Types of Gujarati Fonts

The key to typing in Gujarati are the Gujarati fonts. The various methods of typing in Gujarati on a Windows-based computer are dependent on the font that is used. A standard method of typing in Gujarati would be one that provides consistency across all application in an OS. Fortunately, Microsoft Windows provides an input method for Gujarati that utilizes Unicode fonts. There are a myriad of Gujarati fonts that do not comply with the Unicode standard. The disadvantage to the non-Unicode fonts is that their character maps differ amongst themselves. Hence, you cannot interchange them.

When comparing the various non-Unicode Gujarati fonts, it's apparent developers are putting a great deal of effort to make creative Gujarati fonts. The compromise is the ease of use when character maps differ.

Harikrishna Font Set

One set of fonts shown below include Harikrishna, Ghanshyam, Nilkanth, Amrut, and Yogi. I'll refer to these as the Harikrishna font set.

Various Gujarati Fonts

The advantage of these particular fonts is the different styles. Harikrishna and Nilkanth are two great plain text fonts. Ghanshyam and Amrut are great for titles.

The assignment of keys for these fonts is based on the phonetic equivalence between Gujarati and English. So, for example, જ sounds like "j", and it is assigned the small "j" key. The conjuncts (or conjugates), half forms (half of consonants), some matras (punctuations), and other special characters have to be called using ANSI codes. The ALT key is pressed while typing the code of the character. The key assignments of full consonants and ANSI codes for half-consonants are shown in the tables below.

Table 1: Full Consonants
Harikrishna Full Consonants

Table 2: Half consonants
Harikrishna Half Consonants

Note that the keys are case sensitive for the full consonants. Also note that certain keys such as q, Q and Y have keys assigned that are not truly phonetic.

Conjuncts are combinations of two or more consonants, such as શ્ર, દ્ધ, or હ્મ. They can be represented as a single character or multiple characters. The former three examples are single characters. Conjuncts can be found mapped as keys or can be accessed by ANSI codes. The table below shows some common conjuncts used in Gujarati with their key assignments or ANSI codes.

Table 3: Conjugates and Other Characters
Conjuncts

To see the complete table for Harikrishna and Nilkanth font, browse here: Harikrishna Font Table.

Using fonts such as these is one method of typing in Gujarati. The drawback are:

  • Dependence on character codes for the conjuncts and half forms, and
  • Although you are typing in Gujarati, you are actually typing in English where the characters are disguised as Gujarati. Hence, your word processor will mark most of these words as misspelled.
  • These fonts are not recognized by the operating system. You cannot, for example, type in dialog boxes with these fonts. You cannot search for file contents either.

One can get creative with input methods for conjuncts and half forms. One such method is using macro-assigned buttons.