Previously many of the non-English languages created their own scheme and working with them mostly involved hacks at every level. With the introduction of unicode all this changed. Almost all modern operating systems and browsers support unicode and many of them ship with font packs for all the major international languages. So the chances are your language of choice can be displayed and viewed correctly without any additional setup from the user. Same applies for tamil unicode support as well.
This article for the most part deals with only unicode tamil. If you are a website owner and you are using other schemes such as TSCII or TAM you are strongly encouraged to convert your site to unicode tamil.
You can also download tamil fonts from this link.
Unicode is a standard allowing computers to consistently represent and manipulate text in most of the world's writing systems(i.e. language scripts). The Unicode character code charts are available at the organization's website. Unicode can be implemented by different character encodings. The most commonly used encodings are UTF-8 and UTF-16.
TAB is short form of TAmil Bilingual. TAB is proposed by State Government of Tamilnadu, India, for using in texts that involve both english and tamil. TAB standard is now published. Although many websites which used TAB were converted to use Unicode, some of the tamil nadu university websites are still using TAB. It is mentioned here for the sake of completeness. You can use the font converter located here in kandupidi.com to convert from TAB to unicode.
Tamil Script Code for Information Interchange (TSCII) is another coding scheme for representing the Tamil script. TSCII encodes the characters in visual (written) order, paralleling the use of the Tamil Typewriter. Many of the websites(including Project Madurai) that used TSCII are now offering unicode version. Nonetheless TSCII was once a popular scheme and so you can still find websites using them. You can use the font converter located here in kandupidi.com to convert from TSCII to unicode.
Linux has native support for unicode, but you might need to install the tamil language pack. If you are using yum
`yum list | grep tamil` command will give you the list of available tamil fonts
fonts-tamil.noarch 2.1.5-3.fc8 installed
lohit-fonts-tamil.noarch 2.3.1-1.fc10 installed
m17n-contrib-tamil.noarch 1.1.8-2.fc10 installed
m17n-db-tamil.noarch 1.5.3-1.fc10 installed
samyak-fonts-tamil.noarch 1.2.1-1.fc10 fedora
You can pick one or all of the font packs and install it using yum.
`yum install fonts-tamil.noarch lohit-fonts-tamil.noarch` will do the trick for you.
To type in tamil, Linux has SCIM method. SCIM stands for Smart Common Input Method. SCIM is a platform, which provides not only a user friendly, full featured input method user interface for POSIX-style operating systems (including Linux, FreeBSD and other Unix), but also a development platform to make input method development easier. Out of the currently supported 30+ languages tamil unicode is also one among them. The rpm is called 'scim-lang-tamil', so issuing 'yum install scim-lang-tamil' should get the tamil language pack. You can then configure SCIM imput method and choose tamil as one of the input methods. With SCIM enabled you can type in tamil in all the applications.
Alternatively you can use the online Tamil editor available here at kandupidi.com.
If your internet explorer is not showing the unicode title correctly(but the page is displayed correctly with the unicode) in the title bar, try the following in order.
If you have problem printing tamil unicode pages form word, your printer driver keyboard layout could be set to a wrong value instead of unicode. To change this you edit the registry.
To set the registry entry, follow these steps:
1. On the Start menu, click Run.
2. In the Open box, type regedit and then click OK.
3. In the Value Data box, type the value 1 and click OK.
4. On the Registry menu, click Exit, and then restart Word.
The following Microsoft article talks about this in detail. WD2000: Characters Appear as Square Boxes in Printed Document
You can use the online Tamil editor available here at kandupidi.com to enter Tamil text and paste them in any documents.