[INDOLOGY] Easy unicode for ipad?

James Hartzell james.hartzell at gmail.com
Sun Oct 6 07:20:41 EDT 2019


I promised an update on this quest for how to use diacritics with MS-Word on an iPad Pro with an Apple Smart (external) Keyboard.

Thanks to Burkhard Quessel´s suggestion about the Text Replacement option, under Keyboards, under General, in Settings on the iPad, I have found one can create keyboard shortcuts for all the diacritics one needs. The method in the Text Replacement I found most simple is to select an existing diacritic combination, e.g., ā, from an existing text, or even from an internet page, and then just copy and paste that into the 'Phrase' line in the text replacement window, and then type in the shortcut one wants in the line below (the 'Shortcut' line). Just press the + sign in the upper right hand corner of the Text Replacement window to add a new shortcut.  One can select existing shortcuts and edit them, or delete them by sliding to the left.

One then just has to remember what new shortcuts one has created, just like learning any new keyboard layout. The only issues I've found (using a Spanish external keyboard) is that a) for the diacritic letter to take effect one has to either tap the screen or hit a return, and the software automatically inserts a carriage return, so one has to delete that to get back to the prior line and continue in the word one is editing---a mild hassle, but not too serious; b) for reasons not completely clear to me, some shortcut combinations don't work well, so one has to play around a bit and test things, c) typically one has to leave an space immediately after where one wants to insert the new diacritic letter, and then delete that space afterwards, since for some reason the software won't read the keyboard shortcut if there is already a letter immediately following where one wants to insert the diacritic; d) one also needs to remember what keyboard one has selected when one creates the shortcuts--I found that shortcuts created when the English keyboard is selected do not work when the Español keyboard is selected, etc. (this can also be an advantage in some situations).

Despite these mild shortcomings, with a bit of practice I find it not too strenuous to edit existing text or type new text, and insert diacritics this way, permitting the convenient use of the iPad when desired. It also seems easier to create the full set of required shortcuts this way, rather than try to adapt the existing Apple Keyboards such as Hindi (Latin) that have, for Sanskrit, an incomplete set of diacritics. At the suggestion of one of the Apple support team I wrote to Apple tech support to request a full Sanskrit diacritics keyboard, though I don't expect they will implement such any time soon.

Cheers and thanks again to all the Indology team members for their guidance.

> On 13 Aug 2019, at 08:41, James Hartzell <james.hartzell at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello
> Has anyone found a way to type Sanskrit diacritics in MS-Word on the Ipad?
> So far my attempts have been fruitless.
> Cheers
> James

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