Teaching and Learning with Technology

Computing With Accents and Foreign Scripts

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Install Fonts
Macintosh System 9

View Macintosh OS X Instructions

Although Macintosh comes with variety of Web fonts, you may sometimes wish to install additional fonts, especially for working with ancient languages or undersupported minority languages.

This Page

  1. Classification of Fonts
  2. Some Font Links
  3. Downloading and Installation
  4. Using Unicode Fonts
  5. Using Print Fonts

Classification of Fonts

In terms of an operating system, a font can come in several varieties:


  1. Unicode - Complies with Unicode encoding and ideal for Web viewing. Unfortunately, many of these fonts may not be usable in System 9 (although they are in OS X ). An font encoded for a specific script may be a better solution in some cases.
  2. Encoded - Complies with a specific encoding scheme and is also designed for Web viewing. A keyboard utility would also be needed for typing.
  3. Print Font - Encoded as ASCII/Latin 1, but with special characters replacing English letters. The Symbol Greek letter font is a print font. No special keyboard utilities are needed, but they should only be used in Word, P D F or any document meant to be printed.

Print Quality

  1. TrueType (.ttf) - Most freeware and share fonts are TrueType. These fonts are designed to be printable at any font size.
  2. Postscript - Higher quality (and higher-priced) fonts designed for professional desktop publishing. These are usually available only from commercial foundries (font manufacturers) like Adobe. TrueType fonts are sufficient for most applications.
  3. Bitmapped - Older fonts designed for monitors. They are usually available in only a few fixed font sizes. Some older freeware fonts are bitmapped. They are font for viewing Web sites, but may not work well for print.

Licensing Terms

To determine the license for a font, you should read the Web page or the "Read Me" file.

  1. Freeware - Fonts which can be used for free. Some licenses restrict free usage to educational or personal use only. Other licenses allow you to distribute font packages to students, but not to sell it for a profit.
  2. Shareware - Low-cost fonts available on the Web. Some allow you to download it for free, but you are obligated to pay a fee if you decide to use it permanently.
  3. Commercial - You must pay a license before you can download the font.

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Some Font Links

The following fonts are available to support additional characters not available in the default system fonts. All fonts are free for commercial use and can be installed on both Windows and Mac OS X except where noted. System 9 does not fully support Unicode fonts.

These sites list sources for different fonts by script. A Google search is also recommended for specific scripts.

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Downloading and Installation

  1. Quit all applications except for your Web browser before downloading a Web file.
  2. Most Web sites package the font in a single .zip or SuffitIt (.sit) file for downloading. Click on the "Download" or the compressed file link to download the file onto your machine.
  3. Use the StuffIt utility to uncompress the file.
  4. In the fonts folder, read the "ReadMe" file for any licensing or technical information.
  5. To install the fonts, move the fonts into the System folder. The system will ask if you want to place the items in the Fonts folder. Click OK to complete the install.

Working with a Windows Font

If you can only find a Window TrueType font (.ttf file) , then you can use the shareware application TTConverter 1.5 to convert the file to a Mac format. Downloads are available from:

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Using a Unicode or Encoded Font

For Web Viewing

Go to a Web site which uses your script and is encoded as Unicode and make sure the script is visible. If necessary, adjust your browser settings so that the right script is matched with the right font.

Instructions for adjusting browsers

Unicode Test Pages

The following Web sites show Unicode with a number of different scripts. Some pages may take time time to download and process.

Results will vary. Some scripts such as Greek and Cyrillic are well supported, others such as Armenian and phonetic symbols have lesser support, and some such as Runic and Cherokee have little to no support.

For Printing

To type an entire text, you will need to either:

  1. install a print font
  2. purchase a text editor designed for that script
  3. install a Language Kit for that script if available
  4. install a third-party keyboard utility for that script

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Using a Print Font

Once the font is installed, it can be used with Word, WordPerfect, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign or any product where content is designed for print.

If the content needs to be placed on the Web and you only have print font available, try converting the file to P D F.

Previewing a Font

To preview fonts in a print font, open the Key Caps utility in the Apple menu and select the Font you wish to preview from the top menu.
Note: Characters will appear to not change in an Encoded font, you must switch keyboards to see how these fonts will appear.

KeyCaps with Textile Font

Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:41:19 EDT