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1. Introduction

PDF files, known for being viewable on most platforms, are a popular medium for distributing Bangla files over the Internet. Another use of PDF and Postscript files in the UNIX world is for printing. While PDF files can be created with various applications, this text is an attempt to describe the process of PDF creation using the free software KWord and ttf2pt1. The fonts used in this process are the Bijoy fonts included in the Bijoy2000 package. The keyboard layout for typing in Bangla is also Bijoy (the typing method of ligatures or compound characters is slightly different from the original one).

1.1. Copyright & License

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is located at

Bijoy fonts (c) Mustafa Jabbar, Ananda Computers, 8/6 Segun Bagicha, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh.

1.2. Minimum Requirements

The test platform used were FreeBSD-4.6.0 RELEASE and RedHat-7.3. Earlier versions of RedHat won't do. Whatever is the platform, at least the following are required:

  • XFree86-4.2.0 (unsure about earlier versions)

  • KDE-3

  • KWord-1.1.1

  • TTF2PT1-3.4.3

  • Bijoy2000 fonts

  • Strong willingness to create a Bangla PDF.

There are many fonts that come with the Bijoy2000 package. In this text, to state a fontname, only "SutonnyMJ" has been used. This name can be replaced with others to meet individual needs.

1.3. Caution

After installing the Bijoy fonts and keyboard, one may be tempted to use them for purposes other than creating PDFs. But a little common sense and farsightedness will reveal that the use of a nonstandard font and keyboard like Bijoy is destined to create the same kind of chaos regarding Bangla in the Open Source environment as is now prevailing in the proprietary world. PDF is a different story though as they are font independent(if created properly) and has no chance of getting into this kind of chaos. Now what if one needs to create a Bangla text file? Easy - use Unicode. Recent developments has made it possible to write Unicode based Bangla in GTK+ 2.0 (or higher) based softwares. And the same thing is on the offing for QT (which is the backbone of KDE). Even PDFs can be created from Unicode encoded Bangla text files. This has been described in a later Section 6. So instead of relying on nonstandard softwares like Bijoy, try to use Unicode based Bangla wherever possible.