Teaching and Learning with Technology

Computing With Accents and Foreign Scripts

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Phonetic Transcription for the Web

More browsers and phonetics Web sites are targeting a Unicode solution which is described below, but workarounds may still be needed for older browsers.

This Page

  1. Recommended Browsers and Fonts for Unicode
  2. Get Phonetic Character Maps/Palettes
  3. Get Phonetics Keyboards
  4. Web Development
  5. Other Links

Other Pages on Phonetics

  1. Numeric Entity Codes (New Page)
  2. Numeric Entity Codes for Vowel Diacritics
  3. Mac OS X Extended Keyboard Accent Codes
  4. Windows Character Map
  5. Mac Character Palette
  6. Non-Unicode Work Arounds

Recommended Fonts and Browsers

Fonts

The following Unicode fonts include a comprehensive set of phonetic characters and are free for academic use.

Browsers

The following browsers have the most consistent results.

IPA Unicode Test Text: θɪs ə ənʌðər tɛst

Note on Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer for Windows does not display phonetic symbols by default. Users who prefer Internet Explorer for Windows should set the Latin font to Arial Unicode MS or some other Unicode script with phonetic symbol support.

Internet Explorer for Macintosh does not support IPA Unicode symbols.

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Get Phonetic Character Maps/Palettes

These programs provide a pop-up window which allows you to insert different phonetic characters. See pages for installation and usage instructions.

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Get Phonetics Keyboards

If you need to type phonetic symbols often, you may want to install phonetic keyboard utilities designed to work with the SIL Doulos and SIL Charis fonts.

Windows

Installation of UCL Phonetic Keyboard

Here are instructions for the UCL Unicode Phonetic Keyboard phonetics keyboard. This is a freeware package from the University College London. Note that activation instructions are similar to those for the U.S. International Keyboard.

Note: The UCL Unicode Phonetic keyboard is available in the Student Computing Labs.

  1. Download the .exe file for the Unicode Phonetic Keyboard onto your desktop.
  2. Double click .exe file and follow installation instructions. Both the phonetics fonts and the keyboard will be installed.
  3. To activate the keyboard, go to Control Panels » Regional Options.
  4. Click the Language tab on the top, then click the Details button. Next click the Add button.
  5. Select "English (United States)" or "English (United Kingdom)" in the "Input Locale" menu.
  6. In the "Keyboard layout" menu, select Unicode Phonetic Keyboard (UCL).
  7. Click OK to close all windows.
  8. To use the keyboard, open any Windows application. At the bottom right of the screen, you will see the EN languag bar icon with a keyboard icon next to it. Switch the keyboard to Unicode Phonetic Keyboard (UCL).
  9. Type text. Symbols are inserted using the Shift keys, RightAlt key and Shift+RightAlt keys. For capital letters, you will need to switch back to the default English keyboard.
  10. Change fonts to SIL Doulos or SIL Charis as needed.
  11. If the utility cannot be installed, then use the Windows Character Map to insert phonetic symbols.

Macintosh

Here are the instructions for the IPA-SIL phonetics keyboard. This is a freeware package from SIL.org (although this is called an "alpha" version, it has been available for several years).

Note: The SIL Phonetic keyboard is available in the Student Computing Labs.

  1. Download the .dmg file for the IPA-SIL keyboard (or the IPA Unicode 5.1 Keyboard) onto your desktop.
  2. When the file opens, you will see a file called IPA-SIL.keylayout. Click the Hard Drive icon, then the Library folder. Drag the .keylayout file into your Keyboard Layouts folder (this is the Library folder for all users).
  3. To activate the keyboard, open System Preferences, then click the International icon.
  4. Click the Input Menu tab, then check the IPA-SIL keyboard.
  5. To use the keyboard, open any Unicode aware application such as Microsoft Word 2004 or NeoOffice. In the upper right, you will see an American flag icon. Switch to the IPA-SIL icon.
  6. Type text. Symbols are inserted using the Shift keys,Option key and Shift+Option keys. For capital letters, you will need to switch back to the default English keyboard.
  7. Change fonts to SIL Doulos or SIL Charis as needed.
  8. If the utility cannot be installed, then use the Macintosh Character Viewer/Palette to insert phonetic symbols.

Logic Symbol Keyboard Option: Penn State also offers a Logic Keyboard for the Macintosh which enables users to enter logic and mathematical symbols from a keyboard.

Web Development

Declare Unicode

No matter which method you use to create the document, the HTML page must be declared as a Unicode page with the following meta-tag.

<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
...
</head>

IPA Unicode Keyboards

Use the keyboard resources listed above to generate IPA symbols in HTML documents.

Unicode Numeric Entity Codes

If you cannot use a Unicode phonetics keyboard, then you can substitute numeric entity codes instead. For example:

See the Main Numeric Entity Code Chart and the Diacritic Chart for details.

Specifying Phonetic Font Styles

Although it is generally not recommended to specify fonts for a language, it should be done for phonetic characters in order to force Internet Explorer to use the correct display display fonts.This can be done either via CSS styles or via the FONT tag. Below are the CSS style classes listing suggested font specifications.

.serifipa {font-family: "TITUS Cyberbit Basic", "Doulos SIL", "Gentium", "Junicode", "Cardo", "Aborigonal Serif","Arial Unicode MS"}

.ipa {font-family: "Arial Unicode MS"}

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Links

Third Party Fonts

The following fonts are availble free for educational use and include all encoded phonetic symbols.

IPA Unicode Char Maps/Palettes and Keyboards

These keyboards can either be used to type text into an HTML editor or cut and pasted from a text editor. See the Web tips section for more details.

Windows

Macintosh OS X

Downloadable Keyboards

You can install these keyboard utilites on your computer to type phonetic characters.

Windows

Macintosh OS X

Online Keyboards

These utilities let you type a character on a virtual keyboard, then cut and paste the symbols into a document.

Phonetics in HTML

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:39:57 EDT