Here are some pages which allow input and editing of a line of Unicode text for certain scripts. (So far, the two Plane One scripts only seem to work in the Opera browser on Windows 2000.)

Ability to display these pages depends upon your system, the fonts installed on your system, and the font preferences entered in your browser. These pages are not 'font-specific' and the default fonts on your system should be used. Sometimes it's kind of hard to tell just which default font is being used at any given time. In the Internet Explorer, some versions use the font specified for Basic Latin as the default font for all UTF-8 text. Other versions of the same browser seem to use the User Defined setting as Unicode default. In the Opera browser, there are sophisticated controls for allowing the user to select which font is used in which instance. These settings are located under [File] - [Preferences]. For Opera and these pages linked below, check the font settings for script buttons and script single line text entry.

So, here's the list:

Armenian
Bengali
Cherokee
Cirth (Unofficial, experimental Plane Fifteen)
Cirth (Unofficial, ConScript PUA Plane Zero)
Devanagari
Etruscan (Plane One)
Georgian
Gothic (Plane One)
Gujarati
Gurmukhi
Kannada
Khmer
Lao
Malayalam
Myanmar
Ogham
Old Italic (Plane One)
Old Persian Cuneiform (Unofficial, experimental Plane Fifteen)
Oriya
Runic
Tamil
Telugu
Tengwar (Unofficial, experimental Plane Fifteen)
Tengwar (Unofficial, ConScript PUA Plane Zero)
Ugaritic (Unofficial, experimental Plane Fifteen)

Once the text is in the text box, it can be copy/pasted into any Unicode-aware application. E-mail programs like the Outlook Express are Unicode-aware, even on older operating systems like Windows Millennium Edition. The text can probably be copy/pasted into non-Unicode applications, too, but the results might not be as expected.

The pages linked above are just for simple entry. You can’t insert special characters by positioning the mouse in the text and then clicking a button, but the physical keyboard can insert keyboard characters in the standard fashion. The special characters are just added to the end of the visible text.

So, if a line has been laboriously typed and an error is noticed close to the beginning, a clumsy work-around is to click the desired character, adding it to the end of the text. Then, cut/paste the character at the end of the visible text into its desired position in the customary fashion. Sorry for this, folks. It still beats typing in “〹” for each character.

If anyone has a need for one of these screen key pages for a different script or assortment of special characters, let me know. If it is a straight Unicode range, just let me know the range. If it is an assortment of characters from various ranges, please send me a plain text list, CSV, one line per character/key, decimal character number first followed by the row number.

It should look like this:

12345,1
12346,1
12347,1
et cetera.

When row one gets to somewhere between approximately nine to twelve characters assigned, change the row number to row two, and so forth.


KEYMAN - The Keyman application from Tavultesoft is the foremost application for remapping your keyboard to special characters, so that you can just input special characters directly from your keyboard into any application.
http://www.tavultesoft.com/keyman/
SCUNIPAD - A Unicode plain text editor, works on Win 9x-and-up. Even supports Plane One Deseret script on Win 9x. The package is complete and does not need any system fonts.
http://www.unipad.org
SIMREDO - A java based Unicode editor. It does not use Uniscribe, but it does handle text directionality differently than plain text. This application uses fonts installed on the user’s system and includes several keyboard layout options.

http://purl.oclc.org/net/klivo/simredoeng

The keyboard layouts for Simredo are fairly easy to make. In addition to the layouts provided with the application, here are some I’ve made based on pictures of special keyboards found on-line. The files are in ZIP format.

Note, the Simredo keyboard layouts only work in the Simredo application.

KHMER - The Khmer keyboard layout was devised by Maurice Bauhahn. More about Khmer keyboards can be learned on his page at: http://www.bauhahnm.clara.net/Khmer/Welcome.html There are some differences between the *.KMP for Simredo and Maurice Bauhahn's design. According to the information on the Simredo keyboard layout page, the “Ctrl” key is disallowed because certain control combinations are standard. So, what is “Ctrl” in his design was changed to “Alt” and what was “Ctrl plus Alt” was changed to “Shift plus Alt”. Also, was unable to make the space bar handle the special spacing characters needed. If anyone has any ideas...

LAO - The Lao keyboard layout is based upon a graphic of the DuangJan Lao keyboard found at Center for Research in Computational Linguistics, Bangkok: http://seasrc.th.net/font/font.htm

TAMIL - The Tamil keyboard is based on an image at Microsoft’s web site for internationalization.
Mac Keyboards

As of September 2004, the Ukelele tool for keyboard layouts on Macs adds support for Unicode's higher planes. Mac users may also be interested in KeyLayoutMaker. Thanks to Yves Codet for sending these links!

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