Monday, July 17, 2017

Writing in Sinhala (සිංහල) using Latex (a follow up post)

Sometime back, I wrote a blog post about preparing Latex documents with Sinhala language [1]. I received very good feedbacks for that post and encouraged me to explore more. However recently, I came across a question posted in Stack Exchange regarding Latex documents in Sinhala [2]. The nice thing was that my original blog post was mentioned in that thread. I jumped in and tried to help the person who raised the question. This attempt helped myself to understand another important thing which is about how to use any Sinhala font we want in our Latex documents.

In this article, I decided to write down those simple steps of getting a Sinhala Latex document with our favorite Sinhala font for my future reference. Here we go.

(1) First of all, we need Latex with all the packages installed in our computer. I'm using a 64-bit Ubuntu 16.04 LTS machine. I can use the following command on the terminal to install Latex with all the packages.

sudo apt-get install textlive-full

(2) Now, open your favorite text editor and create a file with the name my-example.tex and save it in some directory (folder). This is the file where we will put our text contents.

(3) Now, you need to put the Sinhala font file in the directory. I'm going to use the fond called Iskoola Potha. It comes as a file with the file extension ttf. If you want the same file I used, you can download it from here [5]. I renamed the font file name to be iskoola-pota.ttf.

(4) Now, everything is set for us to write our Sinhala contents in the Latex file. Open the my-example.tex file and put the following content there.


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\documentclass[12pt]{article}

\usepackage[a4paper,left=2.5cm, right=2.5cm, top=2.5cm, bottom=2.5cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{fontspec,xltxtra,xunicode}

\setmainfont[Extension=.ttf, Language=Sinhala, BoldFont=iskoola-pota, ItalicFont=iskoola-pota]{iskoola-pota}

\title{මාතෘකාව මෙතන ලියන්න}
\author{අසංක සායක්කාර}
\date{2017-07-16}

\begin{document}

\maketitle

\section{සිංහල}

මේ මම සිංහලෙන් සකස් කල ලිපියක්. මෙය සකස් කිරිඉමට මම \bf{ලේටෙක්} මෘදුකාංගය පාවිච්චි කලා. එය ඉතාම ප්‍රයෝජනවත් මෙවලමක් මට.

\section{English}

Some English here and there.

\end{document}


(5) It's time to generate the PDF file and see how it looks like. Run the following command from the terminal for that.

xelatex my-example.tex

Now, you may notice that there's a PDF file generated in the local directory where you had your Latex and TTF files. Open the PDF file to see your output.