Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Will MS Word for Mac 2011 Do Arabic and Hebrew?

With the announcement of the Oct. 26 release date and appearance of a MacWorld review, we are wondering whether Word will in fact finally support RTL scripts. This blog entry last month seemed to indicate "no", but the MacWorld reviewer has posted a "yes" for Arabic in the comments section of his own piece.

Some earlier postings based on beta versions seemed to say "yes" or "only for reading".



Update Oct. 15: In response to a question, the MS Office for Mac Team blog owners responded that "Due to technology limitations on the text input tools, Office for Mac’s Unicode support won’t include right-to-left languages such as Hebrew and Arabic."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fixing Broken British English Spell Checking

I've seen a couple of reports in the Apple Discussions about Pages and other apps in 10.6.4 refusing to recognize the OS X British English spell checking dictionary for certain users regardless of the care taken to ensure various settings are right for that.

One fix that has worked in some cases is to download the OED dictionary from this site, install the .dic and .aff files in Home/Library/Spelling, and set the dictionary in Edit > Spelling > Show Spelling (or Inspector > Text > More > Language in Pages) to English (Library).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Reference on Working with Classical Languages

David Perry has recently completed the 2nd Edition of his excellent "Document Preparation for Classical Languages," which covers such topics as Unicode, smart font technology, and how to choose typefaces and editing tools, with special reference to Classical, Biblical, and Medieval Studies and Linguistics. For more info go to


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

iPad Keyboards in iOS 4.2

Some sites have published info about iOS 4.2 beta which has been made available to developers for testing before release in November. According to this, the iPad will have the following virtual keyboards at that time:

English, English (UK), Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cherokee, S. Chinese (handwriting, pinyin, stroke), T. Chinese (handwriting, pinyin, cangjie, stroke, zhuyin), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, French (Canada), French (Switzerland), German (Germany), German (Switzerland), Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese (romaji, 50On ), Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Cyrillic), Serbian (Latin), Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.

If this list is correct, some keyboards available in OS X will still be missing: Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Tamil.

In addition, some fonts that come with current iOS 4 (but not with OS X) will not have keyboards: Bengali, Oriya, Telugu, Sinhala, Kannada, Malayalam, Lao.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

More Keyboards for iPad Coming in November

Apple has announced the availability of iOS 4.2 for the iPad in November, including "Keyboard and dictionary enhancements: Choose from more than 30 new keyboards and dictionaries, including Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew."

Under Accessibility, they show "Output in braille to over 30 supported wireless Bluetooth refreshable braille displays in more than 25 languages."

(I count 13 keyboards in the current iPad and 49 in the last iPod Touch, for a difference of 36.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New iPod Touch Adds Languages

According to the tech specs of the new iPod Touch announced today, some additional languages have been added in its version of iOS 4:

UI: Cherokee

Localized Keyboards: Tagalog, Cherokee

Localized Dictionaries: Tagalog

(Annoyingly no language info is included in the tech specs for the new Apple TV.)