Sunday, February 24, 2008

OS X 10.5 Leopard: Fixing the Macedonian Keyboard

Although Leopard corrected some errors in Tiger's Macedonian keyboard layout, the current version still seems to be missing two characters which should be used in certain circumstances, namely ѐЀ and ѝЍ. If you have an ISO/European keyboard, the fix is to download a replacement layout here. If you have an ANSI/US keyboard, you should download Macedonianz.keylayout from my iDisk..

If using Macedonianz, you make the extra characters by typing Option + `, followed by the base letter.

Monday, February 11, 2008

10.5.2 Update Fixes Russian-PC, Latvian, and Chinese Keyboards?

According to its release notes, the 10.5.2 update for OS X fixes the problems mentioned in this blog with the Russian PC and Latvian keyboard layouts that came with 10.5.0. But I still don't see any ё in the Russian-PC ANSI layout on my machine. Apparently it is only present on an ISO/European keyboard. On the other hand, although not mentioned, it looks like they may have fixed the bug in HaninYiTian.

Getting Your Mac to Speak Other Languages

For an excellent up-to-date reference on other voices for OS X's Text-To-Speech features, see this page at Ricky Buchanan's ATMac site.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

If Your Chinese Characters Don't Look Quite Right....

A poster in the Apple Forums recently asked why certain Simplified Chinese characters did not look exactly the way he expected them to, giving as examples bao1 (U+5305) and fang2 (U+623F). Looking these up in the Character Palette, I discovered that they are characters where the Chinese and Japanese versions are visibly different. You can compare them here. The first column is Japanese, while the second two columns are Chinese.

So it appears that the poster's apps were using OS X's Japanese fonts instead of the Chinese ones that he wanted. Aside from switching to the correct font, one possible solution for this is to go to System Preferences/International/Languages and make sure that Simplified Chinese (简体中文) is higher on the list than Japanese (日本語).

This issue arises as a result of the unification of the Han Script in Unicode, under which slightly different versions of characters were given the same code point. Fonts produced for specific languages will nonetheless retain the different versions. For more info you can check here.