||Ekushey is a powerful Bengali/Assamese typing system for MS-Word. It requires Microsoft Windows Operating System and Microsoft Word 97 or above. Produced by a team of volunteers under the auspices of Altruists International and licenced as Open Source Free Software under GNU licence, it was produced to promote the development of Bengali language and culture. It fills a gap since there is no native support for Bengali in Microsoft Word or Windows (at the time of writing, up to XP).
It installs 5 different Bengali TTFs of four different types, making it compatible with a wide variety of older Bangla typing systems. It installs a Word toolbar with icons to build/split conjunct characters, automatically transliterate from Bangla->English->Bangla, export to TEX, sort Bengali text and convert between different Font Groups.
Ekushey is powerful, flexible and easily set up through a GUI. Input of vowels is either by the graphic (written-order) or phonic (spoken-order) method, while conjuncts are built from components with a 'link' or 'join' key. Munir, Bijoy, Toptype, iLeap and over 10 other keyboard layouts are pre-configured, but it has drag-and-drop editor in case you wish to set up a non-standard keyboard layout. This is defines the layout used when typing in a Bengali font.
There are a host of other optionswhich control how Ekushey behaves. For example, the default English & Bangla font are configurable to allow single key switching between, say 14 point Bold default Times New Roman (English) and 16 point Italic LipiNormal (Bangla). Ekushey is also aware of Microsoft Word's sometimes irritating autocorrection features (which are incompatible with Bengali script) and can disable them when typing Bangla. It can also format the language so that Word doesn't underline the Bangla words as misspelt.
The self-contained installer is 1.7MB. Version 3, now in the making, which should sport a fully Bangla interface & FAQ and act as an IME with full Unicode OTF support.