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I am trying to prepare a small document in Sanskrit language. The text that I am trying to type are very well available with my Windows 8 OS and I could type them fairly well.

However, my requirement is that I am preparing this document as a guide to read and as well as pronounce correctly. The pronunciation symbols followed are as ancient as the language and are similar to the IPA.

To put all my need in English, assume I want to type something like this:

enter image description here

The numbers, alphabets, symbols that is seen in the first line with small font size are phonetic guide and the text "Sample" in the second line is the actual text.

I have no problem in typing the second line. But it is time consuming for me to type and place the characters in the first line using text box as this is the only way I figured to achieve the result. As it can been seen this is very tedious and more importantly all those efforts goes waste if the second line is edited.

So, my question: Is there any easy way for me accomplish the above at the same time allow me to edit the text in both lines?

Clarification: A sample (and actual) text that I am trying to type is: enter image description here. The second line is a word that has to be hymned with specified octave on first, last but one and last alphabet. The octave is mentioned as numerals in the first line (reading 1, 0 and 3 from left to right). 0th octave is the highest not silence ;)

I am not expecting the word processor to do any automation nor I do not want any macro support as well. After posting this question I stumbled on field code for equation and it would be easy if I can do something like with equation editor by invoking it with field code { EQ \f(1,S) }.

The sample text typed as equation fraction field: enter image description here results in: enter image description here

The disadvantages are:

  1. No kerning.
  2. Line between numerator and denominator - can't be removed.
  3. Equal size of font for both parts of fraction.

I guess there is no easy way. Does other publishing tools like Pagemaker does have any tricks on its sleeve?

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A small improvement to the equation method: instead of frac, there is a structure with two fields without the fraction line: you can find it in the Parentesis menu. – Pincopallino Mar 2 '13 at 8:44

You could potentially use a table with the column width set to autosize. Put one character in each column. Not sure you can make it work, and still tedious, though less so.

Otherwise you'd need some sort of tool that could read the font metrics of the second line and space the first line accordingly. I have no idea how you'd go about this, though. Likely some external process would be more likely to succeed than doing it inside Word.

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+1 Had if I had not found the equation field code, I would have certainly adopted your idea. – Narayanan Mar 1 '13 at 15:07

Please describe your purpose better. Do you want that, when you write the second line, the first line is written automatically? I mean, over every "S" charactare place a "1", over every "a" place a "#" and so on? Or what you want is a way to have the phonetic symbols placed over the other characters with the correct spacing?

The first case requires programming an ad hoc macro using Visual Basic for Office, and could be very time consuming and requires programming skills.

The second can be achieved without the textbox by defining two styles, one style A for the phonetics and one style B for the text. The key is to play with the letter spacing of the two styles to achieve a 1:1 correspondence (the setting is found in the Character dialog, in the advanced tab) You can then create a table with invisible borders and apply the two styles alternately to the rows.

You can also consider using a more professional typesetting system such as LaTeX (free and opensource). I don't know if it supports Sanskrit and how you can achieve your purpose, but you can ask for help in the TeX Stackexchange group

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LaTeX and Sanskrit is going to be difficult but should be easier with XeTeX. – slhck Mar 1 '13 at 13:46
I will give a go for LaTex. So far I know this is an equation of math editor and never thought about documents :) – Narayanan Mar 1 '13 at 15:08

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