Write in Multiple Languages

Though it is invisible, “Language” is an attribute of your text. If the language attribute is applied correctly, changing the language of a portion of the text changes the

input method (keyboard),

dictionary and/or thesaurus (if there is one for that language),

font and size (if appropriate),

QuickFix typo and related corrections, including quotation mark styles (if you have set them).

While Nisus Writer Express is set up “out of the box” to write in American English, it supports writing in any version of English (or other European romanic4 and Cyrillic languages), or in a mixture of these languages. It supports writing in languages where the shape of the alphabetic character changes depending on its position in relation to other characters (Devanagari, Thai, etc.—similar in concept to “script” in romanic handwriting where letters following the b, o, v and w have slightly different shapes because these letters end above the baseline). It also supports writing in East Asian languages where writing is syllabic or ideographic rather than alphabetic such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean (including vertical text).

The Macintosh uses the concept of "script" to refer to a variety of phenomena:

instructions for the computer to follow (as in the script of a play or a movie)

the shape of certain romanic fonts (as in the word “script

methods of writing

“left to right” such as English (or other European romanic and Cyrillic languages)

right to left” such as Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Ladino, Persian, Syriac, Yiddish

where the shape of the alphabetic character changes depending on its position in relation to other characters such (Arabic and Thai, as well as with a few characters in English)

where writing is syllabic or ideographic (East Asian languages) rather than alphabetic such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Nisus Writer Express supports Unicode which is explained in the “Glossary of Useful Terms” on page 447. It can mix and match characters from any language in any document, page, paragraph, sentence and/or word.

Set up language support

Nisus Writer Express enables you to edit your text in any language the Macintosh supports.

This allows you to use specialized dictionaries, thesauri (if available), a localized keyboard (input method) and a specific font for characters unique to that language if the primary font (the one you have set in that document (or the Nisus New File)) does not have them. This also enables you to use the QuickFix Preferences you set in relation to that language. For more information about QuickFix see “QuickFix Preferences” on page 362.

Remember, “Language” is an attribute of your text.

You will achieve best results in writing in the language of your choice if you take a few minutes to set the Languages preference of Nisus Writer Express in advance.

1. Choose the menu command: Nisus Writer Express > Preferences > Languages.

image-73.png

Figure 30
The
Languages portion of the Preferences dialog

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Figure 31
The “+” (plus) portion of the Languages
Preferences

Along the left column you will see those languages you have enabled in the International panel in the System Preferences. You can add or subtract your own “designer” language (Tok Pisin5, Jawi6, Syriac7, Klingon8 for example). If a language you would like to use is missing from the list, click + (Plus) or Add Custom (for a “designer” language) and add it to the list.

image-75.png

Figure 32
Text in Klingon

You can choose a custom language icon as illustrated in Figure 32 for your Nisus Writer Languages preferences. Just drag (or paste) an image into the flag icon image-well as illustrated in Figure 33.

818757A3-3689-4C8F-8E9B-D2910D0D9EF9.png

Figure 33
Using a custom language icon in the Nisus Writer Languages preferences

You can set the language of the interface of Nisus Writer by choosing it from the Interface Language (menus, dialogs, etc.) pop-up menu. The languages listed are those for which we have translators/localizers. Those currently available are: Danish, English (U.S.), French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish. If you have the ability to translate Nisus Writer Express and would like to offer your services, please contact us at <info@nisus.com> There is no correlation between these languages and any other language settings.

The changes take place immediately.

Beware that terms in different languages often require more or fewer characters. This means that the amount of space on the Menu Bar required by Nisus Writer Express might force some of the items you have displayed on the right side of the Menu bar to be “bumped off”.

1. Select any language in the column of available languages on the left to customize its behavior in Nisus Writer Express.

2. From the Spelling pop-up menu choose the appropriate spelling checker dictionary.

Nisus Writer supports many spelling dictionaries: all those supported by macOS. If you install a new spelling dictionary for the macOS, restart Nisus Writer Express and it should automatically appear in Nisus Writer Express’s Languages preferences.

You can install Hunspell dictionary files directly and macOS will automatically make them available in Nisus Writer Express.

a. If Nisus Writer Express is running, quit it.

b. Download a Hunspell dictionary from the Internet.

There are many places that offer Hunspell dictionaries, but you might check the LibreOffice dictionary repository or OpenOffice extension repository. Some Hunspell dictionaries there can be downloaded directly, while most will download as OpenOffice Extension “.oxt” files. Once a “.oxt” file is downloaded, rename it to “.zip”, extract it, and look inside the “dictionaries” folder. It will contain the necessary “.dic” and “.aff” Hunspell files. Keep those handy, as you’ll need to move them later in the installation process.

c. In the Finder locate one of your Library folders (either your home or root Library).

Because Apple decided to start hiding Library folders from users, you may need to take some special steps to reveal the Library folder. The easiest is to use the Finder’s menu. Press click Go and choose Library as illustrated in Figure 34.

F7760ED7-C816-4D09-AF61-069ADC718F1C.png

Figure 34
The Go menu in the Finder with pressed enables access to the user’s Library folder

d. In the Library folder, find the “Spelling” subfolder. If no such folder exists you can create it.

e. From the Hunspell materials you downloaded and extracted in step b above, find both the “.dic” and “.aff” files and move them into the Spelling folder:

image-76.jpg

Figure 35
The Spelling folder in the Finder with alternate (ancient Greek, Hebrew and Latin) dictionary (and hyphenation) files added

That completes the process. When you relaunch Nisus Writer you will see the installed dictionary in your Nisus Writer Languages preferences.

Note: Nisus Writer supports any spelling dictionary available to macOS. That means other alternatives are also possible such as: Cocoa Aspell, which also has its own extendible set of free dictionaries, and Spell Catcher X.

3. Check Count words in this language if you want Nisus Writer Express to count the words in your document that are written in that language (displayed in the Statistics palette).

4. If you want you can set the QuickFix preferences for this language by clicking Go to QuickFix Preferences…. The QuickFix preferences are describe in detail beginning on page 362.

5. From the Thesaurus pop-up menu choose an appropriate thesaurus (if available).

6. From the Hyphenation pop-up menu choose an appropriate hyphenation file (if available).

a. Set the minimum number of characters from the beginning of the word that are required before a hyphen is automatically inserted (“Minimum before hyphen”).

b. Set the minimum number of characters required after a hyphen is entered for the hyphen to appear (“Minimum after hyphen”).

7. Set the secondary font options.

The options here are many and varied. Your choice depends, in part, on the nature of the languages you use.

Independent of what you choose here, if your second (third, or additional) language has characters that do not appear in your primary language’s preferred font (almost any font other than Lucida Grande if you use a language other than romanic languages), Nisus Writer Express will switch to the secondary font to display those characters.

Do not change the font

If your second language uses the same characters as your primary language (the vast majority of European (romanic) languages), you would have minimal reason to change the font.

Switch to last used font

If your second language has multiple fonts that can display its characters, you might want Nisus Writer Express to use the font you had most recently used when you last entered text in that language.

Switch to secondary font

Nisus Writer Express will use the designated secondary font whenever you choose that particular language.

▪︎ If you want your Arabic text to be in Al Bayan, after selecting Arabic in step 1 above choose Al Bayan in the Fonts panel.

▪︎ If you want your Hebrew text to be in New Peninim MT, after selecting Hebrew in step 1 above choose New Peninim MT in the Fonts panel.

▪︎ Repeat this process for each of the languages in which you wish to type if they require different fonts.

Not all fonts in the same point size are the same size visually. This is particularly so in fonts that display characters in different script systems. In order to help keep your text’s appearance check Also switch font size and set the secondary font’s size as illustrated in Figure 36 when in the Font panel.

88B26257-490E-47B4-ABBA-96FD412E330F.png

Figure 36
Match the secondary font’s size to that of the primary font

Because standard European style Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) are almost always available in all fonts; these will display in your primary font even if you choose Do not change the font, and your second language needs to display the majority of its characters in the secondary font.

8. Click the button beneath the Secondary Font pop-up menu to choose a secondary font if appropriate for writing in that language. This opens the Fonts panel illustrated in Figure 318 on page 374. Choose the font and size you want then close the Fonts panel.

Most European languages do not need a different font for their display. However if writing in German you might want to use a Blackletter, (or Gothic alphabet or Gothic minuscule) font.

Some languages are pre-set to use a secondary font. In that case (and when you choose a font) the font’s name appears on the button.

You can learn more about what Unicode fonts are available for your particular language needs on the Web, in particular Alan Wood’s Unicode Resources (last updated in 2008).

9. Choose the appropriate keyboard options from the Keyboard pop-up menu.

Once again, the options are varied and your choice depends, in part, on the nature of the languages you use and the kind of writing you do.

Do not change the keyboard

If you write in two romanic languages, but use a secondary language intermittently, you can use the ABC - Extended keyboard, illustrated in Figure 354 on page 455, to enter any character in that extended set. While in its normal state, this keyboard is identical to the U.S. keyboard, however, with pressed, the alternative characters available are much greater.

Switch to last used keyboard

If the different languages you use have multiple input methods and you switch among those various methods you can have Nisus Writer Express use the most recently used method.

Switch to chosen keyboard

If the different languages you use have multiple input methods and you prefer to use a specific method you can have Nisus Writer Express use the particular one you designate.

Switch to chosen keyboard enables another pop-up menu from which you can choose any of the keyboards you have enabled through the Keyboard : Input Sources System Preferences as explained in “Turn on display of the Input (keyboard “flag”) menu” on page 452. Choose the keyboard you want to use from this menu.

Once you have set up your Languages preference, you can have your New file open in that language. For more information on this task, see “Set “Defaults” for the Application” on page 350.

Choose a language in which to write

If you have set up your languages, you can change the language in which you enter text in your document by choosing the appropriate language from the:

Language button on the Toolbar at the top of your document window

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Figure 37
The Language button on the Toolbar

Language tag on Status Bar at the bottom of the document window

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Figure 38
The Language tag on the Status Bar

The flag or icon displayed implies no political allegiance or association. The flag is of the entire people (and it represents the language of that people), not a particular party. This has been an Apple convention. (The Language & Region System Preference does not use flags or other symbols from the various languages’ writing systems, though the Keyboard preferences Input Sources does use flags that attempt to iconographically represent a linguistic group.)

Language pop-up menu in the Language palette of the Palette Dock.

67DBAFB7-D7CD-4147-B4A6-5C33593F7D95.png

Figure 39
The Language pop-up menu in the
Language palette (shows the Thesaurus when a word is spelled correctly)

the menu Format > Language.

For quick access to any of your languages you can assign a keyboard shortcut as explained in “Menu Keys for Menu Commands” on page 360.

any Character Style or Paragraph Style that has the designated language associated with its formatting.

Write in a different language

1. Make sure that you have set your System Preferences and your Nisus Writer Express Language preferences as indicated in Appendix IV - “Set up language support on your Macintosh” on page 458 and “Set up language support” on page 36.

2. Choose the language you want to type in from the Language palette (or the Language button on the Toolbar at the top of the window, or the menu Format > Language, or from the Language tag on the Status Bar at the bottom of the document window).

3. Begin typing.

Nisus Writer Express enables you to set the language in four different locations as explained above. If you have set your Languages preferences in Nisus Writer Express so that switching the language also changes the keyboard, you will see a changed icon on the right side of the Menu Bar. This icon has nothing to do with causing a change of the language in Nisus Writer Express. This changes the “Input Source” or “Input Method” only (there may be more than one input method for any particular language as illustrated in Figure 40).

Multiple Input Methods for Greek.png

Figure 40
The Input Menu showing two input methods (keyboards) for the current language in Nisus Writer Express

Enter right to left text

Once you have set your Nisus Writer Express Languages preferences appropriately (as explained in “Set up language support” on page 36), typing in right to left (or “Bidirectional”) languages (such as Arabic, Hebrew, Ladino, Pashtun, Persian, Urdu, or Yiddish) is the same as in any other language.

However, in order to get you started quickly the following information deals with matters explained in more detail later in the documentation.

1. Choose the language you want to type in from the Language palette (or the Language button on the Toolbar at the top of the window, or the menu Format > Language, or from the Language tag at the bottom of the document window).

If this is a new document that has no text in it, a dialog appears asking if you want the document to be primarily right to left.

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Figure 41
The change
direction of document dialog

2. Choose the option you want. In either case, Nisus Writer Express will switch the display of the ruler as well as the indent and outdent buttons on the Toolbar.

The Indent and Outdent buttons, illustrated in Figure 42, are available if you customize your Toolbar, as explained in the section “Make the Toolbar Your Own” on page 391.

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Figure 42
The Outdent and Indent buttons available when customizing the Toolbar.

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Figure 43
The
right to left ruler and Indent/Outdent buttons

3. Type your text.

Mix right to left and left to right text

If your insertion point is inside a left to right paragraph (of a left to right document) and you want to write something in a right to left language, all you need do is choose the language you want to write in from the Language palette (or the Language button on the Toolbar at the top of the window, or the menu Format > Language, or from the Language tag at the bottom of the document window). Nisus Writer Express keeps the direction of the paragraph but switches the keyboard and the font based on your preferences.

If you have text that includes “part numbers” or addresses or other strings of numerals, or similar mixtures of right to left and left to right characters, you can assure the correct flow of the text by choosing the menu command: Insert > Directionality Marker > Reverse Direction Marker. Insert the character as soon as you need to switch the directionality, or the direction will not switch. These characters do not display, nor do they have any other semantic effect.

Be sure to turn on Show Invisibles (near the bottom of the View menu, as explained on page 369). This will enable you to confirm that the directionality markers have been inserted. You can see what they look like in Table 29 on page 371.

Have an exclamation point appear correctly in a left to right string of right to left text

The problem… the exclamation point appears at the beginning of the English phrase, not at its end:

מִשְׁפְחוֹת (Be Careful!)

Solution (be sure you have your Languages preferences set correctly in Nisus Writer Express.

1. Choose the menu command: Format > Language > Hebrew.

2. Type the Hebrew text including the space that follows the letters.

3. Choose the menu command: Insert > Directionality Marker > Left to Right Marker.

4. Choose the menu command: Format > Language > English.

5. Type the English text, beginning with the open parenthesis “(” (above the 9; don’t worry, it looks wrong, be patient).

6. Once again, choose the menu command: Insert > Directionality Marker > Left to Right Marker.

7. To continue in Hebrew, choose the menu command: Format > Language > Hebrew.

8. Type a space followed by the additional Hebrew text.

מִשְׁפְחוֹת ‎(Be Careful!) שָׁלוֹם

Have the period appear correctly in a left to right sentence that ends with a right to left word

The problem… as received by technical support:

First I write English then עברית‏. אבל the עברית comes out on the wrong side of the period.

Diagnosis

In areas of mixed languages, you might switch the “Keyboard” “input method” rather than change the actual language associated with that text as explained in step 2 of “Write in a different language” on page 45.

E33B85BC-7A73-4221-A935-7DE9F3742738.png

Figure 44
“Hebrew” text written in “English”

In Figure 44 above, the two Hebrew words are selected and yet the flag below, in the Status Bar, indicates that the language set for the two words (and the period and space) is English.

Problem:

First I write English then עברית‎. אבל the עברית comes out on the wrong side of the period

Solution:

1. Type:
First I write English then[space]

2. Choose Hebrew from the Language tab on the Status Bar or the Language button on the Toolbar or the Language pop-up menu in the Language palette (not simply the input method from the flag at the top of the menu bar, but Hebrew inside Nisus Writer Express) and type the word:
 עברית

3. While still in Hebrew, choose the menu command: Insert > Directionality Marker > Reverse Direction Marker

4. Type the period followed by a space:
.[space]

5. Type the space and the word:
 אבל [space]

6. Choose English from the Language tab on the Status Bar or the Language button on the Toolbar or the Language pop-up menu in the Language palette (not simply the input method from the flag at the top of the menu bar, but English inside Nisus Writer Express) and type the word:
the

7. Switch back again to Hebrew (again using the methods inside Nisus Writer Express as explained in 2 above) and type:
 עברית [space]

8. Switch back again to English (again using the methods inside Nisus Writer Express as explained in 6 above) and type:
comes out on the wrong side of the period.

Insert a right to left table in a left to right section

You can adjust the direction of the tables using the Paragraph palette.

New tables derive their direction from whatever you have set for that section (or the document if you only have one section). Therefore, if you insert a table while in right to left text of a left to right section or document, the insert table pop-up menu and the actual table display in left to right.

1. Select all the cells in the table.

2. Choose the right to left language you want to use from the Language tab on the Status Bar or the Language button on the Toolbar or the Language pop-up menu in the Language palette (not simply the input method from the flag at the top of the menu bar.

Nisus Writer Express presents a dialog asking if you want to change the direction of the table.


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