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Amused, bemused or confused? – A lowdown on Bangla Font and Software



Globalization has had its toll on every possible entity on the face of this world and as its primary prey, it established a dominance over most of the languages; if we chuck out a few rare ones like Basque and Eskimo, the rest have all jumped upon the digital bandwagon to claim its presence in the mortal world. Bangla, truly a regional language, proved no exception when it was asked to become a member of the Binary domain; the mushrooming of a number of companies gave rise to Bangla fonts and software for both word-processing and DTP that has eased up quite a bit the hard task that the artistes once used to undergo. Basic, Standard and Pro; these are the three kinds of packages that the Bangla fonts and software usually come in; those who would like to know more, may continue through the info provided underneath. 



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Usually categorized under three different heads, Bangla fonts and software are made OS specific; like the Onirbaan Package which is an interface program for use with Windows 3.1+, 95, 98 and NT. Complete with its own set of Bangla fonts, Onirbaan, has been claimed to facilitate Bangla desktop publishing jobs with remarkable efficacy though the software is unable to perform any spell check. The other platform that supports the Bangla fonts and software is the Unix; however, the most important aspect of choosing the right Bangla font for a job is the format, which includes TrueType, OpenType, PostScript and a few other variations.


  • TrueType Bangla Fonts: True type fonts were first developed by Apple and are currently used by Microsoft as well. The prime benefit of using a true type bangla font is the ease it delivers to the inexperienced users and its compatibility with Macintosh and Microsoft developed software. The TrueType fonts also include screen and printer font data in a single component and a variation of the same, called the Enhanced Screen Quality or ESQ version makes the font appear clearly on the computer screen without altering the typeface's original design.


  • OpenType Bangla Fonts: Though a variation of TrueType fonts, which do not include the expanded character sets, the format however, supports cross-platform usability with Windows 2000 or higher and Macintosh OSX or higher but may not comply with some of the older applications. A variation of the Open Type bangla fonts is the Unicode that earned its fame as the best choice for non-Latin language character sets.


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But when it comes to the Bangla software, perhaps nothing is as user-friendly as the BanglaWord; a smart word processing application designed for creating documents in Bengali, it allows entering the Bangla characters using only the vowels or swarabarnas and the consonants banjonbarnos.


 Conjunct characters or juktakkhors are placed automatically by the system; if the user wants, he can also provide a command for using the same. A standard QWERTY keyboard being a major feature, the software is capable of minimizing the initial learning curve by removing the need for a physical layout template. And best of all, BanglaWord allows sending emails directly from the application.


The prime features are as follows:


i)                    Supports over 200 Bengali fonts.

ii)                  A complete word processing package

iii)                 Typing is based on Bangla Phonetics.

iv)                SmartBangla Typing Technology allows for creating Bangla Web pages.

v)                 Free for personal use



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