A few days ago, I was contacted by IT for Change to make a video presentation on importance of Free Software in education to teachers in Hindi. When I was making slides in LibreOffice Impress, I saw some problems with Hindi typing. First, I was not able to set the input language to Hindi and second, the fonts in LibreOffice Impress weren’t rendering correctly.

So I asked my friend Raghu for help on how to type in Hindi and how to fix the issue, who helped me. I am documenting my findings here for future reference or helping other people.

I am using PureOS with KDE right now. The same should work in other GNU/Linux distros too, at least in Debian-based ones.

To type in Hindi, go to System Settings -> Input Devices -> Keyboard -> Layouts -> Add layout

To add the layout, fill the following details:

  • Limit selection by language: Any language

  • Layout: Indian (They have written ‘Indian’ as a language, which should be ‘Hindi’)

  • Variant: default

  • Label: in

Click ‘Ok’.

Tip: Ctrl + Alt + K keys is the shortcut for switching the input language.

That sets up typing in Hindi.

KB Devanagari InScript text 1
Mapping of inscript Hindi keyboard

Now for the problem of fonts, Raghu suggested me to download fonts-lohit-deva package which downloads Lohit Devanagari font. After downloading, run the command fc-cache -v | grep lohit to see if lohit is there. If it is there, we are good to go.

In LibreOffice Impress, I changed the font to ‘Lohit Devanagari’ and the problem got fixed.

At last, I made the slides and recorded the video, which you can watch here.