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Digital Pāli Reader

Published on 2014/07/03, by in Tech.


Leigh Brasington recently passed along a useful tool for the Pāli student or sutta enthusiast. It’s a free extension for the Firefox web browser, written by Venerable Yuttadhammo, and the installation is quite simple. Here’s an excerpt from the website:

Digital Pali Reader

The Digital Pali Reader (DPR) is a tool in the form of a Mozilla Firefox extension, much like a hard-copy language reader, facilitating study of the Pali language at an advanced level.  Rather than offering a translation for the text being read, a reader usually includes a dictionary with all of the difficult words found in the reader.  The DPR differs from an ordinary reader in several respects:

  1. The DPR allows for instant lookup of words, simply by clicking on a word
    in the passage being read.  This avoids time spent looking for the word
    in a hard-copy dictionary or in another place on one’s computer.
  2. The DPR has a built in search function similar to that of the CSCD. Whereas the CSCD allows for only global searches or searches of entire pitakas, the DPR provides Nikaya and Book searches as well.
  3. The dictionary files in the DPR were not designed specifically for the
    purpose at hand, and of course word-to-definition matches are sometimes incorrect
    due to imperfect
  4. The DPR includes several dictionaries: Pali-English, English-Pali, Pali proper names, and Concise Pali Dictionary. These dictionaries can be directly accessed from the control panel.
  5. The DPR has several useful auxiliary utilities, including:
    • bookmark and quote clipboard for keeping important passages
    • A Pali conversion utility that converts to and from Velthius, Unicode, and other scripts
    • Random English quotes from Buddhavacana, by S. Dhammika

While the DPR is far from perfect, it is sure to be useful for intermediate Pali students who wish to advance their studies to a higher level.

The DPR has also been adapted for Android devices and the app was previously featured on evam.me’s Top Pāli Related Android Apps.



Pāli keyboard for Windows

Published on 2013/07/19, by in Tech.

I discovered some software for windows that provides the ability to type Romanized Pāli easily in all applications.  Here’s the link. This works on Windows 8 for me and has been said to work well on Windows 7 and XP. It’s a Microsoft Windows keyboard (it’s software) for typing with Unicode Latin-script fonts, for example DejaVu Sans.  The instructions are somewhat straightforward.  Download the zip file, extract it, and run setup.exe.  Following that on Windows 8 you can hold the Windows Key and press spacebar to toggle into this keyboard layout and type Ctrl+Alt and the letter you wish to modify.  For the small letter a with a macron it’s Ctrl+Alt+a.  The full list of keyboard shortcuts is available on the site as well as handy printable charts.  There are other various interesting links and tools on Frank Snow’s website here.

Screenshot of Pali Keyboards for Windows


Screenshot toggling between English US keyboard and US + Pali (Unicode) keyboard


Pali diacriticals for PuTTY

Published on 2013/07/15, by in Tech.

I recently needed the ability to view Pali diacriticals on a remote shell session using the PuTTY application. The following steps were performed on a Windows 8 system.

  • Download and install PuTTY
  • Download and install the DejaVu Sans Mono fonts
    • Extract the archive with 7-Zip
    • Select the four monospace fonts, right-click, and Install
  • Launch PuTTY and edit/create a saved session
    • From the Window Appearance category, Change the font to DejaVu Sans Mono
    • From the Window Translation category, select UTF-8 from the remote character set pull-down
    • Within the Connection Data category, add a LANG environment variable with the value en_US.UTF-8
    • Save the session


Putty font selection


PuTTY translation UTF-8


PuTTY LANG environment variable



Pali in PuTTY


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