Malayalam Input Method

Swanalekha helps you to type Malayalam in all operating systems, mobile and web. The transliteration based input method is very easy to learn and master.

Save time. Learn with confidence.

Familiar manglish for easy start

To start using Swanalekha you don't need to learn any key mapping. Start with the common manglish you are familiar with.

Automatic letter suggestions

As you type, suggestions matching your keys is displayes just below your cursor. You can choose one of them or just continue typing with default. Once you practice and learn the input method, you may not need suggestions. You can just disable it

Available in mobile

With the SMC's Indic keyboard, the same input method is available in your android mobile. You don't need to learn another input method for mobile.

Type anywhere in your desktop. No copy pasting

Be it your favorite text editor, browser or office application, just type whereever you want.

Installing Swanalekha in Linux

Swanalekha is available in all major GNU/Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora etc. To install and configure Swanalekha, please follow the below instructions. It is assumes that you are not using very old versions of these distributions.

Debian, Ubuntu and other Debian based OS

  • Use your package manager to search and install the following packages:
    ibus ibus-m17n ibus-gtk3 m17n-contrib
    . Alternatively, if you are comfortable using linux terminal, you may install them using the following command:
    sudo apt install ibus ibus-m17n ibus-gtk3 m17n-contrib
  • After installing the packages, either logout and login again or run the following command for them to be loaded:
    ibus restart
  • Once that is done, you need to select Swanalekha as input method to your input method settings. The following two videos shows how to do this in Ubuntu 18.04 and 14.04, respectively.
  • Once configured, you can open any text editor and choose Swanalekha as input method and start typing in Malayalam

Disable the suggestions

Once you learned all key combinations, the suggestions under your cursor may not be interesting. You can switch of that.

There is a new version of swanalekha which is not yet available in operating systems by default, but can be installed. This version does not have the suggestions list by default. Only the list under cursor is disabled, you can still use up/down arrows to choose the options.

  • Open the terminal. In Ubuntu, you can do that by Alt+F1, search Terminal.
  • Run this command to get the new version of swanalekha:
    wget http://swanalekha.smc.org.in/m17n/ml-swanalekha.mim
  • Install it using the following command
    sudo cp ml-swanalekha.mim /usr/share/m17n/ml-swanalekha.mim
  • Either logout and login or restart the input method system by the following command
    ibus-daemon -rdx

Whether the suggestions should be shown or not is an option, you may change that using m17n-im-config command.You may need to install m17n-im-config package for this.

Installing Swanalekha in Windows

We will use Keyman as the input tool. Keyman input tool is an opensource input mechanism developed by SIL.

All in one installer

Download Keyman Desktop and Swanalekha Malayalam in a single installer:

Installing swanalekha and keyman seperately

  • Download keyman for windows from here and install. You may follow the detailed documentation from their website.
  • Download the Swanalekha keyman input method. Use the download button below.
  • Start the Keyman. Open Keyman Configuration, from the Keyman menu (on the Windows Taskbar near the clock).
  • Select the Keyboard Layouts tab. Click Install Keyboard and choose the swanalekha keyboard downloaded. You may also follow detailed documentation from their website.
  • Now open any application where you want to type Malayalam. From the keyman icon, Choose "Swanalekha Malayalam". Now you can type in Manglish anywhere and you will see malayalam.

Video tutorial

Here is a video illustrating installation and usage.

Installing Swanalekha in Mac OS

We will use Keyman as the input tool. Keyman input tool is an opensource input mechanism developed by SIL.


  • Download keyman for mac from here and install. You may follow the detailed documentation from their website.
  • Double click the DMG file and drag and drop the Keyman app into the ‘Input Methods’ folder.
  • Go to "System Preferences", then "Keyboard" and select the "Input Sources" tab. Or, click on the input menu (usually a country flag or language icon) that appears on the right hand side of the menu bar, then select "Open Keyboard Preferences". (This step may differ slightly depending on the OS version.) Click on "+", then find Keyman under Multi-Language and double click that entry to add as an input method.
  • Download the Swanalekha keyman input method. Use the download button below.
  • Choose Keyman from the Input menu in the menu bar.
  • Select the Keyboard Layouts tab. Drag and drop the downloaded swanalekha package file in the installed keyboards list in Keyman Configuration window.
  • Now you can start typing with the selected keyboard in any text editor or application that uses standard OS X input methods.

Installing Swanalekha in Android device

Using Indic keyboard

The Indic keyboard by SMC provides swanalekha in your android device. Install it from google playstore and configure to enable Swanalekha for Malayalam.

  • Indic Keyboard is a versatile keyboard for Android users who wish to use Indic and Indian languages to type messages, compose emails and generally prefer to use them in addition to English on their phone. You can use this application to type anywhere in your phone that you would normally type in English.
  • Learns the common words you use and provides suggestions.
  • Provides compact, convenient keyboard layouts for the casual users as well as the language lovers.
  • Fully integrates with native Android look and feel
  • Free and Open Source - Made for the people, by the people. YOU can make it better.

Using Keyman for Android

You need to install Keyman for Android first. Then download the keyboard definition from here

Swanalekha key mappings

Refer the below table for the English letters to type to get Malayalam. You may download a pdf version of this table from here

To understand this table better, some examples are given below

മലയാളം എന്റെ മാതൃഭാഷ malayaaLaM ente maathRbhaasha അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ malayAlam~ ente mAthRBAsha അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ malayaaLam_ ente mAthRBAsha
സരിഗമപധനി sarigamapadhani
പൊൻപീലി pon~piili അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ pon_pIli അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ pon~peeli
ധ്വനി dhvani അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ dhwani
വെണ്ണയുണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ നറുനെയ് വേറിട്ടു കരുതേണമോ veNNayuNtenkil~ naRuney vERitt karuthENamO
വിദ്യാധനം സര്‍വ്വധനാല്‍ പ്രധാനം vidyaadhanam~ sar~vvadhanaal~ pradhaanam~
അരവിന്ദിന്റെ അച്ഛന്‍ aravindinte achChan~
ഇന്ത്യ എന്റെ രാജ്യം inthya ente raajyam~
അവന്‍ മുറ്റത്ത് ഉലാത്തി avan~ muTTathth ulaaththi
മകം പിറന്ന മങ്ക makam~ piRanna manka
പ്രകൃതി കുസൃതി കാണിച്ചു prakRthi kusRthi kaaNichchu
പാലക്കാടന്‍കാറ്റ് പനകളെ തഴുകിയുണര്‍ത്തി paalakkaatan​~kaaTT pankaLe thazhukiyuNar~ththi അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ pAlakkAtan~kATT pankaLe thazhukiyuNaR~ththi
നിളയില്‍ കുഞ്ഞോളങ്ങള്‍ ചാഞ്ചാടി niLayil~ kunjnjOLangaL~ chaanchaati
പഞ്ചസാര മണല്‍ത്തരികള്‍ വെട്ടിത്തിളങ്ങി panchasaara maNal~ththarikaL~ vettiththiLangi
ദൈവത്തിന്റെ വികൃതികള്‍ daivaththinte vikRthikaL~
അക്ഷരം axaraM
പ്രത്യേ​കം ശ്രദ്ധിക്കുക prathy​​Ekam~ Sraddhikkuka
സമ്പ്രദായം sampradaayam~
അഞ്ജനമിട്ട സന്ധ്യ anjjanamitta sandhya
ജ്ഞാനപ്പാന jnjaanappaana
ീ എന്നത് ഈ എന്ന സ്വരത്തിന്റെ ചിഹ്നമാണ് @ee ennath ee enna swarathinte chihnamaaN
ക്യൂ പാലിക്കുക Q paalikkuka
വൈകുന്നേരത്ത് YkunnErathth അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ vaikunnErathth

Keyman web

Swanalekha is available to use online from keymanweb website.

Swanalekha JavaScript version

Press control+m to enable and disable swanalekha.


To use this transliteration scheme in your webpage, include the following line your html pages.

<script src="https://swanalekha.smc.org.in/js/swanalekha-ml.js"></script>

Then bind swanalekha to textareas and input fields. Example:

new Swanalekha( document.getElementById( 'id-of-input-field' ) );

By default, the swanalekha input method is not enabled. It is enabled when users press control+m in the input field. If you want the input method enabled by default, pass it as an option.

new Swanalekha( document.getElementById( 'id-of-input-field' ), {
} );

Once enabled, the input field will have a class swanalekha. This class can be used for providing any kind of visual indication that input method is enabled. This page uses the following style to indicate swanalekha is enabled.

.swanalekha { border-left: 3px solid #cc0000; }

If you want to use Swanalekha in contenteditable elements, please include this js file in the page.

<script src="https://swanalekha.smc.org.in/js/rangy-core.js"></script>

Swanalekha is available as browser extension for Firefox and Chrome

Swanalekha in iPad

Swanalekha can be used in iPad. Install it from Keyman website.

Swanalekha in iPhone

Swanalekha can be used in iPhone. Install it from Keyman website.

Frequently asked Question

  1. How do I type vowel signs?

    Start with @ symbol. For example @aa = ാ, @i = ി @ii = ീ @u = ു @R= ൃ

  2. How do I type visarga and ദുഃഖം?

    Visaraga - @aH = ഃ. ദുഃഖം = du3kham2 or du@aHkham2

  3. How do I type rupee symbol?

    ₹ = roo2 or second option from ruu

  4. How do I type dot reph symbol?

    ൎ = r#

  5. How do I type old au sign?

    kau = ൗ, kou =കൌ

  6. How do I type Malayalam numerals?

    Prefix it with @. Example: @2= ൨ @7=൭.

  7. How do I type ZWNJ?

    Use underscore.

  8. How do I type underscore without switching to English

    Underscore is mapped to ZWNJ. To type underscore itself, without switching keyboard, press right alt key and then type underscore. That would be Alt+shift+Hyphen.


  • Santhosh Thottingal
  • Ramesh Kunnappully - Keyman version
  • Anoop Panavalappil - Browser extensions
  • Jishnu Mohan - Indic keyboard