Skip To Content

Nitartha-Sambhota FAQ

Q. What operating systems and platforms are required by Nitartha-Sambhota on the PC?

A. Nitartha-Sambhota runs on Windows 8, WIndows 7 and Vista. Previous versions ran on Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 (Millenium or Professional) but we no longer test the software on the older versions of Windows.

Q. Why should I upgrade to version 4?

A. Version 4 contains the SambhotaUnicode font along with a number of Ume fonts. The SambhotaUnicode font will allow users to read and write Tibetan Unicode documents using a high quality Tibetan font. Web sites using Tibetan Unicode can also be viewed using SambhotaUnicode.

The new Ume fonts offer the user a wide variety of choices for Tibetan input.

Q. Does version 4 include keyboard entry add-ins for word processors other than Microsoft Word like Open Office?

A. Not at this time. However, there are other programs like PechaMaker and Udp that have support for the Dedris and Ededris fonts. See:

Q. Can version 4 files be viewed and formatted in word processors other than Microsoft Word like Open Office?

A. Yes. Even though we do not provide keyboard entry support for other word processors, Sambhota RTF files generated in Microsoft Word can typically be viewed and formatted in other word processors like Open Office.

Q. Does the SambhotaUnicode font contain all the character stacks available in the Dedris and Ededris fonts?

A. The latest SambhotaUnicode font contains all the Tibetan-Sanskrit stacks available in the Dedris/Ededris fonts.

Q. Are version 2 files compatible with version 4?

A. Yes. The encoding of the Dedris and Ededris fonts available in version 2 has not changed. You will be able to open and edit files from the previous release.

Q. Can version 2/4 files be converted to Unicode?

A. We currently do not supply a converter however the UDP software freely available at can be used for this purpose.

Q. What word-processors are required for Nitartha-Sambhota on the PC?

A. The Nitartha-Sambhota program runs as a Microsoft Word add-in that allows you to type Tibetan directly into Microsoft Word. Nitartha-Sambhota works within commercial versions of Microsoft Word for Windows (North American editions), specifically Word 6, Word 95 (aka Word 7), Word 97 (aka Word 8), and Word 2000, and Word XP and Office 2000, 2003 and 2007 versions. For those using Word 2000+, please read the following question and answer about macro security (this is also part of the installation detailed in the documentation). For those using the Vista platform, please see the updated security procedures for those systems.

The Nitartha-Sambhota software does not always work properly with Asian versions of Microsoft Word. The Nitartha-Sambhota software does not always work properly with Chinese language keyboards.

Our software package also includes a conversion program that allows you to convert Asian Classics transliteration or Wylie transliteration to RTF documents. Such documents can be read in Microsoft Word and other word processing software. Desktop publishing software such as Quark Xpress can also import the Sambhota RTF documents.


Q. Does Nitartha-Sambhota work with newer versions of Microsoft Word runnng under Windows and Vista? (Aka: where are the Nitartha-Sambhota toolbars?)

Q. Why doesn't the Nitartha-Sambhota toolbar appear when when I open up Word or newly install the program?

A. Yes, Nitartha-Sambhota works in the newest versions of Word running under XP or Vista. However, XP and Vista and Word for Windows comes from the factory configured in a way which disables the Nitartha-Sambhota macros needed to make the program function properly. This may cause the toolbars not to appear at first. To make Nitartha-Sambhota work properly, change the macro security settings as described below in this and the following answer:

Since Word 97 was developed, there have been a slew of computer viruses that are built from MS Word macros. To help prevent this, Microsoft added macro security settings to Word 2000 and above. By default, Word 2000+ has "High Security Level" turned on when installing macros. This setting disables certain macros from being installed in Word. Nitartha-Sambhota uses macros, and as a result of the macro security setting, it may appear at first that the Sambhota program does not work with Word 2000 or XP. In fact, Nitartha-Sambhota does work, if you inform the Word macro security function that Nitartha-Sambhota macros are ok. You can do this in either of the following two ways:

1. Copy the Nitartha-Sambhota Add-in to the Startup folder for Word. The Startup folder for Word is typically in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Startup. When Nitartha-Sambhota is in the Startup folder, the Sambhota keyboard will automatically come up whenever Word is started. This allows you to keep the macro security setting on high and still use the program whenever you wish. (Note that the Tibetan input function in Nitartha-Sambhota can be turned on or off from the toolbar. The presence of the toolbars will not affect typical input in English.)

2. Alternatively, one can set the Security Level to Medium or Low. Do this by opening from the menu bar Tools | Macro | Security. The Nitartha-Sambhota will then work properly in Word.


Q. I run the Windows Vista Operating System. How do I get Nitartha-Sambhota to install and work properly?

Here are the instructions for installing Sambhota in Vista:

  1. Go to the Office Button in Word (upper left)
    Be sure the following are checked:
    1. Enable all macros
    2. Trust access to VBA
  4. Then go back to Word, choose the Office Button again.
  5. Click on Add-ins
  6. Check Sambhota (or add it)
  7. Then click on Add-ins on Menu at top to see the Sambhota toolbar

Q. Have the issues (words changing/disappearing) with Asian versions of Windows/Office and also versions of Office above XP been addressed in this new release?

A number of our users reported such issues with MS Word 2003. To our knowledge, these are problems associated with MS Word 2003 and not Sambhota. We have not experienced such problems with later versions of Word and Sambhota 4 however we have not performed extensive testing in this regard. Also, owing to limited resources, we typically test Sambhota against the US version of Word.

Q. Has the new SambhotaDege font been tested for Web Integration?

A. We have rendered web pages using the SambhotaDege font but have not performed extensive testing with regard to how SambhotaDege integrates with various web applications.

Q. Does Nitartha-Sambhota work with Japanese Word?

Microsoft implemented the Japanese version of Word so that it incorrectly assumes any character code with the MSB set to be half of a double-byte character, and forces it to be handled using a double-byte font. Non-ASCII character sets like Tibetan that use more than 7 bits are not handled properly. Nitartha-Sambhota 2 re-encodes the Tibetan fonts so that characters above character number 128 are not used. Initial testing indicates that this re-encoding has solved the problem typing Tibetan characters in Japanese Word.

Q. Are there any reported problems with version 2?

A. Nitartha-Sambhota version 2 was designed as an upgrade to fix bugs, but some minor problems have been reported. In restricted format documents, particularly traditional pecha-sized pages, there have been reports of a baseline formatting inconsistency that prevents proper alignment with the top of the page. The currently released version includes a fix for this problem. Some users have reported printing problems, but this appears to be isolated to very old printers. All printers tested by our developers have exhibited no printing problems.

Q. Why do Tibetan words input in Nitartha-Sambhota 1.0 break in the wrong place, so that sometimes lines start with the dot (tshegs) which is supposed to be the last character in the syllable?

Version 1 fonts and keyboard work well in Microsoft Word 97 (aka Word 8) but unfortunately Microsoft introduced a change in Word 97 so that the Tibetan words are not broken correctly at the end of lines (sometimes words are broken in the middle). As a result, the user has to enter hard carriage returns at the end of lines containing Tibetan. This problem has been fixed in versions 2 and above.

Explanation: Version 1 of the Sambhota software places the tseg character in the font slot for the hyphen character. MS Word 6 and 7 will break lines on a hyphen character even in symbol fonts (note that the current Sambhota fonts are implemented as symbol fonts). As a result, there are typically no problems with words breaking incorrectly in MS Word 6 and 7. Later versions of Word do not break lines on a hyphen character in a symbol font but will break lines on a hyphen character in standard fonts.

Q. Can I convert my version 1 documents to version 2 documents?

A. Not at this time. We have not completed work on a Nitartha-Sambhota v. 1.0 to v. 2.0 converter.

Q. When I click the download button at this site (for either an HTTP or FTP download), instead of downloading the file, it gets displayed as weird looking text in the browser. Why and how do I fix this?

A. The reason this is happening is because the browser is getting confused about what the data is and how to display it or download it. You either need to manually override your browser action (in Netscape, by right-clicking on the link or "I agree" button, then by selecting "save link as"), or change the automated preferences for your browser to download files that have an extension like .tar.Z or .tar.gz or .zip or .exe. To do this, you need to associate an extension with a MIME type. (In Netscape 3.0, click on Options | General Preferences | Helpers and set the pertinent extension and type as below and set to download.) Here are some of the common ones we use:

Usual ExtensionType/Subtype
bin, sfx, exeapplication/octet-stream

Character import glitches in specific programs

Q. How do I type a bindu plus datse underneath letters?

A. The file SambhotaDocumentation.doc in your Sambhota4 folder contains tables showing you how to type particular character combinations. In this case type Alt x (hold the Alt key down and type x) followed by either x, w, y, or z. The different letters, x, w, y, z support different vertical offsets.

A. Not at this time. We have not completed work on a Nitartha-Sambhota v. 1.0 to v. 2.0 converter.

Back To Top