pop up message will appear , just click OK to continue
- Now You will be asked to insert your Windows CD at this point, Insert your CD and click OK.
- It will take few seconds to copy some language files from CD to your PC.
- Once it is finished you will see the below message to restart windows, just click No and continue to next steps.
Step 2 – Installing the Urdu Phonetic Keyboard
If you have completed all above steps, then your Urdu Language support is enabled by now and soon you will be able to write Urdu by switching between Urdu and your default input language.
Chances are that one might have been using Inpage software and just like most users, phonetic keyboard input style is the most suitable input method. Windows default Urdu Keybord is not phonetic, means when you will press “b” you want to write “ب” but it may write something different.
All this key mapping is controlled by a keyboard layout and luckily we can change this layout by installing as many keyboards as we like. We can also create our own layout using Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator Tool, available for download from Microsoft site freely.
- So we will continue from the same popup window and this time we will click on the details button
- A new window will pop-up where you can see all you installed languages. The upper part displays the default input language and lower portion has a button to add any new language. Click on Add.. button
- A new window will be displayed as below.
- Click the drop down menu of Input Language and choose Urdu from the list.
- If you like you can choose the keyboard layout also
- Alternately you can choose the keyboard at any time from the same box as below
Step 3 – Testing the newly enabled Urdu Language Support
- If you didn’t run into any problems during the above steps, you will see a small language icon displayed near your task bar with your default language letters (in this case “EN” for English). It indicates that this machine has default language English and in addition to that there is at least one more input language available.
- To see if Urdu is there, just click on the language icon and a small menu will show all the available languages. Check mark means this is the current input language. To select Urdu just click on the Urdu icon and language will switch to Urdu. Alternately you can press Alt+Shift to sequentially switch between input languages.
- Just to confirm that we are done, open your notepad and change font to Aria and size to somewhat 32 point or larger (just to see the text easily). Make sure language icon is showing “UR” (if not then switch to Urdu as described above). Now start writing in Notepad and you will see text appearing in Urdu.
Voila! You are done.
Now you can write Urdu anywhere including MS Office Word Excel Access, database, web applications emails your forum posts and chat clients .. possibilities are unlimited.
One final step is that once you are done with initial settings, next you may want to change the font to something more beautiful and closer to the Nastaleeq style, for that you can install open type urdu fonts.
There are a lot of fonts available on the web. Search for Alvi Nastaleeq, Jameel Noori Nastaleeq, Nataleeq Kasheeda and Emad Nastaleeq, Nafees Nastaleeq. just google and you will find a lot more.