Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Multilingual Mac Web Site Updated

I've updated the reference web site, Unleash Your Multilingual Mac, to reflect OS 10.9.  Comments and corrections by viewers are always welcome.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Alternative Bengali Keyboard for OS X

A poster in the Apple discussion forums (ASC) recently brought the "Bangla-onkur" Bengali keyboard to my attention, which may be of interest to users of this language as an alternative to the Bangla and Bangla QWERTY provide by Apple.  You can get it here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Adding Custom Fonts To iOS Devices

Beginning with iOS 7, it is possible to add custom fonts to an iOS device via a mobile.config file.   The reference doc for how one creates such a file and includes a font as a payload can be found here.

Although somewhat complex, this option could be helpful for users who need to add fonts for significant languages still missing from iOS, such as Khmer, Myanmar, and Ethiopic/Amharic.  I have not tried to make such a file myself.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Keyboard App For iOS Covers Vast Number Of Languages

Tavultesoft has released an iOS version of its Keyman multilingual keyboard app, which they say can cover over 600 languages.  For info see this page.

The text produced can be routed directly to the Message, Mail, and Twitter apps.  Unfortunately, where iOS does not yet have a font for the language, you will only see squares in those apps, although you will see the right characters in Keyman itself.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

OS 10.9 Mavericks: New Arabic Fonts

To the 7 Arabic fonts provided with OS 10.8 (Al Bayan, Baghdad, Damascus, Decotype Naskh, Geeza Pro, Nadeem, Kufi) Apple has added 11 more in Mavericks, shown in the graphic below:

iOS 7 Offers Added Languages Display In Some Apps

One of the somewhat hidden features of iOS 7 is the vastly expanded list of extra fonts which can be downloaded by certain apps when necessary.  This can be found at the bottom of

As a result, iOS devices can now display Khmer, Myanmar, and Ethiopic in an app like Pages, which was not possible before.  It appears, however, that this cannot yet be done in Mail or Safari, where it is most needed.  And of course there are still no keyboards for these scripts.

Oddly this list includes what appear to be 13 Arabic fonts that are in addition to the 18 already available in OS X.  What these would be needed for is a mystery.

Friday, November 1, 2013

OS 10.9 Mavericks: Language Glitches

Some major language problems  found so far in the new OS X:

+You can no longer set the keyboard layout for Kotoeri Japanese input in its preferences, but have to rely on the layout of the last keyboard used.  This is a throwback to the OS X of several versions ago and extremely annoying, especially for those with JIS keyboards.  They have to activate and select the US layout before using Kotoeri.  Apple has issued a tech note which recommends disabling all other input sources, but this is not a satisfactory solution for most users.

Pending a fix from Apple, you can try an alternative Japanese IM from Google.

+The Message > Text Encoding menu item has been deleted from Mail.  This makes it impossible for the user to fix wrongly encoded incomings or set the outgoing encoding to meet the special requirements of recipients, and significantly reduces the language capabilities of Mail compared to other email clients.  (Note:  Not fixed in Mail update of 11/7/13)

Users can force Mail to send UTF-8 by including a Unicode dingbat in their message, if that is of help in a specific case.