Category Archives: Tamil – Ubuntu

Tamil / Tamil99 Typing Tutor for Ubuntu / Windows

There is a free Tamil99 Typing Tutor – Aasaan. It is also a Tamil Typing Tutor (typewriter  layout) and English Typing Tutor.

Below is the link –

Tamil & Tamil 99 Typing Tutor for Ubuntu

This works in Ubuntu 14.04 as well through wine, following are the steps for installing in Ubuntu

1. Install Qt4 wine with addons from Ubuntu Software Centre

2. Open wine tricks from dash -> Select the default wineprix -> Install a Windows DLL or component -> Select vb6 run (MS Visual Basic 6 runtime), vcrun2010 and vcrun6 -> click Ok.

3. Download the file from above link -> run the exe file, it will download the Aasan zip file.

4. Install Aasaan from the zip file downloaded, by double clicking the setup.exe after extracting the zip.

Run the Aasaan from Dash.

[Note: Aasaan is good for Learning Tamil99 fingering but practicing the sentences and paragraphs lessons is not working even in Windows (the character combinations உயிர்மெய்யெழுத்துக்கள் like கா, கி, கு etc., don’t get displayed properly).

This can be overcome by copying such lessons to Libreoffice Writer or MS Word or Notepad and practicing there


in Ubuntu 14.04 by pressing Ctrl + Super + Left arrow while in such paragraph page, which will make the Aasaan display in left half of screen, and opening Libreoffice for typing in it without copying on the right half screen.]

Enabling Tamil / Indian Languages in LibreOffice [ Ubuntu / Windows ]

Libre office supports Tamil Language well. Below settings are to be altered to Type in Tamil

In Libre Office writer select -> Tools -> Options ->

i. under Languages Settings -> Languages -> select Tamil under CTL.

ii. under Libre office writer -> Basic fonts (CTL) -> select any Tamil Font for all the options (heading, paragraph, etc.,.).

Tamu_Maduram is a good font. Tamu fonts (Tamu_Maduram) can be installed from Ubuntu software centre.

If you are going to share documents with others, Windows or Ubuntu users


1. Embed fonts used in file
Select File -> Properties -> Fonts -> tick the embed font option. This saves the fonts used in document within the document and recipients who have not installed the specific font can work in such document since font is inbuilt. Font embedding has to be done for each document.

Note: Don’t forget to ask Windows Msoffice users, sharing documents with you, to embed fonts (even the commonly used ones) in documents in Msoffice.

[To embed fonts in Ms word -> Select File -> Options -> Save -> Tick Embed fonts in file and Untick do not embed common system fonts]

Ask Libreoffice sharers also to embed fonts.


2. Request the recipients to install the font from websites.

[Eg. Lohit Tamil Unicode font will not display in MS Office (font should be installed in Windows to display) if you are going to share document with Windows users, either embed the font as said above or ask them to install Lohit Tamil fonts from

Other Indian Languages fonts are also available in above, check page 1 & 2 of above link.

Lohit Tamil Font can be installed in Ubuntu from Ubuntu Software Centre, if it is not installed already]

Tamil fonts are also available for download at

Ms office Unicode Tamil font Latha can be downloaded from , click top right “Get Font”. Double click downloaded file & select install.

Tamil Language & Tamil Typewriter / Tamil99 Layout Keyboards in Ubuntu 14.04 [applies to other Languages also]

Ubuntu 14.04 supports Tamil Language, it can be added by

1. In Settings ->  Languages Support-> Install/Remove languages -> select Tamil and Apply changes.

Now the Tamil Language Support is enabled.

2. Installing Tamil Keyboards for Tamil typing in browsers, Libreoffice, etc.,

a. For adding Tamil Unicode Keyboard (Tamil Typewriter Layout)

In Settings -> Text entry -> click +, search with keyword “Tamil” and add Tamil Unicode Layout.

Now switching from English to Tamil Keyboard and vice versa can be done by pressing Super (windows key) + Space.

It can also be done by selecting the Keyboard Menu (displayed as En or Ta) at the top of the screen.

1. Onboard – Onscreen transparent keyboard works for Tamil Unicode, those who don’t know Tamil Typewriter typing can make use of Onboard by installing it from Ubuntu Software Centre. Start Onboard from Dash.

2. Other Languages (Indian or Foreign) and Languages’ keyboards can be installed in Ubuntu 14.04 by above procedure. If the desired Indian Language’s keyboard is not listed, when searching with respective language keyword, it can be installed by the next mentioned ibus m17n method.

b. For adding Tamil 99 Keyboard or Tamil Phonetic

i. Install ibus m17n package (for Indian languages) from Ubuntu Software centre.

ii. In Settings -> Languages Support -> select ibus from drop down menu under Keyboard Input Method System.

iii. In Text Entry select +, now the search with keyword “Tamil” will show Tamil 99, Tamil Phonetic, Tamil Inscript & other Tamil layouts. These can be added as per the requirements.

Keyboards can be selected from
i. the menu at the top of the screen or
ii. by pressing Super (windows key) + Space
(will activate next keyboard in menu) or
iii. by pressing Shift + Super + Space (for activating previous active Keyboard)

Note : Onboard does not work for Tamil99 layout. It will be good if any Tamil Ubuntu volunteer make it work by including it in Ubuntu text entry than through ibus m17n package.

Tamil99 stickers (Tamil alphabets) can be printed & affixed to your keyboard see below for details
(Can get it printed in sticker shop)

Alphabets of Tamil99 Layout can even be written in keyboard with pen whitener (requires little bit patience to write without thickness).