Monday, December 10, 2012

Bugs in OS X Khmer and Myanmar Keyboard Layouts

Languages like Thai, Khmer, and Myanmar do not separate words with spaces, so achieving correct line endings can be a challenge.  Normally this is done automatically via a special dictionary or by the author typing a zero width space (ZWSP, U+200B) between each word.

While OS X has a Thai line breaking dictionary and includes ZWSP at Shift + space in the keyboard layout, neither of these have been provided for Khmer and Myanmar.  This makes the keyboard layouts included for these scripts kind of useless for some important purposes. 

For Khmer you can try instead the SBBIC keyboard.  This has ZWSP on the normal space key. Also you can get here a version of Apple's keyboard I modified to behave this way.

For Myanmar try the AviUnie layout..  It has ZWSP on the comma key.  A modified version of Apple's layout, with ZWSP on the space key, can be had here.

It also looks like the font Khmer Sangam cannot handle certain superscript combinations, so you need to use Khmer MN instead.  Both of Apple's Khmer fonts have the wrong glyph for nyo+coeng+nyo. An alternative is the font Khmer OS.

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