Computers and Tibetan script

All current computers and operating system support working with Tibetan script. Worst contender is Windows that has no built-in input method for Wylie.

Computer type

Tibetan display

Input methods

development

macOS

+ +

+1

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Windows

+ +

o2

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Linux KDE

+ +

+ +

+ + +

Linux Gnome

+ +

+ +

+ + +

I want to work with Tibetan texts, what’s the best choice for a new computer?

  • Working with macOS: The best overall choice for most people is a macOS laptop: everything that’s needed to work with Tibetan is already part of the operating system macOS: Tibetan fonts, Sanskrit fonts, input methods for Tibetan (caveat1) and Sanskrit diacritics are built in, and only some simple configuration steps are required to activate everything that’s needed.

  • Working with Linux KDE or Gnome: For those who are technically well versed, Linux is the best choice: Linux hardware is available at lower cost, and the possibilites, especially, if natural language processing or computational dharma are areas of interest, Linux (KDE or Gnome is just a matter of taste) is an even better choice. The trade-off is the higher technical complexity.

  • Working with Windows: For every body else: Windows it will be. There are two drawbacks: a Wylie input method is only available via a third-party plug-in that has last been updated around 2012, and it’s uncertain if it will continue to work with newer versions of windows. If the focus might be on computational dharma, then Windows is the worst choice as platform, posing more obstacles to getting things working than either macOS or Linux.
    Still, as of now it is perfectly possible to work with Windows computers and Tibetan texts.


1(1,2)

macOS Wylie support is currently quite bug ridden and is currently no more Wylie EWTS-compliant. See Working with macOS, keyboards for work-arounds and details.

2

Windows does not come with a Wylie input method. Support for Wylie hinges on third-party tools with uncertain long-term availability. Alternatively Windows’ own Tibetan keyboard, which is non-Wylie, can be used.