Saturday, December 29, 2012

Info On Apple-Provided Fonts

Apple currently publishes two notes listing the fonts provided with its products:

For OS X 10.8, HT5379

For iOS 6, HT5484

Regarding conditions on their use, the OS X License reads as follows:

E. Fonts. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you may use the fonts included with the Apple Software to display and print content while running the Apple Software; however, you may only embed fonts in content if that is permitted by the embedding restrictions accompanying the font in question. These embedding restrictions can be found in the Font Book/Preview/Show Font Info panel.

Paper Version of Unicode Standard Again Available

Unicode stopped publishing the hard copy edition of the Standard after Version 5.0, but has recently again made the core specification available via Lulu.  No code charts, but nearly 700 pages of useful info, nice quality paperback, reasonable price.  If interested, see this page.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Multilingual Mac Web Site Updated

I've recently updated and simplified the reference web site, Unleash Your Multilingual Mac.  Comments and corrections by viewers are always welcome.

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.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Emoji Name List

Both OS X and iOS have a very large number of Unicode Emoji characters available, either via a dedicated keyboard layout (iOS) or the Character Viewer (OS X).  For anyone interested in the formal names of all of them, which may indicate what they are intended to signify,  I have recently found a useful list here.

It is best to use Safari, as I think other browsers cannot yet handle the Apple Color Emoji font.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Unicode Bug in Pages

A poster in the ASC forums recently reminded me of a weird long-standing bug in the Pages app :  You cannot directly input the Unicode characters ZWJ (zero width joiner, 200D) or ZWJN (zero width non-joiner, 200C).  When you try to do so, they simply don't ever appear in the text.  I don't know of any other app which has this problem, which was noted in this blog back in 2008.

The main result of this bug is that there are certain character sequences used languages which employ the Arabic, S. Asian, and SE Asian scripts which cannot be written properly. A particularly notable example is the "Sri" in the name of the country Sri Lanka.  In its native Sinhala script, this is written with the sequence 0DC1 0DCA 200D 0DBB 0DD3.  When the 200D is left out, the result is wrong as shown here :

A possible workaround is to write your text which needs these characters in TextEdit and copy/paste into Pages.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Mongolian Keyboard Layout

Thanks to the firm Mountain Edge, a new Mongolian Cyrillic keyboard layout is available for OS X.  It follows the MS Windows pattern and can be obtained here.

Those who prefer a QWERTY pattern layout can download mine from

Another one is available at this page.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bugs in Apple's Telugu Font

A contributor to the Apple Support Communities has pointed out that the Telugu Sangam font provided by Apple in iOS and OS X has incorrect characters.  Preferably it should not be used for that language.  In particular the syllables "ho," "hoo," and "so" are wrong.  Telugu MN Bold has similar problems. Until Apple fixes these or replaces them with a better font, you should use Telugu MN Regular or download the alternative Ramaneeya.

(Unfortunately adding fonts to iOS devices is not yet possible.)

Thanks to Appaji Ambarisha Darbha for that font and the details on the wrong characters.

I notice that similar bugs in the Malayalam font described here have not yet been fixed.