Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Word Mac 2016 Support for Indic Scripts

Word Mac 2011 had essentially no support for Indic scripts, and we always recommended people use a different app for working in them.  But the 2016 version (at least the latest update 15.30) seems much improved:

+The Tools/Language menu lets you mark text as Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Thai for spellcheck purposes.

+The standard MS fonts are provided for Devanagari, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Tibetan, and Thai.

+Apple fonts are recognized for Sinhala, Bangla, Oriya, Gurmukhi, Myanmar, Khmer, and Lao.

I don't know whether input and display of all these scripts, which often require reordering and complex ligatures,  works correctly -- that will need a lot of testing.  

Here is a Test Page with a PDF version of a .docx file containing a paragraph in each of the Indic scripts.  I do not know them well enough to tell if there are position, ligature, or other errors.  Readers who do know them are invited to comment on whether Word is displaying them correctly.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Main Multilingual Mac Page Updated for Sierra

The main Unleash Your Multilingual Mac page has finally been updated for MacOS 10.12 Sierra.  Comments from readers about errors and omissions are welcome.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Emoji Notes

Emoji symbols were first added to Unicode in its version 6.0 of October 2010, and Apple incorporated font support in iOS and OS X 10.7 shortly thereafter.  Since then the number of emojis approved by Unicode has grown regularly:  In versión 9.0 there are well over 1000.   To ask for a new emoji to be encoded, the place to go is here.

Useful references for the range of encoded characters include emojipedia and the Unicode Full Emoji List.

When using these characters, it's helpful to be aware that :

A) Apple's Color Emoji Font embodies special technology and may not work in all apps.   Alternative black/white fonts which should work everywhere include Symbola.

B) The details of how emoji's look depend on the special fonts used to display them on each device.  So Windows, Android, and Linux users may not see exactly the same picture that you do when you put them in your emails, messages, or web pages.

C) Unicode has devised some fairly complex coding mechanisms to implement emojis for flags, skin tones, and other variables.  For further info about these see Unicode TR #51.  A Unicode test page for some of these mechanisms is here.

D) Instructions for Emoji input in MacOS are here.  For iOS they are here.  For a way to input emoji directly via the Unicode Hex  keyboard, see this page.

VoiceOver Language Support

For info on the languages supported by Apple's VoiceOver feature in MacOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS, see this page.

Friday, January 27, 2017

MacOS: New Albanian Keyboard

A poster in the Apple Support Communities (ASC) has recently offered a new keyboard layout for Albanian, which can be found at this page.

Language and Country Availability of Apple Features

For those wanting to check whether specific features of MacOS or iOS are available in a certain languages or countries, the pages below may be useful:

MacOS

iOS

Thursday, January 26, 2017

MacOS Sierra: Set Format Language Different Than System

MacOS 10.12 Sierra deletes the System Preferences >  Language & Region > Advanced > General > Format Language selection previously available.  Many users found this useful.  For a workaround to get the capability back via a terminal command, see the first item in this article. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Word Mac 2016 Now Does Chinese Phonetic Guides

For some time Word Mac 2016 has only been able to do Japanese phonetic guides (furigana) automatically.  Chinese phonetic guides did not work, you had to enter them manually.  But testing this on my most recent version, 15.30, I find that Chinese does work now.  When exactly MS fixed this problem I don't know.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MacOS/OS X: Bug in Apple Sinhala Qwerty Keyboard

A poster in the Apple Support Communities (ASC) has pointed out that the Sinhala QWERTY input source is missing the character ඳ (U+0DB3).  This should be on option-D, but instead that produces ඦ which is already on option-J.  A revised .keylayout file with the right character at option-D is available here.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

OS X: New Tajik Keyboard

Thanks to Iskandar Rafiev, there is a new phonetic keyboard layout available for Tajik at

https://maqduni.github.io/tajik-phonetic-keyboard-layouts/

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Typophile Forum Back Online

After a long hiatus for redesign, the excellent Typophile site is back online, including all its earlier discussion posts.  It's a first class resource for info and discussions about fonts of all sorts and font creation apps.  The new format includes special "communities" for Arabic typography, blackletter, color fonts, Hebrew typography, and variation fonts.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Improved Apple Support For Complex Scripts

Traditionally full support for "complex scripts"  like Devanagari in MacOS and iOS has required the use of special AAT fonts supplied by Apple.  The much more common OpenType fonts for such languages used by other platforms would not work right.

While I have not seen anything directly from Apple, typography experts tell me that the Core Text API of Sierra and iOS 10 now supports the specs of the Universal Shaping Engine (USE).  The result should be that Apple devices can use a much wider variety of OpenType fonts for the large number of languages which use these scripts.  For more info on the USE, see

Making Fonts for the USE

Creating and Supporting OpenType fonts for the USE

Saturday, October 29, 2016

MacOS: New Keyboard for Chinese

I have not seen any comments from Apple about it, but the China Apple Store is showing  a keyboard for the new Macbook Pro which has a number of different markings than the normal US keyboard.  Also the Hong Kong store lists a new keyboard -- "Chinese - Pinyin" -- in addition to the usual English International when you configure a new Macbook Pro.

Update Jan 12, 2017:  This keyboard is now offered with the MacBook Pro in the online US Apple store.

My tests indicate this new keyboard reflects the way the Sierra Pinyin - Simplified Input Source works when the option to switch back to US via Caps Lock has been activated.



Friday, September 23, 2016

MacOS Sierra New Language Features

During  a quick review of MacOS Sierra, I’ve found only few new language features:

+No new user interface localizations

+No new language keyboards

+1 new spellcheck setting — Japanese English

+2 new reference dictionaries — Traditional Chinese and Danish

+2 new English translation dictionaries — Dutch and Italian.

+An option to use Caps Lock to switch quickly to/from Latin and non-Latin input sources

Presumably it also has the new Siri support and Chinese/Japanese fonts mentioned in
this page.

One useful feature -- the ability to easily set the Format Language to something other than the System Language -- has been removed in Sierra.  A workaround for this using the Command Line can be found here.

If readers find other new features, let me know.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

iOS 10 Multilingual Typing

The multilingual typing feature of iOS 10 is limited to 2 languages at once, and only selected keyboards can do it at present.  For a list go to this page

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New Language Features in iOS 10

Buried in the update info for iOS 10 is a list of improvements over iOS 9:

+Multilingual typing (autocorrect 2 latin script languages at once without changing keyboards)

+Live search results in Spotlight for Chinese and Japanese

+Siri support for Spanish (Chile), Chinese (Cantonese-China), English (ireland), English (S. Africa)

+Ling Wai and Kaiti Black document fonts for Chinese

+Y Kyokasho and Topaz Bunkyu fonts for Japanese

+Reference dictionaries for Traditional Chinese and Danish

+English translation dictionaries for Dutch and Italian

+New keyboard for Spanish (Latin America)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

iOS 10 Language Support

Language support

English (Australia, Canada, UK, U.S.), Chinese (Simplified, Traditional, Traditional Hong Kong), French (Canada, France), German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish (Latin America, Mexico, Spain), Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

QuickType keyboard support

English (Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, UK, U.S.), Chinese - Simplified (Handwriting, Pinyin, Stroke), Chinese - Traditional (Cangjie, Handwriting, Pinyin, Stroke, Sucheng, Zhuyin), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian, Japanese (Kana, Romaji), Korean, Spanish (Latin America, Mexico, Spain), Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cherokee, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Emoji, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Flemish, Greek, Gujarati, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi (Devanagari, Transliteration), Hinglish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Marathi, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Cyrillic, Latin), Slovak, Slovenian, Swedish, Tamil (Script, Transliteration), Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese

QuickType keyboard support with predictive input

English (Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, UK, U.S.), Chinese (Simplified, Traditional), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish (Latin America, Mexico, Spain), Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Thai, Turkish

Siri languages

English (Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, UK, U.S.), Spanish (Chile, Mexico, Spain, U.S.), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian (Italy, Switzerland), Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (Mainland China, Taiwan), Cantonese (Mainland China, Hong Kong), Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Belgium, Netherlands), Finnish (Finland), Hebrew (Israel), Malay (Malaysia), Norwegian (Norway), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), Turkish (Turkey), Thai (Thailand), Portuguese (Brazil)

Dictation languages

English (Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, UAE, UK, U.S.), Spanish (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, U.S.), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian (Italy, Switzerland), Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (Mainland China, Taiwan), Cantonese (Hong Kong), Arabic (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE), Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch (Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands), Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Swedish, Turkish, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

Definition dictionary support

English, Chinese (Simplified, Traditional), Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish

Bilingual dictionary support

Chinese (Simplified), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

Spell check

English (Australia, Canada, UK, U.S.), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Russian, Swedish, Turkish

Saturday, July 30, 2016

OS X: Typing Lepcha/Róng

Lepcha is a minority language of the Himalayas which has its own script.  A newly developed OS X kit for this language can be obtained at

http://www.siblac.org/lepcha_script.html

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

OS X: ABC Extended Keyboard Layout Capabilities

Apple’s ABC Extended keyboard layout ((formerly called "US Extended") lets you type a vast number of accented and other special latin characters.  The standard reference for its codes is here.  Unfortunately this reference is missing the following deadkey shortcuts which have been added at some point in recent years.  

+Option Shift  period:  Characters with hooks:  Ɓ ɓ Ɗ ɗ Ɲ ɲ ñ Ƴ ƴ‸

+Option Shift semicolon:  A variety of phonetic symbols like ə ŋ ɣ ȝ

+Option Shift g:  Characters with circumflex below.

+Option Shift f:  Characters with tilde below.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

OS X: Typing Cantonese

Apple’s Chinese input methods for OS X do not yet include one for Cantonese.  Users who need that can check out these options:




Sunday, June 19, 2016

iOS 10: New Language Features

According to reports, iOS 10, to be released later this year, will include:

+New Reference Dictionaries:  Danish, Traditional Chinese, Dutch-English, Italian-English

+Multilingual Spellcheck (currently iOS can only spellcheck the language of the currently active keyboard).

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

iOS Update 9.3: New Language Features

The 9.3 update to iOS released March 21 includes two language improvements:

+addition of Spanish (Latin America) to the system language choices

+SIRI support for Finnish, Hebrew, and Malay

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Office For Mac Now Officially Supports Arabic/Hebrew

MS has announced that as of its March update (15.20 for Word), RTL support is included in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

For best results, use one of the Apple Hebrew/Arabic keyboards.  Some users report that 3rd party keyboards do not work right.

Welcome news after 15 years of requests.  Note the new paragraph direction buttons:



Reports from readers about how well it works in Word or other apps are welcome.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Apple Opens Spanish and Portuguese Support Communities

For the new Spanish language Support Community, go to

https://communities.apple.com/es/

For Portuguese, go to

https://communities.apple.com/pt/

Up until now there have only been ASC's for English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Word/Mac 2016 RTL Support Seems Much Improved

While playing with the latest update for Word for Mac 2016, 15.19.1, I thought the level of support for Arabic/Hebrew seemed considerably better.  Not only are Arabic characters connected, but the cursor starts at the right and moves properly along with the text, changing fonts doesn't seem to cause problems, punctuation goes in the right place, vowels work, text is inserted where the author expects, etc.

So far there is still no direction control button or menu, and copy/paste from other sources may result in incorrect word order.  Also changing the color of the text can mess up chracter order.

I've seen rumors that the next update, 15.20 is supposed to have additional improvements and fixes.

As my knowledge of Arabic/Hebrew is extremely limited, I'd be grateful for comments from readers with better capabilities regarding the usability of this app for such scripts. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

New Keyboard Resource for OS X

Keyman, which has long helped Windows users add special keyboards to their machines, is now available in a beta version for Mac.  The app required for users to make custom keyboards themselves is still only for Windows, but the OS X version of Keyman Desktop lets you download a large number of keyboards from the existing Keyman and SIL libraries.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Apple Watch Language Capabilities


The Apple Watch uses a version of OS X (watchOS) which has different language capabilities than Mac OS X or iOS. Localizations for the menus and dialogues (set using the iPhone Apple Watch app via the menu My Watch > General > Language) are English (U.S.), English (UK), English (Australia), English (India), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), French (France), French (Canada), German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Traditional, Hong Kong), Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Thai, Turkish, Finnish, Indonesian, Norwegian, Polish, Arabic, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Malay, and Vietnamese.

Languages available for dictation, Siri, and Smart Replies may be somewhat different.

This page provides instructions on how to adjust the dictation language of the Watch.

This article provides some info on how watchOS features have evolved.

(Note:  I don't have a Watch and Apple's published info is only fragmentary.  Comments and additional info from readers is welcome)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

iOS 9 Hardware Keyboard Layouts


When using a hardware keyboard with the iOS 9 device, you need to go into Settings > General > Keyboard > Hardware Keyboards and match the layout with whatever your keyboard's key printing is.  Unfortunately Apple supplies only a limited selection of such layouts, so it's possible an exact match may not be possible.  For example, if your keyboard requires the British PC layout, you are out of luck.   I think only one normal iOS keyboard has no hardware layout at all:  Tamil.  


As far as I know, 3rd party keyboards do not include hardware layouts.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Confusing Name Changes in OS X

I've run into several people in the Apple Support Communities confused by recent name changes implemented by Apple.  These are

+Starting with OS X 10.10.3, the standard menu item for many years called "Edit > Special Characters" is now called "Edit > Emoji & Symbols"

+Starting with OS X 10.11.0,  the input source for many years called "US Extended" is now called "ABC Extended".

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WatchOS 2.1: New Language Features

Update 2.1 to WatchOS released December 8 includes improved language support and bug fixes as described below:


iOS 9.2: New Language Features

The 9.2 update to iOS released December 8 includes the following language fixes and added features:

- Improved punctuation input on the 10-key Chinese (Pinyin & Stroke) keyboards with new expanded view of punctuation symbols and better predictions 
- Fixing an issue on Cyrillic keyboards where caps lock would be enabled when typing in URL or email fields 
- Siri support for Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) 



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Classic Mongolian Script Input Method

Users needing to input Classic Mongolian script, which has some features that are quite complex, should check out Richard Ishida's Mongolian Picker.  Some info on its use is available at his blog.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Multilingual Mac Web Page Updated for El Capitan

The main Multilingual Mac Web Page has been updated to reflect OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

If readers find any errors, let me know via the comments or email.

Friday, October 16, 2015

iWork Apps Language Improvements

Apple released updates to its iWork apps for iOS, Mac, and iCloud on October 15, and info on the added features can be found here.

It looks like most apps got improved support for bidirectional scripts, though it's not clear what that involves.

The apps for iCloud are no longer "beta" and have a major expansion in their language support, which now covers  U.S. English, French, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish, Traditional Chinese, and Korean.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Uzbek Cyrillic

Users needing an Uzbek Cyrillic keyboard for OS X should try this page.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

OS X 10.11 El Capital: Customizing Character Picker

Users trying to customize the Character Picker feature via the methods that have worked since OS X 10.7 (reported here ) will find that it doesn't work in El Capitan.  First you will have to deactivate the SIP (System Integrity Protection).

Thursday, October 1, 2015

OS X 10.11 El Capitan: New Language Features

El Capitan was released 9/30/15 and appears to have the following main new language features:

+Spell check added for Norwegian, Finnish, and Korean

+Reference dictionaries added for Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish, French-English, German-English

+Language keyboard added for Tongan (but surprisingly still none for Lao or Amharic, for which specific fonts have long been installed by default).

+Arabic/Hebrew dictation

+Improved Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Hindi input systems

+No new system localizations.

Apple has published some info for  JapaneseChinese, and International.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

iOS 9: Language Switching with Bluetooth Keyboard

It appears that with iOS 9 Apple has changed the standard hardware keyboard shortcut for switching among keyboard layouts.  Instead of the Command + Space used forever by earlier versions of OS X and  iOS, it is now Control + Space.

(This is now also the default shortcut for keyboard switching in OS X  10.11)


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

iOS 9 Language Support

From the tech specs for the iPad Mini 4 released today:


    Language support:

  • English (Australia, Canada, UK, U.S.), Chinese (Simplified, Traditional, Traditional Hong Kong), French (Canada, France), German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish (Mexico, Spain), Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese 

  • QuickType keyboard support:

  • English (Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, UK, U.S.), Chinese - Simplified (Handwriting, Pinyin, Stroke), Chinese - Traditional (Cangjie, Handwriting, Pinyin, Stroke, Sucheng, Zhuyin), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian, Japanese (Kana, Romaji), Korean, Spanish (Mexico, Spain), Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cherokee, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Emoji, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Flemish, Greek, Gujarati, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi (Devanagari, Transliteration), Hinglish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Marathi, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Cyrillic, Latin), Slovak, Slovenian, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese 

  • QuickType keyboard support with predictive input:

  • English (Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, UK, U.S.), Chinese (Simplified, Traditional), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish (Mexico, Spain), Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Thai, Turkish

  • Dictation languages:

  • English (Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, UK, U.S.), Spanish (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, U.S.), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian (Italy, Switzerland), Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (Mainland China, Taiwan), Cantonese (Hong Kong), Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch (Belgium, Netherlands), Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Swedish, Turkish, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

  • Siri languages:

  • English (Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, U.S.), Spanish (Mexico, Spain, U.S.), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian (Italy, Switzerland), Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (Mainland China, Taiwan), Cantonese (Hong Kong), Swedish (Sweden), Dutch (Belgium, Netherlands), Norwegian (Norway), Russian (Russia), Turkish (Turkey), Thai (Thailand), Portuguese (Brazil)

  • Definition dictionary support:

  • English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish

  • Bilingual dictionary support:

  • Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

  • Spell check:

  • English (Australia, Canada, UK, U.S.), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Russian, Swedish, Turkish

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Automating Use Of Different Layouts With Different Hardware Keyboards

Users who would like to try having their keyboard layout switch automatically depending on which of two hardware keyboards they are using (e.g. a Macbook's internal keyboard or another one), should have a look at these possible solutions using the Karabiner app.

Word For Mac Now Does Connected Arabic

After applying an update of 8/11/2015, my Word for Mac 2016 suddenly displays connected Arabic script in a new document (not a doc created by Windows Word).  Is this for real?  It's been 14 years folks are waiting.

I'd welcome reports from readers regarding how complete this new support is.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Word For iOS Updated to Support Arabic, Hebrew, and Thai

Version 1.11 of MS Word for iOS, issued 7/24/15, adds support for editing bi-directional and complex scripts, namely Arabic, Hebrew, and Thai.

I wonder if this indicates MS Word for Mac might soon get this as well?

A doc created in the new Word for iOS and sent to my Mac opened with correct Arabic display in Word for Mac 2011 (!) and 2016.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Word For Mac 2016: Still No Arabic, But Devanagari Seems To Work

The release version of Word for Mac 2016 was provided to Office 365 subscribers July 9.  My initial tests indicate there is still no support for RTL scripts like Arabic (letters are disconnected), but Devanagari seems to work if you use Apple's Kohinoor font.

A list of the Proofing Tools included can be found here.   I think its accuracy is suspect, since it includes Persian (for which input is definitely not supported) and several Indic scripts (Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil).

For Arabic/Persian there is a kludge workaround which may meet the needs of some users  described here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

iBooks Author Update Adds ePub 3 Export Feature

The iBooks Author 2.3 version released June 19 includes 2 new templates for the creation of ebooks in the epub 3 format.  This is important because the iBookstore requires that books in a number of languages use that format (and not the .ibooks format that was the only option in earlier iBA versions).  Also epub 3 format can normally be read on a variety of platforms, unlike the .ibooks format which is restricted to Mac.

For some info see:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204884

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

OS X 10.11: Preview of New Chinese/Japanese Features

From the info provided by Apple on June 8:

Chinese:


New system font.

The new Chinese system font PingFang is designed for a modern appearance and crisp onscreen readability in both Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

Enhanced keyboard input.

Inputting Chinese using the keyboard has never been simpler or faster, thanks to advanced learning capabilities that quickly memorize your word choices, an improved language prediction engine that better anticipates the words you’ll type next, frequently updated vocabulary lists that contain the latest words and phrases, and a smarter candidate window that displays more character selections.

Improved trackpad handwriting.

Enter characters on the trackpad as swiftly and accurately as you do on paper — just by using your finger. A new Trackpad window reflects the proportions of your physical trackpad, gives you more room to write, and lets you write multiple characters in a row.

Japanese:

Live conversion for keyboard input.

OS X El Capitan dramatically improves the ease and speed of entering Japanese text. With an enhanced vocabulary and improved language engine, it automatically transforms Hiragana into written Japanese as you type — eliminating the need to press the space bar for individual word conversions.

New fonts.

OS X El Capitan includes four new Japanese fonts — Klee, Tsukushi A Round Gothic, Tsukushi B Round Gothic, and YuMincho +36p Kana — and more weights for the Hiragino Sans font that add personality to your documents and presentations.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Apple Watch: OS Update Adds 7 Languages

Watch OS 1.0.1 released 5/19/15 adds support for Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Thai, Turkish.

This brings the total to 21 (compared to 40 for the iPhone).

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bug in Apple's Bangla Fonts

A poster in the Apple Support Communities has pointed out that Apple's Bangla fonts (Bangla MN and Bangla Sangam MN) do not display the combination r plus khanda ta correctly.  The r character is put over the preceding character instead of over the khanda ta.

The Ekushey Bangla fonts for Mac (Solaiman Lipi/Rupali) can be used to have proper display.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Script and Font Support in Windows

For those who run Windows on their Mac, this page which lists the script and font support provided by that OS may be useful.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/bb688099.aspx

Thursday, April 30, 2015

10.10.3 Changes Name Of Special Characters

To provide an additional challenge to Yosemite users, with the 10.10.3 update Apple has decided to change the name of the item in the Edit menu for most apps long called "Special Characters".  Clicking on this brings up the Character Viewer where you can access all Unicode characters.  

The new name is "Emoji & Symbols".