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Unicode fonts

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Understanding unicode 

The explanation at Unicode.org is a good place to begin.

'Unicode provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language.' (Unicode.org, 2011)

Put more simply, no matter what font is used, your computer and other computers will always know exactly what symbol is called for and display the text correctly.

Note: AOSIS OpenJournals publishes in four different formats, namely, PDF, HTML, XML and ePUB. If your article is not unicode compliant, then it will not be possible to produce all four formats. We will send the back to you to make the fonts Unicode compliant to enable us to produce all four formats.

How to check whether your font-type is unicode compliant

  1. Open your article in your text editor.
  2. Highlight all the text within your article and change the font to Arial or Times New Roman.
  3. Scrutinise your entire article.
  • Document reads perfectly? If the words are readable and identifiable, then the font that you are using is unicode compliant.  
  • Document has changed certain or all characters? Font used is not unicode compliant and needs to be changed prior to submission to this journal.

Which fonts are Unicode compliant?

  • To use Unicode, you will need to install (or find already installed) Unicode fonts on your computer. This is neither difficult nor costly.
  • For basic information and links to numerous Unicode fonts, seehttp://www.alanwood.net/unicode/fonts.html
    • Arial Unicode MS
    • Courier New
    • DejaVu Serif
    • Gentium
    • Garamond
    • Minion Pro
    • Myriad Pro
    • Tahoma
    • Times New Roman 
    • Verdana

Unicode in Windows

Installing fonts on a Windows computer is fairly simple.

  1. Download the font.
  2. If it is a compressed file (such as .zip), expand it.
  3. Open the fonts folder by clicking on Start, then Settings, then Control Panel, then Fonts.
  4. Drag the font file(s) into this folder. It should automatically install.

Using the insert symbol function

  • Use the Insert Symbol function (found in the Insert menu). This function allows you to choose characters from a grid displayed in its own window. Double-clicking the desired character inserts it at the cursor in the document.
  • Use the symbol insert window to assign keystrokes to the characters you use most often. For example, you might assign the keystroke alt+a to the lower case a with macron, and alt+shif+A to capital A with macron.

Keyboard for Windows
The preferred method for typing in Unicode. Essentially this means telling Windows that you want a different keyboard layout to be available for use. At this step things might vary from computer to computer.

  • Click on Start, then Settings, then Control Panel.
  • Double click Regional and Language Options. The window that opens should have three tabs: Regional Options, Languages, and Advanced.
  • Click on the Keyboards and Languages tab.
  • Options include installing additional languages or changing the keyboard. Read the guidelines provided by Windows carefully.
  • Select ‘Change keyboards’ in the same window after installing additional language.
  • To make it your default keyboard you must choose it in the drop down list under Default Input Language at the top of this window. Click Add.
  • Proceed to select the ‘Language Bar’ tab at the top and ensure that the box ‘Show additional Language bar icons in the taskbar’ is ticked.
  • Now there should be a little keyboard icon in the task bar at the bottom of your screen (if there wasn't already). (It will be next to the blue square with EN in it, which signifies that the current input language is English. If you use no other languages, this icon might not be there.) When you click on the small keyboard icon, a list of keyboard choices pops up. If you made Alt-Latin the default, it should be in bold type. (However, it may not appear until the next time you restart your computer. Until then it might be a blank line in the list.)

Typing with the alternative keyboard is simple. For most letters you will do things as you always have. When you need a special character or a character with a diacritic or accent, you will use key combinations with the Alt key to the right of the space bar (the one on the left side does not work for this in Windows, unfortunately). For example, to type the letter a with a macron you hold down the Alt key and press the letter a, release them both, then type the letter a. For letters with a dot below them, hold down Alt, press the period key, release both, then type the letter which needs the dot.

Unicode in Macintosh

To enter Unicode text on a Macintosh, you have several options.
Firstly, you may use the Character Pallette, which is found in the Input Menu (the flag menu in the upper right, near the clock).

  • If the Character Pallette option is not shown, enable it by doing the following:
    1. Go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences.
    2. In the Preferences window, choose International.
    3. Select Input Menu.
    4. Check Character Pallette. You can also check Keyboard Viewer, Unicode Hex Input, and US Extended at this time.
    5. Check Alt-Latin. If it is not there, see below for information on installing it.
    6. Make sure the "Show Input Menu in menu bar" option is checked.
  • To use the Character Pallette to enter Unicode characters in a document, just keep it open in the background. When you need a character, you can enter it by double clicking on it in Character Pallette.
  • A useful feature of Character Pallette is the ability to designate frequently-used characters as favourites, saving you the trouble of finding the different letters each time you need them.
  • For more information on Character Pallette, see Alan Wood's site:http://www.alanwood.net/unicode/utilities_fonts_macosx.html

Secondly, you may use the excellent and extremely simple Alt-Latin keyboardor LatinTL keyboard, both of which were created specifically for this purpose by Kino.

  • To install either keyboard (or both of them), you must first download AltLatin.zip and/or LatinTL_X.dmg.sit fromhttp://quinon.com/files/keylayouts/ (or from our Alt-Latin page).
  • If your browser does not automatically expand the .zip or .sit file, tell it to save the file to your desktop (so it will be easy to find), then manually expand it. Usually this can be done simply by double-clicking the file, which will start the appropriate decompression program. LatinTL expands to a disk image, but for the purpose of installation you can treat it just like a folder.
  • Follow the instructions in the "readme" file to install the keyboard(s).
  • Make it visible in the Input Menu by following the instructions given above for the Character Pallette.
  • Because Alt-Latin and LatinTL work like any other keyboard, you will not have to change keyboards unless you need to type in a different alphabet, such as Arabic.
  • Entering letters with diacritics using either keyboard is very simple:
    1. Make sure you are using a Unicode font. It may work with other fonts, but you should use Unicode (OS X comes with Lucida Grande and there are others available).
    2. To enter a vowel with a macron, simply hold down either optionkey and hit the letter 'a' simultaneously. Release them, then type the letter that needs the macron (using the shift key if you need a capital).
    3. For letters with dots below, press option and period, release, then type the letter.
    4. Hamza is shift+option+P, and 'ayn is option+p. (This may not work in Microsoft Word with Alt-Latin – reason unknown. If it does not work, use the LatinTL keyboard instead, or use the Character Pallette for these two characters. These keystrokes do work in TextEdit and other software with Alt-Latin.)
  • The PDF file included with Alt-Latin shows maps of the keyboard, in case you need something not mentioned here, or you may use our maps found on http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/mideast/encyclopedia/unicode.html.
  • The layout of LatinTL is very similar, with only a few differences, and it also includes maps. (See the Alt-Latin page for a description of the differences.)
  • Click here for diagrams of the Alt-Latin keyboard (usable for LatinTL as well, with a few differences) and for downloads.
  • The diagrams are for the Windows version, but the layout is almost identical to the Mac version. The main difference is that where the Windows version uses only the Alt key to the right of the space bar, the Mac version uses either of the two Option keys. This makes the Mac version a little more comfortable to use, since you can use either hand. (There is no Windows version of LatinTL.)
  • There are downloadable PDF files of the diagrams available on the same page, in case you would like to print them for easier reference while typing.
  • Kino's site (linked above) also has numerous other Macintosh keyboard and font resources, such as some keyboards based on non-US layouts (notably a UK variant of Alt-Latin).

Thirdly, you may want to use Knut S. Vikør's Jaghbub keyboard layouts (and, perhaps, his Unicode fonts).
His Arabic Macintosh pages have long been one of the web's most useful sources for Mac users who need to type Arabic or transliteration, and he has updated both the pages and the downloadable resources he created.

  • The page on transliteration, ‘Writing Arabic with Latin letters’, explains the issues and provides a downloadable file containing the JaghbUni font package and the American Diacs. keyboard layout.
  • The Jaghbub font package page gives more information about the three fonts included, as well as German, French, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, US and UK keyboard layouts for typing diacritics in Unicode fonts.
  • There are also separate keyboard layouts for typing IPA characters in Unicode fonts for the same national standards (that is, the non-option keys follow the regular national keyboard standard, but the IPA characters are all placed on option keys under no particular standard).

For any keyboard layout, you can always select Keyboard Viewer from the Input Menu to see what different keystrokes will do.

These instructions were taken from:http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/mideast/encyclopedia/unicode.html



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