Desktop Software

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Desktop Software in THL


To produce digital scholarship on the Tibetan and Himalayan region, it is necessary to have tools designed specifically for the entry and manipulation of the unique types of data found in this field. Fundamentally, not only are the necessary Asian-language fonts required, but a scholar also needs means for easily entering data in the indigenous languages of Tibet, China, Nepal, and India. The THL staff has put a great deal of effort in creating tools for entering Tibetan script as well as for converting external link: extended Wylie transliteration into Tibetan script. THL has also developed or collaborated in the development of unique tools for creating language instruction materials, such as QuillDriver which assists in the creation of video transcripts. The presently available software and relevant links are listed below.

General Text Editors

A vast majority of any web work can be done using simple texts editors. This is true for CSS, Javascript, HTML, PHP, XML, and XSLT files among others. However, for THL pages there are the additional requirements of Unicode-enabled editors that can properly display Tibetan Unicode. This combination has proven difficult to find. The General Text Editors page lists the text-editors used in THL work and their pros-and-cons.

Tibetan Input Tools

We have developed two tools that facilitate input of Tibetan using the Tibetan Machine Web family of fonts: Jskad (pronounced J-K), a Java text editor enabling input and display of Tibetan script over the Web using four of the major Tibetan keyboards in use around the world; and Wylie Word, a Visual Basic macro for typing Tibetan within Microsoft Word. Downloads and descriptions of these items are available from the Tibetan Input Systems page.

Diacritic Input Tools

We have also created software to facilitate the entry of diacritics necessary for representing Asian languages in Roman script. Two tools are available: one is a Microsoft Word macro, and another is a system level keyboard for Windows 2000. See our page on diacritic input.

Translator Tool

The Translator Tool takes Tibetan language passages - which can be cut and pasted in, typed in Wylie transliteration, or typed in Tibetan script - and divides the passages up into their component phrases and words, and displays corresponding dictionary definitions. The Translator Tool is written in Java. You may use the tool on-line external link: here, while its source code is available from our source code page.


QuillDriver is software for creating and using interactive, rich transcripts of audio-video recordings. It enables for the creation of transcriptions written in various scripts, including Tibetan, the insertion of time codes marking the beginning and end of "sentences" or their equivalents, and the insertion of translations. This tool thus produces a rich transcript which can then be played back with the audio-video recording. As one watches the video or listens to the audio, a colored highlight automatically shifts to show the user the corresponding line in the transcript; one can also click on a line in the transcript and play back just that segment of that video/audio.

Provided for unrestricted use by the external link: Tibetan and Himalayan Library