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:



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