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Can't see Hindi on your Mac?

Hindi on a Mac

Reading and writing Hindi on a Mac

This page contains tips on how to use a Mac to view websites, mail, newsgroups in languages using the devanagari script, ie Hindi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Sanskrit. If you have questions, suggestions or tips that can be added here you may ask at this mailing list or contact the webmaster. The fonts to be used on a Mac for devanagari may be different from the ones used on other operating systems like Windows and Unix GNU/Linux.

Devanagari on Tiger

On Mac OS 10.4.x ie Tiger, you can enable devanagari fonts using the System Preferences | International | Language | Edit List option.

Certain locale settings can be changed using the Formats tab.

For typing Hindi on a Tiger, you can choose the keyboard layout using the the two options available by default are Inscript and phonetic. Once you choose one of them, the icon for the input method would be displayed on the top right corner - in the dashboard.

To switch between Devanagari and other scripts, you may use the input switcher on your Mac using a mouse or you can set a keyboard shortcut, which by default is [Apple] + [Space], and it can be changed using the

Wait, do you still have trouble viewing Hindi? Perhaps the fonts package needs to be downloaded, you can see the instructions to install Hindi fonts for the Mac straight from Stevie's website.

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Fonts

Once the Devanagari on Tiger setup is available, your mac would have the devanagari mt font available, and you would be able to use it with Address Book, iChat, Mail, iPhoto, TextEdit and all other applications that come bundled with the machine.

Note that this is not an OpenType font like the other fonts listed on the Fonts page, but it still uses unicode-defined codepoints for devanagari, only the rendering method is different.

All OpenType fonts may not work with mac because of rendering issues. Mac uses AAT + Atsui rendering, and I'm not aware of any AAT compliant unicode devanagari fonts other than the ones that are shipped by default. There is an additional fonts package on the Mac OS X Panther instatllation disk 2.

The glyph and rendering quality is excellent if you are using the default fonts shipped with the mac. So, it's not a good idea to attempt to use the fonts listed here for the mac. Nevertheless if you do know of a way to make them work on the mac, please let us know, I will add the information to this howto with credits to you.

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Websites

Safari 2.0 on Tiger has built in support for devanagari rendering. Here is a screenshot. Thanks to Simon G Brown for the image. Here is another screenshot taken on a Tiger, using Safari 2.0.4. In order for webservers to know your preferred languages, go to System Preferences | International | Languages , choose the list of languages, and then drag and drop to sort them.

Mac is known to have good support using the iCab browser. Here is a screenshot of a popular Hindi blog aggregator. iCab can be downloaded for free but free users have to bear with a popup asking them to buy, which is why the screenshot has it.

Mozilla Firefox 3.05+ has good support for Hindi display, the browser is available in Hindi too. However firefox ignores the language preference set in the System Preferences, instead, the language preferences can be set in the Preferences... dialog.

If you are a mac user and have more information about setup, please let us know about browser settings, email clients, newsreaders and text editors that can be used for devanagari on Mac.

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Mail

Once the Devanagari on Tiger setup is available, the default mail program would work fine with Hindi, here's a screenshot of Mail in Tiger. Webmail, of course, works fine on Safari or iCab.

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News

Again, I do not know of any news client for the Mac.

If you have any tips, instructions, or screenshots of news clients that can be used for devanagari on the Mac, please let me know. Some more information on Tiger is available at Anubhav Goyal's blog.


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