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Old 04-05-2015, 02:21 AM   #1
SabaEdge
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Best eBook reader for tamil books?

Hi, I am planning to gift an eBook reader to my father. He reads books only in Tamil. So he wont use the usual store, only sideload the tamil books from the internet. I have seen Kindle touch and Kobo touch. Which one comes with tamil fonts? Which one has more compatibility for tamil books? It will be nice if some one can give some idea on this.
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Old 04-05-2015, 03:27 AM   #2
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I can't comment on the Kindles, but the Kobo doesn't include Tamil fonts. But, they can be added. I can't find any mentions of anyone testing Tamil, but, people have used Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Sanskrit and other non-European languages successfully. With the appropriate font, most languages are supported when reading. But, the interface will only be in one of the 10 supported languages.
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Old 04-05-2015, 03:42 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply. Does the epub format comes with font ? will the kobo use the epub font for viewing the document?
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:14 AM   #4
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Epubs can have fonts embedded and the Kobo devices will use them for that book. The fonts can also be separately copied to the device. Then, when you are reading a book, you select the font you want to use.
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabaEdge View Post
I have seen Kindle touch and Kobo touch. Which one comes with tamil fonts? Which one has more compatibility for tamil books? It will be nice if some one can give some idea on this.
All Kindles come with the code2000 font, which also covers Tamil. However, I don't speak Tamil and I don't know whether Kindles handle all Tamil vowel signs correctly.
Have a look at the screen capture that I took with my Kindle PW2 and verify the proper placement of vowel signs that are being displayed left of the base letter. If the Tamil text is displayed correctly, your father would have to convert all his ePubs with Calibre to the AZW3 format. (Not the MOBI format.) Note that you can't embed Tamil fonts in Kindle AZW3 books.

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Epubs can have fonts embedded and the Kobo devices will use them for that book. The fonts can also be separately copied to the device. Then, when you are reading a book, you select the font you want to use.
Rendering Tamil requires more than just embedding a font, because some Tamil letters have vowel signs that logically follow a letter but need to be displayed left of the letter that they refer to.
I added an epub file with an embedded Open Source Tamil font (Tamil_test_ebook_ttf_epub3.epub) that you can use to test Kobo Tamil support. AFAIK, you might have to change the file extension to "kepub.epub."
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	tamil_test_ebook_kindle.png
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Attached Files
File Type: epub Tamil_test_ebook_epub3.epub (4.0 KB, 15 views)
File Type: epub Tamil_test_ebook_ttf_epub3.epub (59.5 KB, 13 views)
File Type: azw3 tamil_test_ebook.azw3 (16.7 KB, 12 views)
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting the epub. I had found an epub with Tamil in it, but hadn't gone looking for the font.

It seems to work. I loaded both epub and kepub versions of the book as I was expecting the kepub to work better. They both seem to be fine but I can't tell if the characters are in the right order. I also extracted the font and sideloaded it to test and it seems to have worked as well.

I have attached some screen shots:

- kepub using internal font
- epub using internal font
- kepub with the font menu displayed
- epub with the Tamil font selected

The last one was just prove it worked, but the English text is replaced as well.

One other thing is that while the UI can't be changed to use Tamil, the titles in the library list can be displayed in it. It needs the font to be on the device and loaded by opening a book that uses it.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:29 PM   #7
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@Doitsu thanks for checking out to help. will the kindle 2013(non touch) also have the tamil font?
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:32 PM   #8
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@davidfor thanks for checking and helping.

Both the text are same and perfect. But the kindle version font is more bright and clear. is that different or any settings need to be changed?
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabaEdge View Post
@Doitsu thanks for checking out to help. will the kindle 2013(non touch) also have the tamil font?
All current Kindle models come with this font (code2000). However, you could also install this font on a Kobo. (It used to be a shareware font, but is now in the Public Domain.)

I.e., if you're otherwise leaning towards Kobo ereaders, you could install the same font or even a better one. (You can't install Tamil fonts on current Kindle models.)

@davidfor:
Could you please download code2000, copy it to your Kobo and take one more screen capture of the Tamil test file with code2000 selected as custom font.

Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabaEdge View Post
@davidfor thanks for checking and helping.

Both the text are same and perfect.
That's good to hear.
Quote:
But the kindle version font is more bright and clear. is that different or any settings need to be changed?
Yes, the Kindle version seems to have better contrast. My guess would be that it is the different font. As suggested by Doitsu, I'll try installing code2000 tonight and see what difference that makes.

I forgot...

There is an option adjust the weight and sharpness of the inbuilt fonts on the Kobo devices. This doesn't work for sideloaded fonts, but someone has created a patch to enable it. All the reports I have seen say that it works well.

Last edited by davidfor; 04-06-2015 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:10 AM   #11
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OK, here's some screenshots with Code2000 loaded. One is the epub and the other the kepub version. Both have Code2000 selected as the font. These look more like Doitsu's Kindle shots, but they look thin. And I don't know why the titles in the epub version aren't bold.

Edit: After posting the screenshots and looking at them in the browser, they look a lot closer to the Kindle versions. I should have use the same viewer to get a better comparison.
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Name:	Glo-TamilTest-epub-Code2000.png
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Name:	Glo-TamilTest-kepub-Code2000.png
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Last edited by davidfor; 04-07-2015 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:08 AM   #12
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OK, here's some screenshots with Code2000 loaded. One is the epub and the other the kepub version.
Thanks for taking the additional screen captures.

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And I don't know why the titles in the epub version aren't bold.
They aren't bold because the Kobo apparently used code2000 for them as well and code2000 doesn't contain bold glyphs.

In my screen capture only the Tamil text was displayed using code2000; the headings were displayed using the default Kindle serif bold font. (Unless otherwise specified, Kindles select fonts based on Unicode ranges; only glyphs not available in the Latin and CJK default fonts will be rendered using the code2000 Unicode fallback font.)
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:59 AM   #13
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OK, here's some screenshots with Code2000 loaded. One is the epub and the other the kepub version. Both have Code2000 selected as the font. These look more like Doitsu's Kindle shots, but they look thin. And I don't know why the titles in the epub version aren't bold.

Edit: After posting the screenshots and looking at them in the browser, they look a lot closer to the Kindle versions. I should have use the same viewer to get a better comparison.
Thanks really for all the screenshots. much appreciated
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:00 PM   #14
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Thanks for taking the additional screen captures.


They aren't bold because the Kobo apparently used code2000 for them as well and code2000 doesn't contain bold glyphs.

In my screen capture only the Tamil text was displayed using code2000; the headings were displayed using the default Kindle serif bold font. (Unless otherwise specified, Kindles select fonts based on Unicode ranges; only glyphs not available in the Latin and CJK default fonts will be rendered using the code2000 Unicode fallback font.)
thanks man. one more question, all the tamil books available are in epub format only. is it possible to convert all the epub files to AZW format? or will there be any issue with that?
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:34 PM   #15
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thanks man. one more question, all the tamil books available are in epub format only. is it possible to convert all the epub files to AZW format? or will there be any issue with that?
You can easily convert books from ePub to AZW3 with Calibre (freeware), however, if your father has mostly ePubs, it'd make more sense to buy a Kobo, because then he wouldn't have to convert anything and he could also install additional Tamil fonts. If I were in your situation, I'd definitely buy a Kobo, unless Kindles are significantly cheaper and your father has sufficient computer skills.
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