Compatible Font for Macs and PCs...

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at EARTHLINK.NET
Sat Nov 29 09:10:40 UTC 2008


Again, your problem is not simply a font problem, but stems from the fact
that the previous encoding that your word processor and font used to mark
special characters like diacriticaled letters was not unicode utf-8
compliant. Different encodings were used, and those encodings, not just the
font, need to be converted or replaced. Macs made very clumsy transitions to
unicode: while Apple built unicode compliance into OS X, none of the word
processers (M$ Word, Nisus, etc.) fully implemented it for a long time.
Mellel was the first software to handle entering unicode text smoothly.

That leaves you three choices if you want to use the old files on your new
Mac, and upgrade them to work with unicode fonts.

1. Open the file in your current word processor and manually retype all the
diacriticals, word by word. Obviously tedious and unforgivingly time
consuming (but less time consuming than typing everything over again from

2. Identify which gibberish characters stand for which diacritical, and do
global search and replace for each letter, one by one. Typically, because of
encoding issues, this does not go completely smoothly: some encoding may
overlap with codes for punctuation marks or other characters leading to
replacing things that shouldn't be replaced. The way to avoid that is to do
the global replaces one replace at a time, rather than "replace all" (at
once), and make sure each occasion is the letter you want. That is also VERY
time consuming, so, depending on how many false replacements you are likely
to get (you'll get a sense of this once you've started to convert some
files), you might want to do a "replace all" and then browse through the
file to see what needs to be "uncorrected" from what you just did. You may
also have to do some reformatting (e.g., italicize) after you have made all
the conversions.

3. Go to Nobumi Iyanaga's site and see how he did it. He has macros that
will do many of the conversions for you.

Once your file is encoded to be unicode compliant, any unicode font (such as
Times Ext Roman, Titus fonts, Gandhari unicode, etc.) will display the
diacriticals properly. In other words, it is not simply a font problem, but
an encoding problem. Even Iyanaga's solutions will be time consuming, but
once you get the knack, it will be a lot easier than option #1 or 2.

Best of luck.


More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list