An easier Nepali keyboard layout

As I wrote in my (excruciatingly long and bor­ing) ar­ti­cle on the Nepali lan­guage and Unicode, typing in Nepali does­n’t have to be a pain. You are ab­solutely free to make your own key­board lay­out to type in Nepali Unicode (which, by the way, has much bet­ter fonts than Preeti and Sagarmatha). In fact, a few months ago, I made my own key­board lay­out be­cause there’s no way I’m go­ing to be able to cram the ran­dom key map­pings of the tra­di­tional Nepali typ­ing lay­out. Sorry dad, your son has re­nounced an­ces­tral typ­ing for good.

The lay­out I made is heav­ily based on the LTKs pho­netic key­board lay­out (which is quite good on it’s own). I made my lay­out to help me write code in the मनसा pro­gram­ming lan­guage. If you’d like to try out the lan­guage or the key­board lay­out in your browser, head over to

Download the Keyboard layout

The key­board lay­out is as sys­tem­atic and fluid as I could make it. You should be able to get a grasp for the lay­out in about half an hour. Here are a few point­ers to help you learn quicker.

  • Nepali consonants are generally placed right in the key where their English consonant counterparts live. So is in key 'k', is in key 'p', is in key 'c' and so on.
  • Aspirate counterparts of consonants live in the uppercase letters. So which is the aspirate counterpart of lives in capital 'K' key. Similarly which is aspirate counterpart to lives in capital 'C' key.
  • Half-forms (न्‍, च्‍, क्‍ etc) are automatically formed when you use the हलन्त character, which is in the key '/'. For more information on this mechanism, consult my article on Unicode.
  • क्ष, त्र, ज्ञ, and श्र are compound consonants. Get them by typing in the constituent characters: क्ष, त्र, ज्ञ, and श्respectively.
  • There are some inconsistencies because some distinct Nepali phonemes are allophones for the English language. For example both and are 'D' in English. To mitigate this issue, the letter had to be moved to an unused key 'x'. I'm sorry this had to be done but it has to be done.
  • Important: is not the same as अा. There's a separate key for आ. Don't first type in then the key separately. Avoid this minor mistake to not seem like a middle-aged parent who has just learnt to use Facebook.

Download for Windows here

To in­stall this key­board on Windows, just down­load the lay­out, un­zip, in­stall us­ing setup’ file. You might have to re­boot af­ter in­stalling. Then:

  • Go to Start menu and click on Settings.
  • Click on Time & language (Speech, region, date).
  • Find and open Region & language settings.
  • Under Languages, click on + Add a language.
  • Find and choose नेपाली Nepali.
  • Click on नेपाली (नेपाल) Nepali (Nepal).
  • Pick the keyboard layout by clicking on the keyboard icon and selecting 'np-nirav'.
  • You're done. Have fun typing in Nepali.
  • PS: You might have to take some obvious extra steps. I don't remember much because it has been a long time since I used Windows.