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5. Applications with Devanagri

5.1. Browsers

5.1.1. Netscape Navigator

Netscape 6.01 or later can display HTML documents in UTF-8 encoding. All a document needs is the following line between the <head> and </head> tags:

  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">

To setup Netscape so that it displays Hindi characters:

  1. Goto, Edit -> Preferences
  2. Select category, Appearance -> Fonts
  3. Select Language encoding "Unicode"
  4. Set Variable-width and Fixed-width fonts to "raghu"
  5. Check button "Always use my font settings, overriding web page font"

Also, ensure that the character coding scheme is set to UTF-8

  1. Goto, View -> Character Coding
  2. Select "Unicode (UTF-8)" from the list

5.1.2. Konqueror

Konqueror has good support for Unicode. To setup konqueror so that it displays Hindi characters:

  1. Goto, Settings -> Configure Konqueror
  2. Select "Konqueror Bowser" from the left pan
  3. Goto "Appearance" tab on the right pan
  4. Select charset "iso106460-1"
  5. Set all fonts to "raghu" for this encoding and also set Default encoding to "utf8"

5.2. Editors

5.2.1. yudit

yudit by Gáspár Sinai ( is an excellent unicode text editor for the X Window System. It supports simultaneous processing of many languages, input methods, conversions for local character standards etc. It has facilities for entering text in all languages with only an English keyboard, using keyboard configuration maps. Customization is very easy. Typically you will first want to customize your font. From the font menu, choose "Unicode". Next, you should customize your input method. The input methods "Straight", "Unicode" and "SGML" are most remarkable. For details about the other built-in input methods, look in /usr/local/share/yudit/data/. To make a change the default for the next session, edit your $HOME/.yuditrc file. The general editor functionality is limited to editing, cut and paste and search and replace. There is no provision for an undo. yudit can display text using a TrueType font. But it doesn't seem to support combining characters.

5.2.2. Vim

Vim (as of version 6.0) has good support for UTF-8. When started in an UTF-8 locale, it assumes UTF-8 encoding for the console and the text files being edited. It supports double-wide (CJK) characters as well and combining characters and therefore fits perfectly into UTF-8 enabled ncst-term.

5.2.3. gedit

gedit is an editor developed using GtkText widget. gedit-0.9.0 does not support FontSet. This means that you can't edit both English and Hindi text simultaneously. But if you choose a proper font then you will be able to use any one language at a time.

5.2.4. xedit

With XFree86-4.0.1, xedit is capable of editing UTF-8 files if your locale is set appropriately. Add the line

  "Xedit*international: true"
to your $HOME/.Xdefaults file.

5.3. Mailers

Mail clients released after January 1, 1999, should be capable of sending and displaying UTF-8 encoded mails, otherwise they are considered deficient. But these mails have to carry the MIME labels:

  Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
  Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Simply piping an UTF-8 file into "mail" without caring about the MIME labels will not work. Mail client implementors should take a look at and

Now about some of the individual mail clients (or "mail user agents"):

5.3.1. kmail

kmail (as of KDE 1.0) does not support UTF-8 mails at all.

5.3.2. Netscape Mail

Netscape Mail can send and display mails in UTF-8 encoding, but it needs a little bit of manual user intervention. To send an UTF-8 encoded mail:

  1. After opening the "Mail" window, but before starting to compose the message, select from the menu "View -> Character Coding -> Unicode (UTF-8)".

  2. Then compose the message and send it.

When you receive an UTF-8 encoded mail, Netscape does not display it in UTF-8 right away, and does not even give a visual clue that the mail was encoded in UTF-8. You have to manually select from the menu View -> Character Coding -> Unicode (UTF-8).

For displaying UTF-8 mails, Netscape uses different fonts. You can adjust your font settings in the Edit -> Preferences -> Fonts dialog by selecting the "Unicode" font category.

5.3.3. exmh

exmh 2.1.2 with Tk 8.4a1 can recognize and correctly display UTF-8 mails if you add the following lines to your $HOME/.Xdefaults file.

  ! Exmh
  exmh.mimeUCharsets: utf-8
  exmh.mime_utf-8_registry: iso10646
  exmh.mime_utf-8_encoding: 1
  exmh.mime_utf-8_plain_families: fixed
  exmh.mime_utf-8_fixed_families: fixed
  exmh.mime_utf-8_proportional_families: fixed
  exmh.mime_utf-8_title_families: fixed