Friday, January 31, 2014

Bug in Apple Arabic Fonts

A poster in the Apple Support Communities has pointed out that most Apple Arabic fonts in Mavericks will not display certain vowel sign sequences correctly, include the default Geeza Pro.

My initial testing indicates that Waseem and Diwan work, as well as some English fonts that happen to include Arabic, like Courier New.  Others are the SIL fonts Lateef and Scheherazade.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Writing Systems of the World

I recently came across this interesting map showing the geography of the world's major writing systems.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mac 30-Year Anniversary Font

See this page to get a custom font created by Apple showing Mac models of the last 30 years.

The characters are in the Unicode Private Use Area.  You should be able to use the Character Viewer or the Unicode Hex keyboard layout to input them (U+E600 to U+E643).  Of course only someone else who has installed the font can see the characters on a web page or email, but they should show up on a .pdf for anyone.

Reading Non-Unicode Sinhala

While it is strongly recommended that only Unicode fonts be used for writing Sinhala, sometimes you have to work with text created using legacy encodings, which will not display properly unless you can find the right custom font.  I recently came across this site where such text can be converted to Unicode:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

iWork For iCloud Beta: Still No RTL Or Indic Support

The update for iWork for iCloud Beta announced by Apple January 23, 2014 (the 3rd since its initial release to the public last July) did not fix the broken support for Arabic/Hebrew or Indic scripts.  The characters for Arabic are unconnected and in reverse order, while for Indic scripts vowel reordering and conjunct formation is not possible.   The languages involved are used by about 1 billion people.

Monday, January 20, 2014

App To Add Fonts to iOS Devices

Thanks to Keith Martin, there is now an app available which lets users add fonts to their iOS 7 devices, using the technique described in an earlier article.  You can get it at

This should be particularly valuable for users who want to add fonts for scripts still missing from iOS, such as Myanmar, Khmer, Thaana, Syriac, Mongolian, etc.

iOS apps with similar capabilities are at