Typing Tibetan on Windows and Linux

Typing Tibetan on Windows and Linux

Typing Tibetan with Windows

If you want to type Tibetan based on Wylie-input, then you may want to look at the following software:

  • Qomolangma Wylie. This is a Wylie input method for Windows, developed by theChina Tibetology Research Center. It is a “real” input method for Windows and may thus be more stable than the other options given below.
  • TISE is a system-wide Wylie input method for Windows. Alternatively you may want to try Denjong.
  • Users of Microsoft Word may try to use Wylie Word which allows to type Tibetan in MS Word but not in other applications.

Typing Tibetan with Linux

There are several wylie-based Tibetan input methods for Linux (e.g. UIM, SCIM). The following description however is based on IBUS and Debian Gnu/Linux. To install the Tibetan input method, the following steps are needed:

  1. Install the packages im-config, ibus, ibus-qt4, ibus-gtk3, ibus-gtk and ibus-m17n. These packages install the general input framework and ibus-m17n contains the input methods for Tibetan (and various other languages). Naturally, these packages will pull in further dependencies.
  2. run im-config and chose ibus as your input method.
  3. Log off and log in again. There should now be a new small keyboard icon in your system tray
  4. When ibus is running and the keyboard icon appears, right-click the icon to open the configuration. The really important configuration options are:
    • Tab “Input Method” – In the dropdown of input methods, select “ewts (m17n)” from the group “Tibetan”. The etws input method seems to work better than the wylie input method so it should be preferred.
    • Tab “General” / Activate or De-activate – here you can change the trigger key combination to activate or de-activate the Tibetan input. By default, CTRL+SPACE as well as a couple of other key combinations can be used to toggle the Tibetan input on and off.
  5. Confirm the configuration setings. You may have to log off from your X session and log in again.
  6. Now by pressing Ctrl+Space (or whatever other trigger key combination you configured) you can toggle the Tibetan input on and off. When the Tibetan input is switched on you can type in wylie and the input that is generated will be Unicode Tibetan.

Troubleshooting: If you have the problem that ibus does not start up properly, works only in some programs and shows no keyboard icon in the tray then you may have to run ibus-daemon -xrd at a later time after your desktop envinronment has already started – for example by adding this command to your .profile.