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 (Windows)

The fonts are provided in a compressed format. Please click on the link underneath. If you 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. (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 in any case 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.


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

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

(2) Decompressing the fonts (Windows)

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.

On the more modern operating systems, you should be able to just "double-click" on the file, and it will be immediately extracted either to your Desktop or else to a folder on your hard drive, generally giving you the option of a folder to decompress into. Note where the five fonts are extracted to, so that you can install them on the next step.

Please now go to Step 3, "Installing the fonts".

If you cannot see the file to double-click on, then once the download is finished, please use "Windows Explorer" (or whatever other file navigator your operating system provides you with) so that you can find the file you downloaded in the previous step.

You can open up a copy of this Explorer by clicking on the 'Start' button on the toolbar at the bottom of your screen, then clicking on 'Programmes' and then 'Accessories' and selecting it from the list that shows up. Now find the downloaded file and double-click it to decompress it.

Please now go to Step 3, "Installing the fonts".

If the files do not automatically unzip when you double-click, then please try going to or else to where you will be able to find a decompression utility appropriate to your operating system. It will help you decompress/unzip the fonts.

Now unzip the files.

Please now go to Step 3, "Installing the fonts".

(3) Installing the fonts (Windows)

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

If you feel confident, the simplest method is to open up a "Windows Explorer". (To get one, click on the "Start" bar, select "Programs", select "Accessories", click on "Windows Explorer). Now use the Explorer to navigate to the "Windows" directory. (This is usually located on your System Drive, almost universally called the 'C' drive). Now navigate to the "Fonts" directory. Then simply drag the fonts into the Fonts directory. You are done. Please go to Step 4, "Testing the fonts".

Alternatively, you can select all the fonts by dragging a box to enclose them all using a left-click on your Windows Explorer, and then dragging. Now use your right mouse button and right-click on your selected the fonts. Select either "copy" or "cut" from the context menu that appears. Now use the immediately above methods to open up a Windows Explorer for your "Fonts" directory inside your "Windows" directory. Now right-click inside the Fonts folder and select paste from the context menu that appears. (If you did not select all of the fonts at once, then repeat this little operation for each individual font). You are done. Please go to Step 4, "Testing the fonts".

But if these do not work for you, then try the method immediately underneath.

If the above methods do not work, then click on your Start button. Select "Control Panel". If you do not see a "Control Panel" option, then select "Settings", and then under "Settings" select "Control Panel". Alternatively, you can doubleclick on the "My Computer" icon on your desktop. Once that is open, select and open up the Control Panel.

Once you have the Control Panel open, doubleclick on your Fonts folder. That will open up the Fonts folder and show you all the fonts on your system.

Once you have the Fonts folder open, click on "File" in the menu bar. That will open up a dialogue box. Navigate to the folder containing the fonts. Select them or "Add" them to the dialogue box. Hit OK. You are done. You can now go to Step 4, "Testing the fonts".

If this did not work then your Fonts folder is corrupted, missing, or has lost its "Install Fonts" option. Follow the directions immediately under to salvage the situation.

If you had trouble installing the fonts using the above method, then you will have to close Windows, and restart it in MS-DOS mode. You can do this by closing it down, and then hitting the 'F8' key a few times while it is rebooting until you get a dialogue box presenting you with various boot-up options. Select the 'MS-DOS mode' option.

Once you are in DOS mode, type cd windows and then hit the Enter or Return key to change directory to your Windows directory. (If your Windows operating system is in some other directory, then please cd to that directory).

Now type the command attrib fonts +s and hit Enter (or Return).

Shut down Windows and then restart. You can now follow the directions above to go to your Fonts folder and install the fonts. You are done. You can now go to Step 4, "Testing the fonts".

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

If you are still having trouble then you will now need to find the orginal CD-ROM that you used to first install your version of Windows.

Once you have it you will need to restart Windows in MS-DOS mode using the F8 key as above.

When you have the command prompt, type cd windows\system to go to your Windows System folder.

Type dir fontext.dll. and then hit Enter (Return).

If the file exists, then type ren fontext.dll fontext.bak to rename and backup the file.

On the original Windows original CD-ROM, find the file fontext.dll and extract or copy it to your Windows\System folder. Now restart Windows. You can then go back to the beginning of this procedure and install the fonts. You are done. You can now go to Step 4, "Testing the fonts".

If that still does not work for you, then try the instructions underneath. (You can also restore your original file, if you want to, by returning to DOS mode and typing ren fontext.bak fontext.dll and then restarting Windows).

If the above still does not work. then again restart Windows in MS-DOS mode.

Type cd windows\fonts and hit Enter (Return) to go to your Fonts folder.

Type dir desktop.ini to see if that file exists.

If the file exists, then type ren desktop.ini desktop.bak to rename the file.

Now go to your original Windows CD-ROM and copy or extract a new destop.ini file to your Windows\Fonts folder.

Now restart Windows and try again. You are done. You can now go to Step 4, "Testing the fonts".

But ... if none of these steps work for you, then you have a more serious problem regarding your fonts and the Font folder then can be assisted here. Try going to the Microsoft support pages and searching the knowledge base by putting in a suitable query. (You can also restore your original file, if you want to, by returning to DOS mode and typing ren desktop.bak desktop.ini and then restarting Windows).

(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:
(1) Download | (2) Decompress | (3) Install | (4) Test font | (5) Select browser