[IAEP] How do I switch the keyboard to another character set?

Gary Martin garycmartin at googlemail.com
Sun Dec 26 03:47:58 EST 2010

Hi Caryl,

On 26 Dec 2010, at 06:42, Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hi...
> If one had a simple overlay with the Urdu keyboard symbols on it, what would be the exact procedure for switching the keys to Urdu?  I tried in My Settings-> Keyboard-> Urdu -> Urdu Pakistan, but the result was a lot of little squares with symbols in them... maybe hex code?

Not my place of expertise, and I don't know if Urdu is specifically supported or not, but sounds like your keyboard switch went just fine. What you need to be aware of is:

1) The activity you try to type into needs to support an extended range of possible characters, usually this is utf-8. You've probably heard of ASCII, well that defines the small set of roman characters along with a few accents and symbols western users are used to, utf-8 defines a much larger range of characters allowing many more scripts). If utf-8 input is not supported by an activity, when you type you'll likely often see several fairly arbitrary characters being inserted for each single key press.

2) The OS build needs to have a font that actualy has characters defined for the language script you are trying to use, if there are no available fonts to cover a script, little square symbols are usually what are shown instead. If your activity has control over using different fonts you might need to pick a font yourself that has Urdu characters defined (though I think there is a fallback scheme in some cases that picks a character from some other default font if the current font is missing that symbol).

So, I guess the questions are, what activities did you try typing text int? What build of Sugar are you using? If testing in the Write activity, did you go through the different fonts. As a slightly different test, have you tried changing the language to Urdu to see if activities/Sugar shows the text localised (if that works you know you at least have a good font somewhere)?

One last point is that fonts that include many language scripts can be HUGE files, so it would not surprise me, given the XO storage limitations, that Sugar builds for specific deployments might likely have been specially customised to include certain neede scripts, they may not be included in more generic releases.


> They look similar to what I have seem from some of my multilingual acquaintances on Facebook.
> Anybody know how to do this?
> Caryl
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