Microsoft Typography | Developer information | Specifications | OpenType font development
Tamil OpenType Specification

Creating and supporting OpenType fonts for the Tamil script

This document presents information that will assist font developers in creating fonts for the Tamil script covered by the Unicode Standard 3.1. The Tamil script is used to write the Tamil language of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, as well as minority languages such as Badaga. Tamil is also used in Sri Lanka, Singapore and parts of Malaysia. The Tamil script has fewer consonants than other Indic scripts and has only one consonant conjunct.

Font developers will learn how to encode complex script features in their fonts, choose character sets, organize font information, and use existing tools to produce Tamil fonts. Registered features of the Tamil script are defined and illustrated, encodings are listed, and templates are included for compiling Tamil layout tables for OpenType fonts.

This document also presents information about the Tamil OpenType shaping engine of Uniscribe, an operating system component responsible for text layout.

In addition to being a primer and specification for the creation and support of Tamil fonts, this document is intended to more broadly illustrate the OpenType Layout architecture, feature schemes, and operating system support for shaping and positioning text.


Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Companies, names, and data used in examples herein are fictitious unless otherwise noted. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation.

this page was last updated 20 March 2002
2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Microsoft, MS, Windows, NT, MS Word and OpenType are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. TrueType is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.

Tamil OpenType Specification
Microsoft Typography | Developer information | Specifications | OpenType font development