Inuktitut Computing

The UQAILAUT Project

Inuktitut Legacy Fonts

ProSyl, Nunacom and AiPaiNunavik

Download Prosyl and Nunacom

To type in Inuktitut syllabic characters with the legacy (non-Unicode) fonts ProSyl, Nunacom and AiPaiNunavik, all you need to do is to set the font in your application (MS Word, etc. - for input in web pages, this will be set for you) and type in the characters, following the proper keyboard layout for the font (see below). A keyboard layout1 is how the characters are associated to the keys of the keyboard. For example, the inuktitut syllabic character (tu) is associated with the key labelled 'G'. When you have any of those three fonts set as the current font, typing on the key 'G' will print the character in your application.

ProSyl et Nunacom

These two fonts do not need a special keyboard driver2. They use the same driver as regular fonts like Times New Roman. For example, in ProSyl, the code of the character is the combination of the ASCII codes of the two characters ` and t that must be successively typed in order to get it, that is, 0x60 0x74. All syllabic characters in ProSyl and Nunacom are accessible through the regular keyboard driver.

ProSyl and Nunacom have very similar layouts (also very similar to the Unicode Inuktitut Keyboard Layout Levels 1 & 2). For the most part, the basic syllabic characters are associated with the same keys in both fonts. The differences lie mostly with some punctuation marks and with how the dotted (long) syllabic characters are produced. For example, to print the character  in ProSyl, you have to type in the keys labelled ` and W, whereas in Nunacom, you have to type | and W. Of course, you could use any 'dot' key (like ` and |) with any basic syllabic character, but the placement of the dot might not be optimal with that character.

The two following figures show the keyboard layouts for the fonts ProSyl and Nunacom. They also indicate which 'dot' key to use with every short syllabic character to get the corresponding long syllabic character.

Figure 1. Inuktitut Keyboard Layout - ProSyl

Figure 2. Inuktitut Keyboard Layout - Nunacom


With AiPaiNunavik, one needs a particuler keyboard driver2, Inuttitut-Nunavik (AiPai), which define the codes to be associated with single and combined keystrokes. For example, to get the same character in AiPaiNunavik, one has to press the Alt key, and while it is pressed down, the t key. This key combination generates the code 0x86. Without this keyboard driver, the code that is generated is 0xFE, which does not correspond to any character in AiPaiNunavik. 

Inuttitut-Nunavik (AiPai) keyboard driver for Windows

  1. Download this file:

    This zip file contains the file nunaviksetup.exe which installs on Windows 95, 98, NT4, 2000 ou XP two Inuttitut-Nunavik keyboard drivers, one for Unicode, the other for AiPaiTai, as well as several fonts with the AiPaiTai characters. After you have unzipped this file and extracted nunaviksetup.exe, place it in any directory of your choice and keep the name in mind, because you will have to reach for it soon.

  2. Install the fonts and the drivers

    • Execute nunaviksetup.exe
    • Add the new Inuttitut-Nunavik (AiPai) driver
      • Open the Keyboard panel (Start/Settings/Control Panel)
      • Go to "Input locales tab"
      • Click on "Add"...
      • Select a language: - 'Norwegian' is a good choice because its two first letters, NO, as very similar to NU (of Nunavik). Make sure that you do not activate "Use default properties for this input locale"
      • Click on OK
      • In the next pop-up dialog, select "Inuttitut-Nunavik (AiPai)". (if it is not there, you might have to reboot and get back to this step)
      • Click on OK to leave the control panel.

  3. Activate Inuttitut-Nunavik (AiPai)

    In the icon box at the bottom right of your screen, there is the icon  that indicates the active keyboard driver. When you click on that icon, you get the list of all the keyboard drivers installed on your computer.  Select NO.


    This brings you to the first level of the AiPaiNunavik keyboard layout (see 'regular' in the figure below). Pressing the keys Shift, Alt, Alt+Shift will get you to the three additional levels.

Figure 3. Inuktitut Keyboard Layout - AiPaiNunavik

1 Keyboard layout: a keyboard layout is a map that indicates which character one gets in a specific font with single and combined keys.
2 Keyboard driver: a keyboard driver is a software program that associates a numerical code to a key or to a combination of keys. When you turn your computer on, it is likely set by default to use the 'English (US)' keyboard driver, which associates ASCII codes to the keys with fonts like Times New Roman.
The contents of this site was developed by Benoît Farley at the National Research Council of Canada.