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You are here: Encoding > Conversion > Utilities
Short URL: https://scripts.sil.org/SILConverters21

SILConverters 2.1

Microsoft Word/COM support for TECkit, CC, and ICU

Bob Eaton, Mark Penny, 2005-05-29

Obsolete version

Please note that this product has been replaced by SILConverters 4.0 and you are strongly encouraged to use that product. This page is retained for those who, for whatever reasons, are unable to use the new version and require the older, unsupported, version.

Major upgrade!

SILConverters 2.1 is a major update of the previously released Encoding Converters (EncCnvtrs) package. Among other improvements, this packages is fully integrated with SIL FieldWorks, providing a single system-wide registry of installed and available encoding converters.

Additionally the new package includes some extra utilities such as a clipboard converter for manipulating text between cut and paste operations.

This package provides a system-wide repository for encoding converters and transliterators (TECkit,  CC, or  ICU based) and a simple COM interface to select and use a converter from the repository. It is easy to use from VBA, C++, C#, or any .Net/COM enabled language. An included VBA macro provides a simple interface to manage and use the repository, making it easy to convert any file (e.g. SFM texts, lexicons, and even Word documents) to a different encoding based on one or more TECkit maps and/or CC tables. The macro interface also provides the ability to install and remove user-developed converters to the repository.

Installation and configuration

Please note that the installation procedure for SILConverters is completely different from the old EncCnvtrs. It is also different from your typical Windows application; please note the following:

  • You will need Administrator privilege on the computer to install this software.
  • The system consists of separately downloadable components. The primary (and required) component contains the main setup files and programs. The optional components contain collections of converters that may be of interest. In the future, new converters will be made available by packaging them as additional optional components.
  • When you run one of the downloaded components, it unpacks itself into a shared installer folder (SILConverters21) and then launches the setup program. The setup program then lets you configure exactly what programs and converters you want to be available on your system.
  • Do not delete the shared installer folder (SILConverters21). You may, now or in the future, want to download additional converter modules, and they use this shared installer folder and setup program as well.

Step 1: Uninstall previous versions

You should uninstall EncCnvtrs before trying to install SILConverters. Both the 1.5 and 2.0 versions have uninstallers that are listed in Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs. However, several people have encountered problems in uninstalling them (perhaps due to some recent update in the Windows operating system). If your attempts to uninstall the "Encoding Converters" item(s) fail, then see Uninstallation Guide for EncCnvtrs 1.5 and 2.0

Step 2: Get .NET

This package requires the  Microsoft .NET Framework Version 1.1 Redistributable. This is a large download (22M!) but it is supplied with a number of products so you may already have it. If you are unsure whether or not you have it, you can look at Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs. Alternatively, simply try the next step of the install — it will fail if .Net isn't available.

Step 3: Install core components

Download and run the SILConvertersSetup program to create the shared install folder and install the main suite of utilities. When you are prompted for the folder to save the files, enter (or browse to) your 'Downloads' folder (e.g. C:Downloads or My DocumentsMy Downloads). After unzipping the image, it will automatically start the SetupSC.exe program which is the main installer where you select what options you want installed:

SIL Converters Installer window

Use this configuration dialog to identify what add-ins, conversion maps, and document templates you want installed (or uninstalled). Some notes:

The  Commit  button both installs and uninstalls components. Whether an item will be installed or uninstalled depends on the state of the checkmark beside that item, which can have three possible values:
  • unchecked: the item is not installed or will be uninstalled.
  • grey: the item is installed.
  • checked: the item will be installed.

Many of the items have "tips" — if your cursor waits over an item a popup tip will tell you more about it.

The Word Document Templates list includes all templates you have installed on your system, not just those that came with the SIL Converters package. (In the above example you see Hallissy Highlights A4.) While you can use this dialog to uninstall any templates you have, I do not recommend it unless you have a backup somewhere. The templates supplied with the package are Data Conversion Macro and SpellFixer.

For Word Document Templates, the installer looks in (and can install into) two different folders:

Templates Templates installed here are not automatically available but can be made available using Word's Tools / Templates and Add-Ins... dialog.
Startup Assuming Word's Tools / Macros / Security... / Security Level is set to Medium, templates installed here will be available automatically every time you start Word.

Review all the components in the installer dialog. Components that you want added to the installation should be checked, components that you want removed from the installation should be unchecked. When ready, click  Commit . When that is done, click  Cancel .

If you are installing Word Document Templates, you will get warning that the templates have been installed only for the current user. Any other users who also want access to the templates will need to run SetupSC.exe.

Step 4: Download and install additional components

As noted, you can download separate packages that add additional components such as converter modules for specific encodings. To use these, simply download and run the desired package. This will load the new items into the shared install directory (you didn't delete it did you1?) and automatically launch the installer.


At any time you can reconfigure what modules are installed and available by running the SetupSC.exe program from the shared install folder created in Step 3.

Using SILConverters from Microsoft Word

Click Tools / Data conversion.... The user interface is relatively simple to master:

SIL Converters Word Macro

Notice three distinct areas:

  1. Conversion table details This is where you select one of the Conversion Tables from a list; you can also add new tables to the list.
  2. Scope of change Here you can restrict the scope of the conversion (apply changes to the whole document, a selection, particular backslash markers, or a specific font).
  3. Target Data Finally, you can optionally reformat the converted data by specifying a style or font.

For further information about using the Word macros: using Windows Explorer, locate a copy of the Data Conversion macro template. Assuming you still have the shared install directory around (from Step 3 of the Installation instructions), you can look in there for a copy. Right-click on the .DOT file and select Open from the context menu. The template file has documentation in it.


SIL Converters 2.1 Core components and installer
Bob Hallissy, 2005-10-25
Download "SILConvertersSetup.exe", Windows application, 6MB [3839 downloads]
This core package contains the following items:
  • EncConverters repository (Manages and provides an API to the collection of converters/transliterators)
  • The CC, TECkit, and ICU run-time conversion engines.
  • Clipboard EncConverter Add-in (Allows for using an EncConverter on clipboard data)
  • SpellFixer Add-in (Adds programmatic search and replace capability to Microsoft Word)
  • Data Conversion Macro Template (GUI for adding and using converters in Microsoft Word)
  • Few sample converter Maps & Tables:
    • Hex-Any (if you see stuff like 'बंसखट', this converter will turn it into correctly displaying Unicode--i.e. 'बंसखट')
    • UTF8UTF16 (if you see stuff like 'बंसखट', this converter will turn it into correctly displaying Unicode--i.e. 'बंसखट')
    • null: do nothing converter that is useful for globally changing data in one font to another with the Data Conversion Macro in Word.
    • NFC: normalize fully composed form of a Unicode string.
    • NFD: normalize fully decomposed form of a Unicode string.
SIL Converters 2.1 Indic Converters add-in
Bob Hallissy, 2005-05-29
Download "SILConvertersIndic.exe", Windows application, 2MB [2255 downloads]

This additional component provides an "Indic-specific" set of converters and utilities for the SILConverters suite. This package contains support for:

  •  ITrans to Unicode converters for the following languages:
    • Hindi (e.g. "hindii" converts to हिन्दी)
    • Bengali
    • Gujarati
    • Telegu
    • Tamil
    • Kanada
    • Oriya
    • Malayam
  •  UTrans converters for Unicode presentation form of Urdu (Arabic)
  • ISCII to/from UNICODE converters (all Indic ranges)
  • Converters for the following fonts to both ISCII encoding and Unicode encoding based on the  Font2Iscii converter set:
    • Devpooja
    • Devpriya
    • DV-TTYogesh
    • DVB-TTYogesh
    • Sanskrit-98
    • Shusha
    • Mithi
    • DVBW-TTYogesh
    • AkrutiDev1
    • Ankit
    • Devlys
    • Kruti46
    • Naidunia
    • Telugu-Hemalatha
    • Telugu-Hemalathab
SIL Converters 2.1 SAG Indic Converters add-in
Bob Hallissy, 2005-05-29
Download "SILConvertersSAGIndic.exe", Windows application, 69KB [1723 downloads]

TECkit encoding converters (related to the Devanagari range of Unicode) for the following Legacy Indic fonts:

  • Annapurna
  • Shusha
  • CDAC-ISFOC encoding (c.f. WinScript, DV-TTYogesh)
  • Unicode Devanagari IPA (phonetic transliteration)

SIL Converters 2.1 ICU Transliterators add-in
Bob Hallissy, 2005-05-29
Download "SILConvertersIcuTransliterators.exe", Windows application, 32KB [1914 downloads]

This additional component provides a collection of ICU-based "Latin" transliterators for the following ranges of Unicode:

  • Devanagari-Latin
  • Bengali-Latin
  • Gujarati-Latin
  • Gurmukhi-Latin
  • Kannada-Latin
  • Malayalam-Latin
  • Oriya-Latin
  • Tamil-Latin
  • Telegu-Latin
  • Arabic-Latin
  • Cyrillic-Latin
  • Greek-Latin
  • Han-Latin
  • Hangul-Latin
  • Hebrew-Latin
  • Hiragana-Latin
  • Katakana-Latin
  • Jamo-Latin
  • Any-Latin

Note that these transliterators can be daisy-chained together to transliterate between non-Latin scripts. For example, chaining the 'Devanagari-Latin' transliterator (in the Forward direction) with the 'Tamil-Latin' transliterator (in the Reverse direction) gives a 'Devanagari-Tamil' transliterator).

Use the Data Conversion Macro, Add button to daisy-chain converters/transliterators together.
SIL Converters 2.1 FindPhone Converters add-in
Bob Hallissy, 2005-05-29
Download "SILConvertersFindPhone.exe", Windows application, 37KB [1666 downloads]

Adds the following converters for dealing with FindPhone encoded data:

  • FindPhone>SAG IPA93
  • FindPhone>UNICODE

Related resources

Encoding Conversion Frequently Asked Questions and Known Issues Lorna A. Priest, 2009-05-15
Frequently Asked Questions and Known Issues concerning conversion of legacy data to Unicode.

Structured data conversion Lorna Priest and David Rowe, 2003-03-03
By the end of this tutorial you should be able to convert (roundtrip) structured data and test it by bringing it into various applications. Any issues discovered in this process should be fixed in the mapping files.

1 If you did delete the shared install directory that was created during Step 3, simply re-create it by repeating that step. When the installer dialog appears, press  Cancel  and try Step 4 again.

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