After we have discussed the basics and various aspects of in Assamese typing in unicode, it’s time we should move forward with software specific discussions. Here we would discuss two very useful and probably most widely used software for writing Assamese. They are “Baraha” and “Pramukh IME”. I am not sure about whether “Pramukh IME” is one among the most widely used software or not, but it has some unique advantages which has made me bring it to our discussion.
Let’s talk about “Baraha” first. Baraha has got three components which fulfil almost all kinds of requirements for typing in Assamese.
This is just like window’s notepad as you can easily see in the snapshot. The software package is developed for twelve Indian languages and English.
It provides the functionality of selecting the input language – In the drop down menu above, go to -> IME -> language -> and select your language.
Again it provides the functionality of switching the keyboard, – go to -> IME -> keyboard -> choose your favorite keyboard(I strongly suggest: phonetic keyboard ).
This is also a very important and useful component. As you can see in the snapshot, it has got three sections viz. writing pad area – the area where you type and the typed words, and sentences are shown in English as it is. Preview area – the area where your typed words are shown as how it would look in Assamese. Final text area – The contents appear here after you click the “convert” button at the toolbar above and this is done as a finalization step after you feel happy with what you have typed.
In the snapshot you can see I have typed “eiTo eTA parIkShAmulak likhani” in the writing pad area and corresponding to that “এইটো এটা পৰীক্ষামুলক লিখনি” has appeared in the preview area. But till now nothing has appeared in the final text area. Now, looking at the preview area, I am happy with what I have typed and I wish to confirm it. I click the “convert” button at the toolbar above and the line “এইটো এটা পৰীক্ষামুলক লিখনি” appears in the final text area as well.
Just like Barahapad, the options of setting language and other attributes also exist here. You have to go to “settings” in the dropdown menu and set the language.
Another most important feature of “Baraha” is that it provides functionality for creation of Unicode webpage directly from the user interface with the content you have typed. This functionality is very much helpful for those who wish to design Assamese websites. For creation of Unicode webpage, after typing the content and finalizing the same by clicking the “convert” button, a different button “export” located near the “convert” button needs to be clicked. A popup window will appear asking to select the format of export. The option “Html file(Unicode)” will be there. Select the option and click “ok”. Another popup window asking the location to save the HTML file will appear. You know what to do here.
The Baraha IME:
IME means input method editor. Means, with the help of IME package, same keyboard keys can be used to produce different letters and figures. This is the most useful component of “Baraha” software package. IME packages are so useful that other Unicode software may not have other functionalities like baraha pad etc. but all those will definitely have an IME component.
When you execute the IME, it doesn’t produce any type pad kind of thing for you. Instead, it converts the whole input protocol of your keyboard to something different as desired by you. Confused ? Okay, let’s leave behind all these tech stuff and discuss straightforwardly. After executing the IME, it gets minimized to the taskbar as seen in the snapshot.
Right click the icon and go to -> language and set the language as Assamese as seen in the picture below. Whenever required, you can toggle between English and Assamese language while typing just by pressing the preset key(usually “F11”).
Now, once you have set the language to Assamese, whatever you type wherever, will get typed in Assamese.
You can write in MS-Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. you can search the internet by typing the goggle search bar in Assamese, You can write E-mail in Assamese, chat in Assamese and do lot more.
Pictures below, depicts how you can type Assamese everywhere with IME.
Googling in Assamese.
In addition to this, lot many other things can also be done, e.g. chatting in Assamese and posting facebook update in Assamese etc.
Now let’s discuss about “Pramukh IME”. It is evident from the name itself that it only contains the IME functionality. Unlike “Baraha” it don’t have other components.
Let me first mention about “Pramukh IME’s” unique advantage. Most often, whenever we upload any Assamese content in the web or post any facebook update in Assamese we mean to update it from our own computer or a computer within our known periphery where the Unicode typing software is preinstalled and ready for use. But what if we need to post any Assamese update from any alien circumstance? Say, a net café ? or, an official computer where we don’t have the software preinstalled and also we don’t have the administrative privilege for installation of software. Someone may say, we can carry “Avro portable” in our pendrive and hence the solution. But some of the net café’s and also official computers of some organization even don’t allow using pendrives for security reasons. Here’s the place where “Pramukh IME” come in handy. It has one online Unicode typepad and also downloadable software package. Now, the software that is downloaded need not be installed. The “.exe” file doesn’t initiate installation when executed. Instead, it runs the software and the IME got activated and minimized to the taskbar when executed. So, administrative privilege is not required for working with the downloaded software.
In the picture depicts how the IME icon looks at the taskbar. It looks exactly same as that of “Baraha IME’s” icon.
Just like “Baraha IME” you can select the language just by right clicking the icon. You can also set the toggle key.
There exist some differences in typing in “Baraha” and “Pramukh IME” for the same phonetic keyboard. All those will be discussed in a separate post later.