Sign of the times

Sign of the times

The harmonious union of the Devnagri “ra" and the Roman “r" has ensured that the Indian currency has its own symbol. And while we’re celebrating India’s inclusion in the league that includes the US (dollar, $), Japan (yen, ¥), European Union (euro, €), and Britain (pound sterling, £), some of us haven’t quite managed to make use of the rupee symbol in our everyday lives, such as in presentations or on Web pages.

The good news is that before the rupee symbol gets incorporated into keyboards, there are tools that allow you to integrate it in your documents.

Foradian Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a Mangalore-based technology firm, was among the first to release a font-based version of the new symbol. It can be downloaded from Foradian Technologies ( and is easy to install. “Font creation is not a difficult task, any one with basic coding knowledge can create a font. What made us click was the fact that it is simple to use for a layman. Simple to you and stupid to IT snobs," says Unni Krishnan Koroth, CEO, Foradian Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The font has touched the mark of three million-plus downloads from the official blog, excluding the link-backs.

For Microsoft Office: Download the rupee font and install the file to the “font" folder of your PC. Open your word processor and select the rupee font. Once downloaded and installed, you can use it in your applications by changing the font in the drop-down menu. To type the symbol, use the grave accent key () above the tab button.

For Microsoft Excel: Download as indicated above. Then go to settings, select control panel and choose regional and language option to customize it. Then click currency tab and put currency symbol as “" and click “Ok". Now go to your excel sheet, click format cell (keyboard short cut: Ctrl + 1). Click on Number tab and then select currency as “" and “Ok" it. Select fonts as Rupee_Foradian.ttf and you are ready to use the new symbol in the Excel sheet.

For Mac OS: Download the file from the Foradian blog. Copy the .ttf file to the .font directory under the user home directory. Run the command “fc-cache" and it is ready for use across all the applications. For more details, log on to

For Ubuntu OS: Download the font and run the .ttf file. Open the font and click “install" at the bottom of the font viewer.

For Linux OS: Download the file, copy it to “/usr/share/fonts" or “/usr/local/share/fonts or /home/<username>/.fonts". To install fonts, run “gksu nautilus/usr/share/fonts/truetype". Create a new directory and put all your fonts in it. Update the cache with command “sudo fc-cache -f -v". Log off and login again to see the font available in every application. For more details, log on to

For Lotus Notes: Download the font from Foradian blog. Paste the font file to “c:lotusnotesjvmlibfonts" directory. To use, select “Rupee Foradian Font" in the font drop-down menu.

For Web pages: After a lot of research we stumbled upon a CSS, a Web page style sheet, which will help in integrating the rupee symbol on the Web pages. The project is hosted on GitHub and details on using it are available at To use the file, include the CSS file available on Add the tag “<span style="font-family: rupee;">R&;lt;/span>" at all the places where the symbol has to be used. For more technical details, log on to The blogger has also developed a script which when installed will automatically replace all “Rs" and “INR" on existing Web pages with the symbol. It has been tested for Firefox 3.6, IE 8 and Chrome5.

Keyboard font: Foradian Technologies has also come out with a keyboard layout form, that way you don’t have to buy a new keyboard with a rupee symbol. Download the keyboard font from Foradian Technologies blog. This is in compliance with Unicode standards and is compatible with Windows.

Instructions: Download the Rupee Keyboard zip file and extract the contents. First you have to install the .exe files, so double click on Rupee installer.exe and Keyboard Install.exe, one by one. The Keyboard Install.exe will install the keyboard layout, while Rupee installer.exe will install the font. To enable the keyboard layout selector, right click on the task bar and select language bar from the toolbars menu. A small keyboard icon will appear on the task bar, select Rupee Foradian Keyboard Layout. Now you can use the grave accent key by selecting the Rupee Fordian Keyboard Standard font. You can set Rupee Foradian Standard as the default font in browser and start using the rupee symbol in applications such as Gmail, Twitter or Facebook.


If you like a more permanent solution, then the TVS keyboard with the new rupee symbol key (grave accent key) is an option you can consider. It’s called the TVS Gold Bharat Keyboard and is priced at Rs1,495.