Bengali input methods
Bengali input methods refer to different systems developed to type Bengali language characters using a typewriter or a computer keyboard.
Fixed computer layouts
With the advent of graphical user interfaces and word processing in the 1980s, a number of computer typing systems for Bengali were created. Most of these were originally based on Apple Macintosh systems.
Borno (Bengali: বর্ণ) is a free Bengali input method editor developed by Jayed Ahsan.Borno is compatible with the latest version of Unicode and all versions of Windows OS. It was first released in 9 November 2018.
Borno supports both fixed and phonetic keyboard layouts. It supports both ANSI and Unicode.
Shahidlipi was the first Bengali keyboard developed for the computer by Saifuddahar Shahid in 1985. It was a phonetic based layout on QWERTY for Macintosh computer. This keyboard was popular until the release of Bijoy keyboard. There were about 182 characters and half part of conjunct characters under Normal, Shift, AltGr, and Shift AltGr layer.
Munier keyboard layout comes from a Bengali typewriter layout named Munier-Optima. In 1965, Munier Choudhury redesigned the keyboard of Bengali typewriter in collaboration with Remington typewriters of the then East Germany. Munier-Optima was the most used typewriter in Bangladesh. So, many software developers implemented this layout on their keyboard. This layout is optimized for Unicode by Ekushey.
This keyboard layout is designed in order to type all the indic scripts with a uniform layout on computer. This layout is officially accepted by Microsoft Corporation and is provided by default in their Windows operating system. It is also available on macOS, alongside Bengali-Qwerty. This layout is mainly popular in India.
Bijoy keyboard layout is a proprietary layout of Mustafa Jabbar. It is licensed under the Bangladesh Copyright Act 2005. Bijoy keyboard, with related software and fonts, was first published in December 1998 for Macintosh computer. Windows version of Bijoy Keyboard was first published in March 1993. The first version of Bijoy software was developed in India (possibly by an Indian programmer). Subsequent versions were developed in Bangladesh by Ananda Computers' team of developers including Mustafa Jabbar who worked for Bijoy 5.0, popularly known as Bijoy 2000. Version 3.0 is the latest version of Bijoy layout. Bijoy keyboard was most widely used in Bangladesh until the release of Unicode based Avro Keyboard. It has a different AltGr character and vowel sign input system with its software than the Unicode Standard. This ASCII-Unicode based Bengali input software and requires the purchase of a license to use on every computer.
Baishakhi keyboard is developed by Society for Natural Language Technology Research (SNLTR). It is mainly used in Indian governmental work. This layout is available in most common Linux Distribution OS.
Gitanjali Keyboard is customized for Unicode compliant to Uni Gitanjali Keyboard by Society for Natural Language Technology Research (SNLTR). It is mainly used in Indian governmental work. This layout is available in most common Linux Distribution OS.
Disha keyboard is based on Probhat layout and created by Sayak Sarkar. This layout is available the m17n database as proposed by Ankur Group. This keyboard aims to create a visual typing method for Bengali.
Phonetic computer layouts
Akkhor (Bengali: অক্ষর) pronounced ôkkhôr Bangla Software, developed by Khan Md. Anwarus Salam, was first released on 1 January 2003 for free. The Unicode/ANSI-based Akkhor Keyboard is compatible with fixed keyboard layouts, including the Bijoy keyboard. Akkhor also provides a customization feature for designing fixed keyboard layouts. It provides a Keyboard Manager which works system wide and also provides an independent Akkhor Word processor.
Avro Keyboard (Bengali: অভ্র কী-বোর্ড), developed by Mehdi Hasan Khan, was first released on 26 March 2003 for free. It facilitates both fixed and phonetic layouts. Avro phonetic allows a user to write Bengali by typing the phonetic formation of the words in English language keyboards. Avro is available as a native IME on Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux distributions.
Google Bengali Transliteration
There is a free transliteration web site and software package for Bengali scripts from google.
Microsoft Bengali transliteration
Bangla Onkur (Bengali: অঙ্কুর) pronounced onkur, developed by S. M. Raiyan Kabir, was first released on 30 March 2011 as an open-source software. It facilitates only phonetic typing in Macintosh platform. Bangla Onkur phonetic allows a user to write Bengali by typing the phonetic formation of the words in English language keyboards. This is the first phonetic input method developed for Mac OS X.
This is an m17n library which provides the Saon (Bengali: শাওন) Bengali input method for touch typing in Bengali on Linux systems and the project was registered by its creator, Saoni at SourceForge on 8 July 2012. This free and open source IM is Unicode 6.1 compliant in terms of both normalization and number of keystrokes used to input a single character. Saon Bengali enables touch typing so if a user can type in English, they won't have to look at the keyboard to type in Saon Bengali. It is also phonetic and has something in common with all Bengali phonetic layouts making the transition smooth for new users. As of Jul 2012 it not yet a part of the m17n-contrib which allows installation of all m17n contribbed libraries through Linux's software channels and it may be too early to say whether it will be incorporated. This depends firstly on its author and then if it is offered to m17n then probably on m17n. The m17n IM engine currently works with IBus inter alia on Linux. The copyright notice on Saon says, "You can redistribute this and/or modify it under the GNU LGPL 2.1 or later"
Mobile phone layouts
There is also software for users for typing Bengali on mobile phones and smartphones.
Bijoy Keyboard or Bijoy Bangla (Bengali: বিজয় কিবোর্ড বা বিজয় বাংলা) is the first mobile keyboard for Android and iOS. But in 2015 they released it again and name it Bijoy Bangla only for Android. Bijoy Bangla is for writing Bangla in Unicode System with Bijoy Keyboard. It use the Bijoy layout which is almost same as Jatiyo layout. Users can type in Bengali and English using this keyboard.
Ridmik Keyboard (Bengali: রিদ্মিক কীবোর্ড), is the input system with advanced UI and also the most popular keyboard for Android users. Users can type in Bengali with Avro Phonetic (Bengali: অভ্র), Probhat (Bengali: প্রভাত), National (Bengali: জাতীয়) and as well as English layouts. It also comes with many Emojis and background themes. And features like "Voice Typing" input system and Cut, Copy, Paste by long pressing on X, C, V are unique.
In Parboti Keyboard (Bengali: পার্বতী কীবোর্ড) Users can type in Bengali and English using this keyboard. Also users can edit fixed layout by their own choice.
Google Indic Keyboard
Google Indic Keyboard is an Android keyboard that supports several Indic languages, including Bengali. It offers a handwriting input method and a Latin letter transliteration layout, as well as a traditional Bengali keyboard.
Borno (Bengali: বর্ণ) is the first open-source Bangla input method editor for Android, maintained and developed by Jayed Ahsan. It's licensed under GPL 3.0. It also comes with both phonetic and fixed keyboard layouts, an option for adding PC QWERTY layout is also present. It also features horizontal emojis.
- "Shahid Lipi". Shahid Lilpi – Google site. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "শহীদলিপির ইতিহাস-৩". Shahid Lilpi – Google site. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "What We've Lost". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "Ekusheyr Shadhinota "UniJoy" Layout". Ekushey. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "The m17n Library". Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- Mustafa Jabbar. "বাংলা শব্দ বিন্যাস ও বিজয় নির্দেশিকা" Dhaka: Ananda Computers, November 2015, pp. 2
- "An amazing journey from Shahid Lipi to Avro". The Daily Star. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
- "Baishakhi Bengali Keyboard – Unicode 6.3 Standard". Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "Society for Natural Language Technology Research". Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "Disha by sayak-sarkar". Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "Inventor of Akkhor". Akkhor.
- "FAQ". Akkhor.
- "Quick Tour". Akkhor.
- "Avro Keyboard". OmnicronLab.
- "Google Transliteration". google.com. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
- "Microsoft Indic Language Input Tool". Microsoft. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
- "Bangla is my life". Bangla-অঙ্কুর.
- "Saon". SourceForge.
- "Mayabi keyboard lite". Google Play.
- "Mayabi keyboard". Google Play.
- "Google Indic Keyboard". Google Play Store. Google, Inc. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- "Borno Keyboard". Borno. Codepotro. Retrieved 13 January 2020.