SARIT ... [How to input unicode search terms]

Mon Feb 9 21:37:27 UTC 2009

Dear Al,

On Tue, 2009-02-10 at 07:42, Alfred Collins wrote:

> Could you explain the SARIT method of entering transliterated Sanskrit
>  in the following way: "enter utf-8 characters directly using a
>  suitable keyboard input layout"?

A few suggestions are made on the SARIT help page:

 SARIT: Search Term Help

especially here:

 SARIT: Search Term Help :: Diacritics and Special Characters

The upshot is that you have three options:

1.) enter utf-8 characters directly using a suitable keyboard input
 layout (possibly complex yet fast, see links below)

2.) cut and paste utf-8 characters from the key alongside or below the
 main search form (slow and bound to irritate)

3.) enter utf-8 characters indirectly using postfix modifiers

For speed and simplicity I would choose the last. (Personally, I like
postfix modifiers and have never used keyboard input layouts, though I
know many people are fond of them.)

Here is a list of the postfix modifiers available for Romanised Skt
(really just Harvard-Kyoto without the uppercase):

long a (ā) = a; 
long i (ī) = i; 
long u (ū) = u; 
vocalic r (ṛ) = r; 
vocalic l (ḷ) = l; 
velar n (ṅ) = g; 
palatal n (ñ) = j; 
retroflex t (ṭ) = t; 
retroflex d (ḍ) = d; 
retroflex n (ṇ) = n; 
palatal s (ś) = z; 
retroflex s (ṣ) = s; 
anusvara (ṁ) = m; 
visarga (ḥ) = h; 
circumflex = ^ :: e.g., a^ --> â 

Using these modifiers you could search for `kauṭilīya' (kauTilIya) by
entering either of the following in the search field:

i.) kauṭilīya (utf-8)

Here is the search result:

ii.) kaut;ili;ya (postfix modifiers)


The SARIT search help page contains a number of other suggestions and
examples, together with links to representative search results. You
might like to scan the `Wildcard Characters and Boolean Operators'
section (not half as tedious as the title I promise).

> Is there a site you could direct me to that would show how to enter
>  Sanskrit letters by assigning keyboard strokes to them, not just for
>  SARIT but to type diacritics in Word, etc. I have been typing
>  retroflex t, etc., using a Sanskrit font then selecting characters
>  from a Symbol menu. this is very cumbersome and slow.

In addition to the links Dominik has given, you might find these pages

 Alan Wood
 Unicode and Multilingual Programs and Utilities

For Mac OSX 

 Robert Zydenbos
 Using Unicode fonts with Mac OSX

Kind regards,


Richard MAHONEY | internet:
Littledene      | telephone/telefax (man.): +64 3 312 1699
Bay Road        | cellular: +64 275 829 986
OXFORD, NZ      | email: r.mahoney at
Indica et Buddhica: Materials for Indology and Buddhology

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