Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tibetan Input in Leopard - MacOSX 10.5

Ok, here's more info, if you go into the preferences in Leopard (MaxOSX 10.5), and select the International/Input part, and scroll down, you will notice that there are three new input methods, Tibetan - Otani, Tibetan - QWERTY and Tibetan - Wylie.

If you enable those, you will get new input methods. Those could be enabled/disabled at the small icon next to the volume icon in the top-right corner.

What this all means that it's now very, very easy to type Unicode Tibetan on a Mac system! I have not tried out the Sanskrit level stacking which is usually tricky, as Wylie does not really cover it all, but general Tibetan works just fine, and the new built-in font also looks very nice. The default size is usually small, so you need to adjust this if you type documents and entries with Tibetan fonts.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm very excited, and am almost ready to move up to Leopard! I have not-really-so-old files in Robillard LTibetan font that no longer read correctly, and would be quite difficult to fix. With unicode, perhaps we can have some confidence that our Tibetan script input will remain stable far into the future. Tell us more about the Wylie input. Is "extended Wylie" (capitals for long vowels and reversed consonants for example) meant by this?

Dab

Kent Sandvik said...

Yes, Unicode is really the way to finally get out from the issues of fonts that have specific control characters, causing it impossible to share Tibetan material unless you have the right font installed.

I'm myself actually going to an Unicode-only Tibetan intput mode from now, installed Leopard on my MacBookPro last night. It might take a little bit until everyone has systems that support properly Tibetan Unicode (Leopard, Vista), so I will not use it for web pages yet, but very soon.

The little tests I did, all you need is to flip to the Tibetan - Wylie input mode, and type Wylie and the Tibetan letters show up. It assumes that the application handled Unicode, but most well-behaved Macintosh Applications should do it, if nothing else, Pages from iWork is cheap and works fine.

I'm not sure about Sanskrit-originated words, especially with rare stacking orders. It might be that you need to use JSkad for a while to get those converted. Jskad is good for block conversion of Wylie or ACIP material, anyway.

As for Robillard LTibetan, ask Nithartha in case their converter is handling Robillard to Unicode.

Wangdu said...

Hi Kent,
BTW, Spotlight seems to work very well with unicode Tibetan. But in Pages there are problems with find and replace.

Wangdu said...

But find and replace seem to work in Textedit

Kent Sandvik said...

OK, I will test search/replace with Pages when I'm back at the office, and if problems, file an internal bug report! I assume you used the latest Pages, iWork08.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Leopard's support of TIbetan is amazing :)
Testing:

བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས་