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Old 01-12-2011, 09:14 AM   #1
murali
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Cool Enabling Tamil support in Kindle 3

This post will help you read Tamil documents natively in the kindle mobi format. Of course the method involves jail breaking your kindle, so usual disclaimers apply.

One of the major limitations of kindle 3 is the lack of a proper shaping engine, required to render Tamil Unicode (The browser has the required shaping engine but the ebook reader for some reason doesn't). So the trick is to instead temporarily use the TSCII standard for Tamil documents. I recommend that you keep your documents in unicode format and use this method to convert them to the TSCII (http://www.tscii.org). It is widely expected that Kindle would eventually support Tamil unicode, since the Unicode spec is becoming the widely adopted standard for Tamil characters.

Setup
  1. First enable the Font hack....http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88004
  2. Download the attached fonts Fertigo Tamil.rar (They are provided here for the proof of concept. It is a mix of Fertigo Pro and Some Tamil fonts). Install them per the font hack instructions to the linkfonts\fonts folder.
  3. Download the tool Unicode2Tscii.rar . There are quite a few converters but none could convert a MSWord generated HTML to Tscii. If there is one, let me know and I can yank this out (source will be made available after clean up).

To generate Kindle compatible documents
  1. For MSWord documents, save the document as a WebPage, Filtered (*.htm; *.html) format. (or) From your browser just use Save feature (I tested Chrome). The tool detects the source based on the meta tag signature. Unicode File saved by a browser is expected to have the following tag: <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" /> otherwise it assumes the file to have come from MSWord
  2. Run the html through the unicode2tscii converter (attached ).
  3. Then drag and drop the converted file into Calibre and convert it to mobi
  4. Copy it to Kindle and start reading it!!!

Caveat:
The TSCII standard uses some of the upper characters in the 255-bit ansi scheme (hence it is being phased out in favor of the more friendlier unicode scheme). so in this method, you will end up sacrificing certain latin characters, symbols (like TM) etc. But there is no easy way to enable tamil text in Kindle other than using a non-complex script support for Tamil.

Also currently I have just made serif fonts TSCII compliant. It shouldnt be that hard to merge those 138 glyphs to the rest of the fonts (of course with appropriate permissions obtained).

Finally, I am also providing an example document with both the unicode html file (from Word) and the final mobi file generated by Calibre. Use it for testing purposes. If the document you generate is from the public archives like this one, please feel free to share in this thread for the rest of us to enjoy.

When everything goes as planned, you should see the document appear as shown here
[Image violates guidelines for size - MODERATOR]

If you have any questions or problems, feel free to reply to this thread. Enjoy reading Tamil natively on Kindle...

Regards
Murali
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	screen_shot-8273.gif
Views:	21705
Size:	51.4 KB
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Attached Files
File Type: rar FertigoTamil.rar (202.7 KB, 1583 views)
File Type: mobi Parthiban Kanavu [A!_o3_4C_Ay ,Ex] - Kalki.mobi (247.3 KB, 1535 views)
File Type: rar Unicode2Tscii.rar (52.5 KB, 1293 views)

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 07-12-2014 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:11 PM   #2
murali
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Full set of Ponniyin Selvan in Kindle Mobi format... Of course requires fonts mentioned in the first post.

Murali
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:12 PM   #3
maheshwaran
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Hai Murali, I did followed the steps but I could get only 'பார்த்திபன் கனவு’ in the title. Inside the book I still get the garbled pages. Any idea where I went wrong?
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
murali
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Make sure you did a full restart of Kindle. Once restarted, just as a sanity check ensure that the Font sizes match with the ones in the zip file. If you see the tamil text in the browser it means you have the right font in the kindle. So please try restarting the kindle.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:56 AM   #5
maheshwaran
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Murali.... Today I am able to read 'Parthiban Kanavu' :-)

I changed the Typeface to "Regular", previously it was as "Sans-Serif". Once I changed it to "regular", the Tamil display was fine.

As per your instruction, I was able to convert few books (from Project Madurai) into mobi format and they display fine.

Thanks a lot for your efforts.

Last edited by maheshwaran; 01-28-2011 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:45 AM   #6
murali
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maheshwaran View Post
Murali.... Today I am able to read 'Parthiban Kanavu' :-)

I changed the Typeface to "Regular", previously it was as "Sans-Serif". Once I changed it to "regular", the Tamil display was fine.

As per your instruction, I was able to convert few books (from Project Madurai) into mobi format and they display fine.

Thanks a lot for your efforts.
Awesome... Please do share your mobi files as well, so rest of us can also enjoy
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:28 AM   #7
sarathy38
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I enrolled today.I have a kindle 2 .Is it possible to enable tamil support?. request guidance .
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:31 AM   #8
murali
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarathy38 View Post
I enrolled today.I have a kindle 2 .Is it possible to enable tamil support?. request guidance .
It should be. Read the Fonts hack thread on installing custom fonts, and then simply use the font I provided here on top of the fonts provided there. That should do the trick.

This method simply uses ansi characters and doesnt require the advanced shaping supports the current Tamil Unicode requires. So it should technically work on K2 as well.

I dont have one, so cannot confirm the support though...
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:32 AM   #9
sarang
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I am a new member. I got my kindle in January end.

I have followed this procedure for reading tamil novels in kindle.

1. Download htm file, preferably in unicode.
2. Open the file in MS word.
3. Set the page size to 9 cm x 12 cm in page setup. The document will reformat to fit the page.
4. Adjust font size to make reading easy and strain free.
5. Quickly run through the document for uniformity and formatting problems.
6. Convert the file using cutepdf. This utility, a freeware, works with the print command and saves the file as a pdf document.
7. No zooming is necessary in kindle, as scaling for font size and readability is already done.
8. I could download and transfer parthiban kanavu volumes 1 and 2 from project madurai in just 5 minutes using this method.
9. This works fine for a free flowing text, but tables and pictures may not be converted correctly; needs checking.

Still, as most of the published tamil documents are in pdf in A4 size, a good pdf editor may also serve the purpose. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:36 AM   #10
murali
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarang View Post
I am a new member. I got my kindle in January end.

I have followed this procedure for reading tamil novels in kindle.

1. Download htm file, preferably in unicode.
2. Open the file in MS word.
3. Set the page size to 9 cm x 12 cm in page setup. The document will reformat to fit the page.
4. Adjust font size to make reading easy and strain free.
5. Quickly run through the document for uniformity and formatting problems.
6. Convert the file using cutepdf. This utility, a freeware, works with the print command and saves the file as a pdf document.
7. No zooming is necessary in kindle, as scaling for font size and readability is already done.
8. I could download and transfer parthiban kanavu volumes 1 and 2 from project madurai in just 5 minutes using this method.
9. This works fine for a free flowing text, but tables and pictures may not be converted correctly; needs checking.

Still, as most of the published tamil documents are in pdf in A4 size, a good pdf editor may also serve the purpose. Any suggestions?
AFAIK there are no PDF editors that would reflow a document. The only reliable (sort-of) way is to convert the PDF to html (hopefully the text is in unicode, TSCII, TAM or TAB) and reflow the document using word.

My gripe with PDFs were : 1. They were a bit bulky as they embed fonts as bitmaps, and sometimes crash my kindle (Ponniyin Selvan books was several MBs in PDF). 2. They dont provide us the ability to resize the text when we want to.

I really hope that Amazon starts supporting Tamil unicode officially so that we dont have to deal with these conversions and hacks.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:43 PM   #11
prk.yath
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Kindle 3 hung after the installing the Font hack

Hi ,

I have tried installing the font hack in to my new Kindle 3 Wifi, as per the steps mentioned in the above post. After installing the Jailbreak hack, Kindle 3 restarts is fine. Once the font hack is installed and restarted , the device hungs. I couldnot get response for any keys. ie. not even Menu or Home keys.
After spending long time, I just reset the kindle to resolve the issues.
I have used below install files & am not sure what went wrong. Could some one help me on this?

Jailbreak Install:
update_jailbreak_0.4.N_k3w_install.bin

Font update:
update_fonts_4.2.N_k3w_install.bin

With Regards,
prkyath.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:26 AM   #12
murali
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prk.yath View Post
I have tried installing the font hack in to my new Kindle 3 Wifi, as per the steps mentioned in the above post. After installing the Jailbreak hack, Kindle 3 restarts is fine. Once the font hack is installed and restarted , the device hungs. I couldnot get response for any keys. ie. not even Menu or Home keys.
After spending long time, I just reset the kindle to resolve the issues.
I have used below install files & am not sure what went wrong. Could some one help me on this?

Jailbreak Install:
update_jailbreak_0.4.N_k3w_install.bin

Font update:
update_fonts_4.2.N_k3w_install.bin

With Regards,
prkyath.
What is your FW revision ? If you are on 3.1, then the hack doesnt work (yet).

You can also try the original font hacks forum for suggestion. But generally with a reset, you shouldnt see any problem. Usually the reset after an update takes a while, but shouldn't crash the system.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:21 AM   #13
sarang
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Thanks Murali. I agree with you - pdf file size is more than double. I am a bit nervous now to try jailbreak or font hack, but will eventually do it.

Though I now have a working solution for tamil documents in htm or word formats, I still have no solution for pdf files - and many docs are in pdf format. If the word document is in font size 10 latha, reading in pdf is convenient in kindle 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murali View Post
AFAIK there are no PDF editors that would reflow a document. The only reliable (sort-of) way is to convert the PDF to html (hopefully the text is in unicode, TSCII, TAM or TAB) and reflow the document using word.

My gripe with PDFs were : 1. They were a bit bulky as they embed fonts as bitmaps, and sometimes crash my kindle (Ponniyin Selvan books was several MBs in PDF). 2. They dont provide us the ability to resize the text when we want to.

I really hope that Amazon starts supporting Tamil unicode officially so that we dont have to deal with these conversions and hacks.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:00 PM   #14
murali
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarang View Post
Thanks Murali. I agree with you - pdf file size is more than double. I am a bit nervous now to try jailbreak or font hack, but will eventually do it.

Though I now have a working solution for tamil documents in htm or word formats, I still have no solution for pdf files - and many docs are in pdf format. If the word document is in font size 10 latha, reading in pdf is convenient in kindle 3.
I agree with the fact that many documents are in PDF format and worse is the fact that they have some custom encoding as well. As for the jailbreak, I didnt have a single hiccup with it, but YMMV.

regards,
Murali
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:07 AM   #15
kkarthik
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Murali, thank you so much. I'm reading Parthiban Kanavu now on my Kindle 3. The fonts, the hack everything works perfectly. Simply awesome!
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