Saturday, April 24, 2004

MORE ON UNICODE AND THE MAC. Paul Nikkel e-mails:
In regard to the post today about unicode fonts on the Mac. You may be happy to know that the Mac OS does indeed support unicode fonts, at least since Mac OS 8.5. The area where problems occur is in various applications, for instance, MS Office. Of course MS Office is horrible for any work in Hebrew as the right-to-left text support is basically non-existant. The solution is to use another word processor. If you're working on a Mac you probably know of these programs but I'm on a roll typing now and it's hard to stop... Nisus Writer was the popular alternative in Mac OS 9, they updated to OS X with Nisus Writer Express. However, NWE is based on an entirely different platform and should not be considered the same as the original Nisus Writer for OS 9. The most popular alternative for OS X is Mellel which is fairly full-featured and has excellent font support (including unicode).

As for OpenType fonts, they are not something I'm too familiar with but according to the documentation from Apple that I can find they are supported in OS X also.

And Jan-Wim Wesselius e-mails:
[T]he article by David Instone-Brewer about Unicode is unfortunately off the mark with regard to the Mac (only for OSX, that is). Especially Mellel ( does a very good job as a Unicode word-processor with all kinds of extras and a surprisingly low price-tag ($ 30). And the standard browser, Safari, handles websites with Unicode Hebrew very well also, as far as I can see.

Okay, thanks guys. I can see that my hope of being able to ignore the issue (or at least of being able not to feel guilty about ignoring the issue) was in vain. Mac user take note: you can use Unicode.

Also, readers, do have a look at Paul's blog and website Deinde. He has more to say on Unicode and the Mac there. (If there's a way to link to individual posts on his site, I couldn't find it.)

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