The Anjal key layout was created by Muthu Nedumaran in 1993. It was the default keyboard for the free version of Murasu Anjal software which became extremely popular because of it’s simplicity and ease of use. It was the first input method software that transliterated keystrokes from English into Tamil letters on-the-fly. Prior to this, users had to type in a predefined scheme using English letters and then run it through a programme in order to convert the text to Tamil. Many applications written by others, including Google, implemented input methods similar to Anjal at a much later time. Although they call it by different names, the name ‘Anjal Kayboard’ remains in the minds of users who have been using this input method for a long time.
Anjal is based on the phonetic mapping of Tamil letters to those of English. The table below shows the mapping that was first introduced in 1993. Sellinam 4.0 for Android and Murasu Anjal Muthal Nilai edition for Windows added some new features to the original mapping. While users can continue to use the original mapping without any issues, the new features will make typing even easier. Especially when correcting errors with vowel-signs and vowels on the spot. The new features are described at the end of this article.
Original Anjal Key Mapping (1993)
|ஆ||aa or A||ச்||c or s|
|ஈ||ii or I||த்||t|
|ஊ||uu or U||ற்||R|
|ஏ||ee or E||ய்||y|
|ஓ||oo or O||வ்||v|
|ஷ்||sh||ந்||w or n-|
|ஶ்ரீ||sri||ன்||n or W|
Note: mapping of upper-case-W to ன் was introduced in the new Anjal keyboard (March 2015)
1. Compound letters (உயிர்மெய்)
To get compound letters , type the base consonant followed by the respective vowel.
2. Elongated vowels (நெடில்)
To get elongated vowels type the same vowel twice or upper case letter.
3. Words with ன்ற்
Type ‘ndr’ to get ன்ற்.
4. Words with ற்ற்
Type ‘tr’ to get ற்ற்.
5. Words with ண்ட்
Type ‘nd’ to get ண்ட்.
6. Words with ந்த்
Type ‘nt’ to get ந்த்.
7. Words with ஞ்ச்
Type ‘njj’ to get ஞ்ச்.
8. Words beginning with the letter ந
When n is typed after a space, tab or Return key, it will automatically produce ‘ந்’.
|anta naaL||அந்த நாள்|
New Key sequences introduced in March 2015
9. Vowel rotation
When a vowel is typed after another vowel, the second vowel replaces the first vowel. The same is applicable for vowel-signs. This helps with correcting vowels or vowel-signs on the spot without having to delete the earlier character first.
Example: Let’s assume you want to type கி. The keystrokes for கி is ‘ki’. If you typed ‘ko’ by mistake, you will get கொ. To change this to கி, you had to first delete கொ completely and then type ‘ki’ again.
With the new Anjal keyboard, you can just type ‘i’ immediately to change கொ to get கி.
The table below shows the keystrokes and the output:
10. Escaping automation with ‘f’
The ‘f’ key can be used to tell Sellinam not to add intelligence to the strokes. For example, if you want to type two vowels next to each other without a space, you can use the ‘f’ key in-between the two. Likewise, if you do not want ‘nd’ to become ‘ண்ட்‘ in spoken words like ‘ஏன்டா’, you can type the ‘f’ in between ‘n’ and ‘d’. The following table demonstrates these two examples: