How to Input Pāli & Sanskrit Diacritics in MS Word Files

How to Input Pāli & Sanskrit Diacritics in MS Word Files

How to Input Pali and Sanskrit Diacritics in Word

After having a lot of people ask me how to input / type in Pali and Sanskrit diacritical marks (eg. ā ś ṣ ṛ ṭ ñ ū ī ō ṅ ṃ ṇ ḍ ḥ) in their essays, I had the chance to show this years HKU Buddhist Studies students how it is done.  This is the file, with clear and easy step by step instructions, including screen-shots of how it is done in Word 2010.

~~ Huifeng


  1. I cannot find most of the diacritical marks I need (and which you list) in the symbols section of Word, or even the character map. Do you know if there is a special download, or something needs to be activated in order for those symbols to be available? Any help greatly appreciated. This is driving me crazy.

  2. Hi Ariel,
    As the instructions, you need to not only go to the "Symbols", but you must also check the "font" that you are using. If you use a Unicode font like Tahoma, Arial Unicode MS, or the 2010 version of Times New Roman (the old version doesn't have them all), then those diacritical characters will be there. No special download required, because they are just part of the font. If you are using a non-Unicode font, then there is a definite possibility that they won't have these diacriticals. In particular, those small fonts which look really pretty but just have the basics of a, b, c ... will usually not have them at all. I'd say double check what font you are looking under in the "Symbols" pop-up box.
    ~ Huifeng

  3. Hi Ven. Huifeng

    I was just thinking that I should finally get off my backside and go assign shortcuts and all (have been meaning to for ages!), especially since I'm doing quite a bit of writing at the moment. It is handy to have your suggestions, I think I'll follow your shortcuts!

    Ed :)

    (zavk on DW)