If you are feeling lost with Lipikar, download a pair of "assist" documents, complete with examples and illustrations. Each Zip file contains the following files:
• Lipikar Basics I: Using the Main Interface (read now)
• Lipikar Basics II: Creating Custom FontMaps (read now)
If you are not a hardcore computer user, you may often be baffled when the non-Roman (Cyrillic, Hebrew or any other) font you have just downloaded displays normal Roman characters on your PC when you try to use it.
If you have faced this situation and thought you've been duped, think again! Most probably that font would be of Unicode type that would contain the non-Roman scripts you want in its extended character set. You can check this out with the help of the Windows™ Character Map utility.
Though Lipikar supports Unicode fonts, it does not support its extended character set and cannot display beyond the first 256 glyphs.
So, the question remains "How can I tell which font can be used in Lipikar?".
Well, the easiest method is to view the font with the Windows™ Font Viewer (just double-click on the font file). If it displays the characters/letters/scripts/glyphs you want, you can use it in Lipikar.
Also, an "OpenType" font is almost certain to contain extended Unicode characters, while a "TrueType" font may or may not contain them.
Apart from Unicode, Lipikar supports any bitmap-based font on Windows™.
If you have the optional "Complex Scripts and right-to-left languages" support activated on Windows™ XP, Lipikar will support right-to-left scripting. All you have to do is to right-click on the TextBoard and select "Right to left reading order".
But let me warn you that this will not enable you to write each letter on the left of the last one even if the cursor position indicates that it should. The origin of this problem is not Lipikar (or any other application for that matter) - it is the operating system.
If you have the right-to-left support activated, you will notice that only the following characters, which are generally signs and punctuations, will behave correctly, that is, clicking on them will place them on left side of the leftmost character:
Dec(32) through Dec(47)
Clicking on the rest of the characters, which normally include all numbers and alphabets, will place them on the right side of the rightmost character.
The above phenomenon was revealed by testing with the most common font on Windows - the "Arial" font.
I am not an expert and do not know the reasons for this strange phenomena, but that's how Windows™ XP behaves. To repeat, this is how ANY application, including Lipikar, has to behave under XP and this behaviour is dictated by the Operating System.
Lipikar is hosted by several Arabic sites and hundreds of downloads copies has been downloaded from them. No complaints from them either. The reason? Simple. To get a true right-to-left scripting experience, you have to install, as Microsoft says, "the Arabic version of Microsoft Windows XP or any language version of Microsoft Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3".
Again, I'm no expert. So if you think any of the above information is incorrect in any way, please do not hesitate to inform me about it.
© Santanu Ghosh, 2003-2007, Calcutta, India