Digital Urdu Ghazal ReaderHomeContentsSettings


System Requirements

This reader has been designed to work with as many current and future web browsers as possible by sticking to the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The interface makes extensive use of Javascript, also according to these standards.

Therefore, this reader will work not work properly under older browsers that do not conform to this standard (i.e. Netscape Navigator 4). It will not work properly under Internet Explorer 6, which as of August 2006 is the browser provided by Microsoft XP. [It will work under Internet Explorer 7, which should be released soon.]

This reader also requires a contemporary operating system, i.e. Windows XP, OS X, or Linux. Windows 98 and 2000 and older versions of Apple OS will probably not work.

In order to accomodate the display of Urdu and diacritics, there is a Settings page in this reader which will allow you to select (and test) your fonts to see which works best. See the note on "Help! What fonts should I select?" below for more information.

Help with Home

From the home page, you can select which part of the reader you would like to visit. The "About the Reader" page gives you more information about the project. The "Table of Contents" provides the main contents of the reader (see below). The Settings page allows you to select your preferred fonts and font sizes. The Help page brings you here. These options are available through the reader. You can also use your browser's "back" button to move back to the previous page you visited.

Help with Table of Contents

From the table of contents page, you can access the introduction to reader and the ghazals themselves. Next to the ghazals there is a PDF icon (PDF icon). Clicking on this icon will give you a PDF of the ghazal (including Urdu text, transliteration, and vocabulary) which you can print for use in the classroom or for self-study. There are also links to more information about the authors and guides for further reading.

Help with Ghazal

The ghazal page contains three sections. The first is a "Reading Assistant." You can turn on two types of assistants here. Select the box next to "Separate Letter?" to see the separate letters of the Urdu words as you move your mouse over them (recommended for beginners!). Selecting the box next to "Transliterate?" will show you a transliteration of the Urdu words as you move your mouse over them. This is very helpful as it provides enough information to pronounce the words properly.

At the bottom of the page, there is a "Vocabulary Assistant." As you move your mouse over the Urdu words, certain words and phrases will change their background as you move over them. These words have vocabulary attached to them. If you click those words, their definition will appear in the Vocabulary Assistant. It provides the Urdu phrase, its transliteration, the grammatical case of the words, the definition, and any other markers, such as "archaic" or "for meter."

The middle section shows the ghazal text. Following every verse is a "play" icon (Play Icon). If you click it, you can listen to the verse (provided you have the Real Player plugin). Certain verses also have an "Idea" (Idea icon) icon next to them. If you click it, a notes window will appear with specific notes about the verse. Click the "Close" icon (Close icon) in the note's upper-right corner to hide it.

Help with Settings

From the Settings page, you can select with font and font size you would like to use for the text in Urdu and in transliteration in the reader. The settings page has its own "help." Click on "Help with Settings" at the bottom of its left window.


Help! What fonts should I select?

Good question. This reader allows you to select a separate font for transliteration and for Urdu script.

For transliteration, we are currently recommending the "Gentium" font. It is freely available and should work on all major platforms.

For Urdu, we are currently recommending the fonts provided by the Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing. The "Nafees Nastaleeq" font is currently the best approximate to nastaleeq (the preferred Urdu script) for use on the internet. However, it will likely not work properly under Linux or Apple OS X. The "Nafees Web Naskh" is a good solution for Linux, and should also work on Apple OS X.

You can experiment with your fonts using the Settings page.

Help! The vocabulary assistant is not at the bottom of the screen!

If the vocabulary assistant does not appear at the bottom of your screen, it means that your browser is not compliant with this reader. This reader uses current standards for style and Javascript. A more recent version of your browser might do the trick. Otherwise, you can try another browser (i.e. Firefox).

Help! My text is turning blue!

If it happens that while working with the ghazal text it turns blue (that is, usually, with a blue background and white foreground), it just means that you have selected the ghazal text (by clicking the mouse button and dragging the mouse over the text). It is a normal feature of webpages to be able to select text, and there is no way for us to turn it off. To stop this highlighting, click the mouse button somewhere within the area that is blue, and it will go away.

Help! I am seeing boxes (or question marks) where there should be letters!

If you see boxes where there should be letters, you should try a different font and perhaps a different browser (i.e. Firefox). To try a different font, use the Settings page. If you are using Apple and seeing question marks, try upgrading to the current version of OS X.

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