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Old 01-12-2011, 10:14 AM   #1
murali began at the beginning.
Posts: 19
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2010
Device: Kindle 3
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 ( It is widely expected that Kindle would eventually support Tamil unicode, since the Unicode spec is becoming the widely adopted standard for Tamil characters.

  1. First enable the Font hack....
  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!!!

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...

Attached Thumbnails
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Attached Files
File Type: rar FertigoTamil.rar (202.7 KB, 2034 views)
File Type: mobi Parthiban Kanavu [A!_o3_4C_Ay ,Ex] - (247.3 KB, 1957 views)
File Type: rar Unicode2Tscii.rar (52.5 KB, 1630 views)

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 07-12-2014 at 01:23 PM.
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