Getting & Installing Sanskrit fonts

Sanskrit fonts

If you would like to see the proper Sanskrit characters on this site, then you will need to install the appropriate fonts: Sanskrit98 and Translit98. (Also remember that if you want to print anything out, you can use the pdf files provided).


These two fonts are provided free of charge to the World Community by Swami Omkarananda and the kind people at the Omkarananda Ashram in Uttaranchal, India, within sight of the Himalayas and the Ganges. Thanks and acknowledgement are hereby given for their generosity in allowing the free use and distribution of these fonts for the dissemination of Sanskrit.


Installing the fonts is a simple operation: of (1) downloading; (2) decompressing; (3) installing; (4) testing; and then possibly (5) selecting an appropriate browser. Use the menu immediately underneath to take you to the instructions appropriate to your operating system:

(1) Downloading the fonts (Macintosh)

The fonts are provided in a compressed format. Please click on the links underneath representing your operating system. (If you are on Linux, Unix or some other OS you're on your own, but probably don't need the help!) You should then be able to save the file to your hard drive. The download should begin automatically.

Please be careful to note where the file is being saved as you will need to know this for Steps 2 and 3.

You might be presented with a dialogue box saying: "Save this file to disk?" or something similar. Please choose your download location and then answer "Yes" or similar.

Your desktop is probably the best idea, because then it is easiest to find. If the file simply begins downloading without consulting you, then try to note where on your hard drive the download is going.

If you are not allowed to specify the location with this method, but would like to control where the file is being downloaded to, then try 'right-clicking', 'alt-clicking' or 'control-clicking' directly on the link itself. That should then give you the chance to select where on your hard drive you would like to place the file.


Please click on this link to download and then save a compressed file entitled SanskritFonts.sit to your hard drive.

Now go to Step 2, "Decompressing the fonts".

(2) Decompressing the fonts (Macintosh)

What happens when you have downloaded the file depends upon which type of operating system you have, and what version it is. There are 5 fonts altogether in the compressed file. There is one Sans98.ttf file to show the Sanskrit; and there is also a family of 4 Translit98.ttf files to show normal text, bold, italic and other variations.

The more modern versions of the Macintosh OS should automatically decompress the .'sit' file for you into a folder, and then show you the fonts inside. If this is so then please now go to Step 3, "Installing the fonts".

If the file does not decompress automatically, then use the Finder to locate it. Then try double-clicking it to extract the fonts into their respective folders. Note where they are extracted to so that you can install them on the next step. This is most likely to be the "System" folder. Please now go to Step 3, "Installing the fonts".

If for some reason you still cannot decompress the files, then please try going to or else to where you will be able to find a decompression utility. It will help you decompress/unzip the fonts. Now unzip the files.
When done, please go to Step 3, "Installing the fonts".

(3) Installing the fonts (Macintosh)

Now that you have the five font files, you will need to place them where your system can "see" and make use of them.

In operating systems that have it installed, font installation can be easily done using "Font Book". If necessary, use the Finder to display the fonts. Then select all the font icons and double-click on one of them. Font Book should open automatically and display, in suitable windows, what the fonts look like.

Now click "Install Font" in one of the windows. The font will be automatically installed in the Library folder of your home folder. Do the same for the other window. You are done. Please go to Step 4, "Testing the fonts".

If that does not work for you, then try the method immediately underneath.

Even without Font Book, Font installation on a Mac is usually a very simple 'drag and drop' operation. Just drag the fonts to the "System Folder". Click OK when prompted. You are done. Please go to Step 4, "Testing the fonts".

If that does not work for you, then try the method immediately underneath.

If neither of the above two steps work, then your best bet is probably to go to the Apple Support pages. Put a suitable query such as "install fonts" into the search box close to the top at the right (possibly also mentioning your particular OS), and peruse the results. It could be that all you need to do is install an updated version of Font Book. You are done. Please go to Step 4, "Testing the fonts".

(4) Testing the fonts



You should now be able to refresh or reload this page in your browser, and the correct fonts should show up automatically. You should see them both above and in the sidebar. If necessary, you can refresh the page by clicking on a single or double-arrow symbol somewhere in the menu bar at the top of your browser window. If you see the Sanskrit and transliteration correctly, then please go to Step 5: Selecting/testing your browser to familiarize yourself with a few browser issues.

If refreshing/reloading your browser once doesn't work, then try refreshing/reloading three or four times to help flush out your browser's cache. You should now be able to see some Sanskrit text and a transliteration appear on the right. If so, then please go to Step 5: Selecting/testing your browser to familiarize yourself with a few browser issues.

If that doesn't work, then close down your browser in order to clear out the cache. Then restart your browser and return to this site, and you should be able to see the Sanskrit and a transliteration clearly on the right. If so, then please go to Step 5: Selecting/testing your browser to familiarize yourself with a few browser issues.

If you still can't see the Sanskrit font, then try shutting your computer down altogether and restarting it. Then come back and try to view this page again. You should be able to see the Sanskrit and a transliteration clearly on the right. If so, then please go to Step 5: Selecting/testing your browser to familiarize yourself with a few browser issues.

If that still doesn't work, then load a word processor application of any kind (such as Word or Word Pad) that allows you to select what font you want to use, and make sure that the fonts are available as selections in that programme. If you don't see the fonts available, then you most likely have not installed them so please go very carefully through the above steps.

If you have confirmed that the fonts do exist on your system in a word-processing programme, but you still cannot see Sanskrit in your browser, then update your browser to the latest version. There is usually an option for this under the "Tools" or "Preferences" or "Help" or similar menu depending on your browser. You could also try a different browser altogether (there are some suggestions in Step 5 underneath). Another option is to reinstall your current browser in case it has become corrupted.

And if that still doesn't work … then there is no more help that can be given you here.

(5) Selecting/testing your browser

If you have no particular interest in seeing this site or the Sanskrit fonts correctly, then you can pretty much use any browser/operating system combination that you like. You are done! Also remember that if you want to print anything out, you can always use the pdf versions provided.

A) Possible issues with Cascading Style Sheets
A first issue, in viewing this site, is that it uses CSS or the current "Cascading StyleSheets" Technology. In theory, all browsers from Internet Explorer 4 and Netscape 4 onwards support CSS, but unfortunately some manufacturers interpret the CSS guidelines somewhat liberally or eccentrically, and so can have issues with displaying pages using stylesheets correctly.

Internet Explorer 4 and Netscape Navigator 4 only ever support subsets (and different ones at that) of the CSS specification. They both support CSS poorly, with NS4 being particularly bad. Unfortunately, Netscape 4 is a very popular browser, with many people loving its style and its small footprint. They tend to stick with it resolutely in spite of the fact that newer Netscape browsers have come out. We've done our best to bypass NS4's little quirks, but you might still come across the occasional little anomaly. Since stylesheets are now very common, NS4 users tend to get used to it. You should note, though, that the nice things about Netscape browsers are that (a) they are free; and (b) several different versions can coexist on the same machine without conflicts. So if you do observe any little anomalies, you are advised to root around at the bottom of the Netscape home page and then to download the latest working version of their browser and use that for that specific page ... and then (if you must!) go back to using NS4 for your regular browsing.

If you are still using Internet Explorer 4, then very little can be done to help you except to recommend that you move on to something "better"(?!). You can go here to download and install the latest version of Internet Explorer. (If that link is broken, then just go to the Microsoft home page and do a little search or follow suitable links from off that page). Understand that a problem with Internet Explorer is that since Microsoft has virtually defined browsing as a "part of the operating system", it is generally not possible to have more than one version on your hard drive at a time.

As you can see in the section underneath, there are several other browsers available to you to use that display the CSS specification correctly and without various eccentricities. You are recommended to at least try them because they all have their good and bad points. Many people do keep several different browsers available and use them for different purposes, sometimes even to look at the same site and page in different browsers in case they miss anything by only ever using one.

B) Possible issues with viewing Sanskrit font
Netscape 4, Internet Explorer 4 and Internet Explorer 5 and upwards all tend to have some difficulties with non-standard fonts and are prone to showing anomalies. In the case of NS4, this is simply because it is an old browser.

Problems with the Internet Explorer browser
In the case of Internet Explorer, however, difficulties in rendering occur simply because the Microsoft stable of families tends to interpret any and all specifications and guidelines in its own way, using proprietary Microsoft technologies. On the Windows system, therefore, Internet Explorer tends to interpret the coding for non-standard and non-European fonts in its unique way. It randomly inserts incorrect characters such as, with Sanskrit98, > for :. It also randomly inserts spaces between characters that should either abut each other directly, or else should sit vertically right above one another(because Sanskrit does use the 'stacking' principle in some cases). Unfortunately, IE does this very inconsistently. The best advice that we can give, especially if you are on Windows, is that if you really do want to see the Sanskrit characters "correctly", then you should use some other browser to view the Sanskrit pages. Try Netscape, for example, which does seem to render the Sanskrit correctly and consistently (for Sanskrit pedants, Netscape cannot handle the special conjunct consonant symbol which is therefore avoided).

Internet Explorer under Mac still also has a few issues, but less so than under Windows. If you see characters such as > ~ % $ ^ + ? + anywhere within a Sanskrit page, then you can be sure that your browser is having issues, and you should try something else.

There are other options for browsing besides Netscape. The following browsers also work just fine both with the Sanskrit font and text; and they also seem to display the CSS correctiy under the various browser version/operating system combinations that we've tested. These are all good browsers with some very nice features, and are probably worth your while checking out. Indeed, all browsers vary and interpret the code for web pages differently. If there is a web site that you go to often, then it is well worth your while to view it in a couple of different browsers because you are very likely to see things you have not seen before due to differences in browser implementation. Different browsers give priority to different things and they all have to make compromises.

Safari (for Macs only)

You can also find a list of browsers of all kinds (both the popular and the obscure) for a wide variety of operating system platforms here:
and more specifically for the Windows platform here

If you are a complete nerd and a freak or anorak of some kind (!!!!) then you can read a short history of browsers here:. We promise to tell nobody you had a quick peek!!

Fonts for Windows:
(0) Information (1) Download | (2) Decompress | (3) Install | (4) Test font | (5) Select browser

Fonts for Macintosh:
(0) Information (1) Download | (2) Decompress | (3) Install | (4) Test font | (5) Select browser