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I've read lots of questions on this site about typesetting using Indic fonts in LaTeX, but most of them do not use pdfLaTeX. Others are very difficult ways (for example, using Devanagari package, which needs preprocessing and how the transliteration works is also not clear). Can somebody tell me if there is any easy way to do it (using babel may be)? Also note that I need not use transliteration, if your suggestion uses hindi or telugu or bangla fonts directly that is also fine with me.

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  • Just out of curiosity: What's your use case for wanting to use pdfLaTeX instead of either XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX?
    – Mico
    Mar 28 '21 at 8:19
  • @Mico, I am working with pdfLaTeX since years. I have now developed a template for everything I do in pdfLaTeX (which includes all sorts of customizations, algorithmic environments, tikzpictures, etc.) and I am not sure what changes if one starts using some other type of LaTeX.
    – Martund
    Mar 28 '21 at 8:24
  • Creating algorithmic environments and tikz pictures should be no different under XeLaTeX and LuaLaTeX than it is under pdfLaTeX. Font handling does tend to be different, but that's caused by the need to access truetype and opentype fonts. There are, by now, quite a few Indic text font families than are easy to use but are released only in ttf or otf format.
    – Mico
    Mar 28 '21 at 8:36
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    No they are no easy ways with pdflatex, indic fonts have quite complex shaping rules which requires powerfull libraries like HarfBuzz. Mar 28 '21 at 9:03
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It would be possible to get some basic access to the letters but very difficult, verging on impossible, to get the shaping required for groups of characters. Conversely if you use luatex or xetex you can access these fonts with two lines of code and have access to the full opentype shaping mechanisms.

There are very few pdflatex documents that can not be switched to lualatex with a few minutes of fiddling with the preamble.

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