Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Dzongkha text appear as boxes (or question marks) in my word processor?


The empty box (or question mark) is the default glyph for a character missing from a font.

This problem occurs either a) when Dzongkha Unicode fonts are not properly installed on a computer system; b) when the user formats Dzongkha text with a Roman font that does not contain glyphs for Dzongkha characters; or, c) when a user attempts to use old, non-standard, Dzongkha fonts to display Dzongkha Unicode text.


  1. Downloaded and install the DDC Dzongkha Unicode fonts.
  2. Make sure your text is formatted with a Unicode compatible Dzongkha Unicode font (i.e.DDC Uchen, DDC Wangdi, or Jomolhari).
    • If you aere using OpenOffice Writer make sure Dzongkha fonts are configured as the default fonts for CTL text.
    • If you are using Microsoft Office Word it is advisable to create specific styles for Dzongkha and use these to format Dzongkha text as described in the instructions for Word 2003 and Word 2007.
  3. Never try to use old Dzongkha fonts for Unicode text. Old 8-bit Dzongkha fonts such as DR Kunzang, Gelong Rinchen, or Dzongkha Calligraphic are not compatible with Unicode. These old, non-standard fonts, put or map Dzongkha glyphs to character codes reserved for Latin text and so cannot be used to display Unicode Dzongkha text. Unicode compatible fonts use different standardized character codes specifically reserved for the Dzongkha script and also contain special lookup tables which the text display system uses to properly form Dzongkha conjuncts or ligatures.

Why are Dzongkha letters displayed overlapping and not joined up properly on my system?


If Dzongkha text appears as in the first example above, this means your application is not making use of Complex Text Layout for OpenType fonts.


  1. If your application has an option or setting for enabling complex text layout, first make sure it is enabled [e.g. for OpenOffice: select Tools ► Options ► Language Settings ► Languages and in the dialog box under “Enhanced Language Support” enable the check box next to “Enabled complex text layout (CTL)”].
  2. On Windows XP make sure you have carefully followed the instructions on Updating Uniscribe.
  3. If that fails to work, copy the version of Uniscribe (usp10.dll) which comes with the update uniscribe utility into the program folder of your application ( e.g. for OpenOffice on Windows XP, copy that version of usp10.dll into the C:\Program Files\ 3\program\ directory).

Please note: there are still some applications which claim to support Unicode but do not have support for Complex Text Layout.

Why are Dzongkha letters displayed disconnected or broken up on my system?

This problem occurs


  • Delete the Arial Unicode font from your system. - Note: Even if you don't have this problem, it is a good idea to delete the Arial Unicode font from your system since it often interferes with the way Dzongkha and Tibetan work in Windows.

When I type Dzongkha why does the keyboard revert to English input when I type a tsek character?


This problem occurs in Windows when switching Keyboards or Input Languages has been assigned to the Grave Accent key on your system.


Go to: Control Panel ► (Clock Language and Region) Change Keyboard and other input methodsChange KeyboardAdvanced Key settingsChange Key Sequence. Then:

  • In the Change Key Sequence dialog, under Switch Input Language, check Left Alt + Shift.
  • In the same Change Key Sequence dialog, under Switch Keyboards, check Ctrl + Shift.


When I type Dzongkha in Windows why does the font often change to Microsoft Himalaya?


  1. In Microsoft Word the default font for Dzongkha is not properly set to another font.
  2. Microsoft Word does not recognize the Dzongkha keyboard as the keyboard for a complex script language and so does not use the font you have
  3. Microsoft Himalaya is set as the default font for Tibetan script in Windows' global composite font files. 


1. Create styles for Dzongkha text in Microsoft Word

Please follow the appropriate instructions elswhere on this website:

  • Instructtions for Word 2003
  • Insructions for Word 2007
2. In Windows 7 or Windows Vista assign the Dzongkha Keyboard to the Tibetan Language

Microsoft includes some limited support for Tibetan in Windows - and Tibetan is recognized by Windows as a complex script language. However, since Microsoft have not included any support for Dzongkha, Dzongkha is not recognized by Windows as a complex script language - and Windows does not recognize that the Dzongkha language uses the same characters (alphabet) as the Tibetan language.


3. Modify the Windows global composite font files
   a. Modifying Global Font files in Windows XP
  • Go to your fonts folder (usually C:\WINDOWS\Fonts\)
  • Find the Global Serif  font (GlobalSerif.CompositeFont) file
  • Open this file with Notepad
  • Find the section that says: <!-- Tibetan   0F00-0FFF -->
  • Under that heading find the line: Target   = "Microsoft Himalaya"

Change this line to: Target = "DDC Uchen" (or the name of another Dzongkha font you wisht to use as your default Dzongkha font.)

Save the file.

The same steps may be applied for the "Global Monospace" and "Global Sans Serif" composite font files


   b. Modifying Global Font files in Windows Vista and Windows 7
- This is difficult to do. We are currently working on a solution