A poster in the Apple Support Communities (ASC) has pointed out that the Kurdish input source provided with MacOS does not have the mapping officially promoted by the Kurdish Regional Government. For one that does conform to this, go here. Another version can be found on this page.
One of the new features in MacOS 10.14 Mojave is supposed to be "romanized keyboard input for Japanese" or "romanized English input for Japanese Keyboard".
I had a hard time figuring out what this referred to, but thanks to info provided by Magnus Lewan it appears to be a feature making it easier to type English words in the middle of Japanese text. Some explanation in Japanese is here.
Mac is more fluent than ever. MacOS Mojave adds UK English, Australian English, Canadian French, and Traditional Chinese for Hong Kong language options; improved maps for China; and romanized keyboard input for Japanese.
The US International keyboard layout used in Windows differs considerably from Apple's US International PC layout on the option/alt level. You can get a test version of one for Mac which conforms to the Windows layout here.
Among the many 3rd party screen keyboards available for iOS, I recently found one called PADKEYS that imitates the normal hardware keyboard layout, with a number/punctuation row at the top, an option key for symbols and accents, cursor keys, etc. Covers English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.
In MacOS 10.13.2, it appears that you cannot switch directly from Chinese/Japanese/Korean to Cyrillic/Arabic/Hebrew/Greek keyboard layouts. In order to get the correct results, you must first switch to US or another Latin input source.
It's possible other keyboards are involved, but these are the ones where I have seen complaints and tested myself.
Hopefully this bug will be fixed in a future update.
Quite a few users have reported missing Chinese and other input sources after updating to MacOS 10.13 High Sierra. I've found that a Safe Boot often fixes this. If not, Apple has published an article that should do the trick.
I have seen a number of complaints by Arabic users that the font used in iOS 11 has changed to the nastaliq calligraphy style often found in Urdu text, which they find very hard to read. A possible fix is to go to Settings > General > Language and make sure that Arabic is higher than Urdu in the list of Preferred Languages.
Korean text produced before the orthography reforms of early 20th century can contain various archaic Hangul forms. Archaic_and_obsolete_letters Not all fonts will support correct display of these. Three which do are
Apple's new APFS file system (replacing HFS+) has been implemented in iOS 10.3 and will also become standard in MacOS 10.13 when it is released this fall. It changes the way Unicode Normalization is handled for file names, which could have implications for various languages where the same filename can have different forms depending on the normalization applied.
Whether that will matter in practice I don't know, but readers interested in this complex topic may want to have a look at these two articles and their comments:
I was intrigued by Apple's announcement last week of its new Core ML system for incorporating trained machine learning models into apps for iOS and MacOS. Anyone interested in how such models for neural network language translation can be produced may want to check out this Google tutorial.
Users trying to customize the Character Picker/Accent Menu via the methods that have worked since OS X 10.7 (reported here) will find things have changed in Sierra. For updated instructions see this page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.