Ergonomic Keyboards
for Indic Scripts
Krishna Dhullipalla


Sarala is a Keyborad layout for typing Telugu in Unicode.

  • You can type directly in any application such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and other Windows applications. You don't have to do 'copy/paste' from a different editor or a web based transliteration.
  • It uses up to 40% less key strokes compared to transliteration and other keyboards, because of its ergonomic design. If you type frequently in Telugu, it helps you reduce stress on the fingers and reduces the chances of getting problems with your wrist and fingers like Carpal Tunnel syndrome.
  • For example, an article that takes 10 hours to type with other keyboards is expected to take only 6 – 7 hours with Sarala.
  • It is free and installs on your Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and all backward compatible Widows systems in a matter of seconds.
  • It comes with a free and beautiful Unicode font called Nandini.
  • It is designed based on statistical analysis of the frequency of use of the Telugu letters. (Click here for the research paper).

Comparison with other Telugu typing facilities

  • If you type only occasionally in Telugu, the generally available transliteration type of facilities on various websites include google will be fine for you. But if you type frequently in Telugu, Sarala is created for you.
  • First of all, Sarala lets you type directly into Microsoft Word and other Windows applications. You don't need to type in another web page or editor and then do copy/paste.
  • Sarala uses upto 40% less key strokes and upto 40% less use of Shift key, compared to transliteration schemes and other keyboard layouts like DOE Inscript. It reduces stress on fingers, which is some thing that you should think about, if you type in Telugu frequently.
  • You need to use Key_A many times with transliteration scheme to type common Telugu words like నారాయణ, కమల, కడప and so on, which causes undue strain on the left hand little finger. It can cause severe problems to the left hand over an extended period of time. Sarala eliminates the need to use Key_A. You can type the world కమల using Sarala with only three keystrokes Key_K, Key_M and Key_L and without using Key_A at all.
  • The placement of keys in Sarala is based on the natural frequency of usage of letters in Telugu, unlike DOE Inscript. DOE Inscript is optimized for Hindi language and the same mapping is used for Telugu also. This causes many problems. For example, DOE Inscript places very infrequently used letter like హ in the middle of the keyboard to the Key_U, which is a waste of a key in a primary position.
  • Sarala is also QWERTY friendly and makes it easy to learn. Sarala maps most of the commonly used Telugu letters to the keys that resemble English Keyboard. . క is mapped to Key_K, గ to Key_G, చ is to Key_H, త to Key_T, ద to Key_D, న to Key_N, ప to Key_P, బ to Key_B, మ to Key_M, ర to Key_R, ల is Key_L,వ to Key_V, ి to Key_I, ీ to Key_Y, ు to Key_U, ే to Key_E, ో to Key_O.
  • Other key board layouts like Roma, Indica, Apple also do not have such QWERTY friendly and ergonomic mapping.

Lear in two hours

Allow approximately one to two hours to teach yourself and one to two weeks to pick up speed. You will enjoy a life time of reduced stress on fingers with Sarala.

Please see the 'Learn Sarala in 2 Hours' document which gives you simple exercises and tips to learn Sarala.

Sarala Layout

The following layout gives the Sarala letter mapping. English letters are on the left, Telugu Letters in the base state of the key board are on the bottom right, and telugu letters in the Shift state are on the top right.

Click on the layout to see a larger size image of the keyboard layout and usage notes.

Try Sarala without downloading

Click here to go to the web version.

This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.