9. Printing

This section is all about getting high-quality Tamil output in printing. While it is one issue to load a binary font and start using Tamil in Linux, if your work is to destroy the forests, you need high-quality printing too!

9.1. LATEX

LATEX is perhaps the mother of all typographic systems. It frees the author from the trivia of typesetting and concentrate on the content. It does not use the WYSWYG input, but the end result is great. Recent developments are centered toward internationalization. Unfortunately lack of unicode standard does not permit Tamil to be tried under the more ambitious Omega Project. Once again, workaround is the only way. A first step in Tamil has been attempted by Thuraiappah Vaseeharan. You may get the the package from the tamillinux.org site. The tar ball contains a great readme file that describes the installation and usage. The tamiltex package does a short work by keeping all related stuff under one directory (which means that you need to keep your work under the same directory to compile your source files). But the great thing about this package is that it is compatible with both TSCII and TAB encodings and the results are just what you would expect from a LATEX package - great!

9.2. Postscript

Many Linux applications use Ghostscript to print, which means that you must have Ghostscript configured if you want to use Tamil in printed documents. If LATEX is there, can PostScript be far away? Not thanks to Vasee. Set the environment variable GS_FONTPATH to point to your TrueType font directory. For example, I have:

      export GS FONTPATH

You should be able to view Tamil PostScript files.

9.3. PDF

As of now, the only source to create PDF files is the PDF package. If you are able to successfully compile your source with the tamiltex package, use

pdflatex source.tex

to generate the PDF file. You should be able to view it, using xdvi or Adobe's Acroread for Linux.