Man who created code for Tamil fonts perishes at 42

The founder of, Gopalakrishnan also known as Thagadoor Gopi, died after suffering a cardiac arrest at his Hyderabad residence on Saturday.

Published: 31st January 2018 02:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st January 2018 04:57 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

DHARMAPURI: The founder of, Gopalakrishnan also known as Thagadoor Gopi, died after suffering a cardiac arrest at his Hyderabad residence on Saturday. He was 42. He was the first software engineer to develop a Unicode converter to script fonts for regional languages.


He was the code writer for many Indian fonts, which we use in our computers and mobiles daily. He developed fonts for Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi and Oriya. His mortal remains were buried in his home town of Kumarasamipettai in Dharmapuri.

A native of Dharmapuri, he pioneered Unicode encoding to design codes for conversion of English to Tamil fonts and to other regional languages. Among the many firsts credited to him was his distinction of being the first software engineer to write a universal code for the Indian fonts used to transliterate English to other languages.

The Unicode he developed helped convert all English fonts to over nine languages through Transliteration Convertor, also developed by him. It means that the characters of each word were designed and coded by Gopi for Tamil, Bengali, Telugu,Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, Punjabi, Oriya and Hindi. He was assisted by Suratha Yarlavaanan, who offered him technical help while creating the fonts.

Gopi developed an interest in Tamil language at a very early age. The names Adhiyaman, Avvai and Thagadoor show his passion for Tamil, said Elango, a close friend of Gopi. He also invented various open-source software and uploaded them to his blog ( and website. Through Adhiyan Unicode encoder, scripts can be translated from English to Tamil in browsers.

The unicode encoding created by Gopi was the first-of-its-kind and was the base on which he developed many regional language fonts. Many international languages also used his coding to develop fonts.An advocate of open source regime, he invented various free software. He is survived by his wife and two children.


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