About the Script

Devanagari (Devanāgarī/देवनागरी) is a syllabic alphabet or abugida which consists primarily of consonantal symbols
with vowel signs. Unlike Middle Eastern scripts like Arabic or Hebrew, vowels are always marked.

Devanagari is used for the several major Indian languages including Hindi, Sanskrit, Konkani, Marathi, Nepali, Sindhi, Sherpa and others,
but it is only one of many scripts used in India. For more information on the script, see the following
pages

Fonts for Devanagari

Fonts by Platform

Windows and Mac do come with their own Devanagari fonts

  • Windows – Aparajita, Mangal
  • Mac OS X – Devanagari MT, Devanagari MTS

Note: For various reasons, the Apple font does not always appear in an applications font menu. In later versions of OS X, installing an

Note on Mac Devanagari MT font

The Devenagari MT and Devanagari MTS function well on the Mac, but do not appear in the font menu in all applications. However, if you switch to a Mac Devanagari keyboard, many applications will also switch to one of these fonts.

This is partly due to the need for some Apple fonts to be backwards compatible with older documents.

Third Party Fonts

When selecting a font, you must look for a Unicode encoded font in the Open Type (OTF) format.

Read pages for instructions on whether it is Windows compliant or Linux compliant.
Note on OS X: These fonts can be installed on a Mac, but vowel marks may not display correctly.

Test Sites

If you have your browser configured correctly, the Web sites above should display the correct characters. If you have difficulties, see list below for font and browser configuration instructions.

If this sites is not displaying correctly, see the Browser Setup page for set up information.

Older Sites with Fonts

In the early 2000s, many sites in India would provide custom fonts to view a particular site. These sites are likely not properly encoded, but can still be usable if you trust them and follow their instructions.

Activating Keyboards for Fonts

Windows

INSCRIPT vs. Traditional

For the Hindi and Marathi language options, recent versions of Windows includes both the INSCRIT and Traditional keyboards. To summarize the differences:

  • The INSCRIPT keyboard includes extended Devanagari characters for Sanskrit and other specialized cases.
  • The Traditional keyboards include English punctuation characters.

Installation Instructions

The following sites provide some detailed instructions to activate different Hindi (Devanagari) keyboards.

Macintosh

Apple has two keyboards called Devanagari and Devanagari QWERTY (phonetic) keyboard and one for Nepali. See instructions for activating Macintosh keyboards.

Keyboard Use and Layout

The following sites include instructions and keyboard layout information:

Recommended Applications

Many older applications cannot always process conjunct consonants (e.g. हिन्दि "Hindi") properly. Make sure to check out complex examples in software you use. Some recommended software packages include:

Note: Microsoft Office 2014 has basic Devanagari support, but may display quirks with some fonts. Updating to later versions of Mac Os X may also help.

Web Development

This section presents information specific to Chinese. For general information about developing non-English Web sites, see the Encoding Tutorial or the Web Layout sections.

Historical Encodings

Unicode (utf-8) is the preferred encoding for Web sites, but the following older encodings may be encountered.

  • ISCII (older),
  • ITRANS (older)
  • Other with custom fonts

ISCII vs. Unicode

Before the development of Unicode encoding, the government of India had developed a standard called ISCII (Indian Script Code for Information Interchange). In this standard, similar characters in multiple scripts would be assigned the same character number. For instance Devanagari (ka) and Gujarati (ka) would be assigned the same code point. However, most modern development is in Unicode

Language Codes

Language Tags allow browsers and other software to process Chinese text more efficiently. Below are the recommended codes for different scripts

Major Language Codes

  • hi – Hindi
  • bh – Bihari
  • ks – Kashmiri (India/also in Arabic Script)
  • kok – Konkani (also written in the Kannada Script)
  • kfr – Kachchi/Kutchee (also written in the Gujarati Script)
  • mr – Marathi
  • mwr – Marwari
  • ne – Nepali
  • new – Newari (Nepal Bhasa)
  • sa – Sanskrit
  • sat – Santali
  • sd – Sindhi (India/also in Arabic Script)

Additional Lang Codes

  • awa – Awadhi
  • bfy – Bhagheli
  • bho – Bhojpuri
  • bhb – Bhili
  • hne – Chhattisgarhi
  • dhd – Dhundari/Jaipuri
  • gbm – Garhwali
  • gon – Gondi
  • hoj – Harauti
  • hoc – Ho (also written in Oriya/Odia)
  • kfr – Kachchi/Kutchee (also written in the Gujarati Script)
  • bbj – Kanauji/Braj
  • kfy – Kumauni
  • kru – Kurux/Kurukh
  • mwr – Marwari
  • muw – Mundari
  • new – Newari
  • Other Language Codes (Ethnologue)

Unicode Chart with HTML Entity Codes

For short texts, such as the yoga om sign ( = ॐ) it may be desirable to
use Unicode entity codes for Devanagari and enter HTML entity codes.
Note: The appearence of conjunct letters is not discussed.

Script Basics

Open Type Fonts

Windows Keyboard

Mac Keyboard

Other

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