Computer usage in one’s own native language is getting popular these days, and many Softwares now include several languages to overcome the language barrier of the users. It has its own joy of interacting with computers in mother tongue.
Urdu is also one of the languages which is gaining popularity in computer usage. Efforts have been conducted by Pakistani Universities and other professionals to enhance the presence of urdu in general computing activities. These efforts are often supported by Govt. of Pakistan. NUCES Lahore Campus has contributed significantly to the cause with their CRULP ( Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing) initiative.
Following is a list of few good utilities for using urdu on PC from CRULP.
- Urdu Phonetic Keyboard (Windows, Linux )
- Urdu Font (Nastaleeq, Naskh, Riqa, Web Naskh, Pakistani Naskh)
- Online Urdu Dictionary
Just to let you know about the complexity of fonts for languages in arabic script is that the actual appearance of character /alphabet is dependent on the context. e.g م is meem, in محمود there are 2 positions for meem, initial and middle,and in علم meem is in final position:)
Now urdu uses alphabets from arabic language, but it follows persian script “Nastaleeq”, which may be a bit difficult for computers, as each new character is connected at a lower level and the whole word follows a slanting path.
So use these utilities, and send your suggestion to the developers, so that they may come up with a better and enhanced version.