Updated 09-Aug-2017 • tags apps, pickers, tamil
This Unicode character picker allows you to produce or analyse runs of Tamil text. Character pickers are especially useful for people who don't know a script well, as characters are displayed in ways that aid identification.
If something is broken or missing raise an issue. For version information see the Github commit list.
The controls just above the text area allow you to interact with the text in various ways. They nearly all work on highlighted text within the text area, or if there is no highlight, on all the text. Controls near the bottom of the picker allow you to change font, font size, line-height, text direction, etc.
Sample text If you want to add some sample text to the text area, click on the icon.
Fonts To properly display the text you will need to choose a font that is loaded on your system or device, or use the web font downloaded with the page (Noto Sans Tamil). The font list contains fonts that can be found on the Mac and Windows. See more information about standard OS fonts in Mac and Windows.
When working on an iPad or similar device, you should turn off
Autofocus (just below the text area). This prevents the keyboard popping up after you input every character. You may also need to select a character twice to add it to the output field.
Includes characters in the Unicode Tamil block.
All text is output in Unicode normalisation form NFC by default. You can change to NFD or no normalisation by clicking on the buttons in the yellow area. Note that normalization only takes place when you click on a character - text pasted into the box won't be normalised until you click on another character above, or click on a button in the yellow area.
This is where you see characters appearing as you select them from the panels lower down or where you paste text into the picker. Once you have some text here, you can perform various operations on it, or simply copy it to the clipboard for use elsewhere.
Controls above the input box allow you to run various operations on the text in the box. Most of them work on what you have selected within the box, or the whole box if nothing is selected.
Copy, select, delete, etc. (). The icons on the left above the input box allow you (listing them from left to right) to copy the text to the clipboard, select the text, delete it, generate a URL to share with others that will reproduce for them what you see in the text box, add some sample text to the text area, and open this help file.
Show codepoints. Produces a list of the Unicode code points in the input box. You can usually follow a link from a code point item to more detailed information about that character.
Convert to escapes. Opens a new window for the converter app, which shows various different ways of representing the text in the input box using escapes.
Tamil to ISO. Produces an ISO-15919 transliteration, that basically latinizes the Tamil characters. The result doesn't normally tell you exactly how to pronounce the Tamil text, but each Tamil character is represented by a unique sequence in Latin, with a few exceptions. This transcription should produce fully conformant output.
ISO to Tamil. Produces Tamil text from an ISO-15919 transcription.
Make example. This may be useful to speed up the creation of examples. You can create an example with four parts, delimited by /, in the following order:  Tamil text,  transliteration,  IPA transcription,  meaning. You don't need to add all four elements, but if you want to skip one in the middle of the sequence, use nothing between the slashes.
For example, the following:
தமிழ் அரிச்சுவடி/tamiḻ ariccuvaṭi/t̪ɐmɨɻ aɾiˈ͡tʃːuʋaɖi/Tamil script
<span class="charExample"><span class="ex" lang="ta">தமிழ் அரிச்சுவடி</span> <span class="trans">tamiḻ ariccuvaṭi</span> <span class="ipa">t̪ɐmɨɻ aɾiˈ͡tʃːuʋaɖi</span> <span class="meaning">Tamil script</span></span>
To get just the Tamil and the meaning you would use:
தமிழ் அரிச்சுவடி///Tamil script
Character markup. This may be useful to speed up the creation of markup for a specific character or set of characters. Select one or more characters in the text area, then click this button. It will return something like the following for each of the characters:
<span class="codepoint"><span lang="ta">௵</span> [<span class="uname">U+0BF5 TAMIL YEAR SIGN</span>]</span>
When you add it to your document, it will look like this.
௵ [U+0BF5 TAMIL YEAR SIGN]
This area receives the output of various tools. Note that the text is editable.
The icons to the right ( ) allow you to copy the contents of this area to the clipboard, insert the contents into the main text area, or close this subwindow, respectively. When you insert the contents of this subwindow into the main text area, the text will overwrite any highlighted text, otherwise it will just be inserted at the current cursor position.
Some conversions produce ambiguous output. In this case, you will be offered two alternatives on a yellow background, eg. presents you with the alternatives 'h' or 't'. Simply click on the alternative you want, and the picker will discard the rest.
As you mouse over characters in the selection areas of the picker, you will see the code point and character name appear here.
When working on an iPad or similar device, you should set this to Off. This prevents the keyboard popping up after you input every character.
The vertical grey bar to the left allows you to turn on/off a number of panels that can help create the text you want.
Default. Turns off all input aids and closes all panels.
Hinting. Changes the selection area so that, when you mouse over a character, characters that are similar in appearance, and may be easily confused, are automatically highlighted. This can be particularly useful for people who are not familiar with the script, to avoid confusing similar characters, or to find the right character when two or more look similar.
Shape lookup. This adds a row of orange pictures that represent basic shapes associated with the Tamil characters. When you click on a picture, characters that incorporate that shape are highlighted. This is particularly helpful for those who don't know the script at all and want to pick characters based on their shape, or for those times when you just can't find the character you want and need a hint.
Each orange key below the table represents a significant part of the shape of two or more characters; when you click on the keys, characters and combinations of characters that incorporate that shape are highlighted above. Click on these characters to add them to the output.
At the same time as highlighting characters above, clicking on the orange shapes can produce characters below. These are combinations of characters, often in conjunct form. You can also click on these to add them to the text area.
Latin characters. Displays a panel of lowercase Latin characters you are likely to need for transcription. Click on them to add them to the text area.
ISO transcription. Displays a panel of lowercase Latin characters. Clicking on those generates Tamil text.
Left-hand controls. These controls at the bottom of the page allow you to modify fonts used, the font size, line height, and the height of the text area.
Search for. If you are searching for a particular character and know (at least part of) the name or the codepoint, type that in the search box and hit return. All characters with matching text in the name or codepoint number will be highlighted. The highlighting is only removed when you click on the X next to the search input field. You can also use regular expression syntax to improve your search results. For example, to find the letter 'ha', but not 'gha' etc, you can use \bha\b (or the shortcut, :ha:).
Click on more controls to reveal the less commonly used controls described here.
Normalise. All text is added to the main text area in Unicode normalisation form NFC by default. You can change to NFD or no normalisation by clicking on the buttons in the yellow area. Note that normalization only takes place when you click on a character – text pasted into the box won't be normalised until you click on another character above, or click on a button in the yellow area.
Change table font. Allows you to change the font and size of the characters you click on in the main selection areas.
CC base. You would normally expect combining characters, such as accents and vowel signs, when displayed alone to be associated with a dotted circle, however these font glyphs are handled inconsistently from one browser/font to the next. The picker is set up for a given web font initially, but if you change the table font you may need to do something to ensure that combining characters display in a way that helps you click on them.
The CC base control allows you to specify a base character that will be used before each combining character (or no base character). This should hopefully help for most font and browser combinations.