Yiddish on the Mac

You can type Yiddish documents using standard YIVO orthography in all Mac OS versions; however there appear to be applications that utilize the Unicode UTF-8 standard only in OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" and higher.   In short:


Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard"
and higher

Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther"

Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar"

Mac OS  9.2 and earlier*

Word Processing - standard YIVO orthography Yes -
Unicode UTF-8
Yes -
Unicode UTF-8
Yes -
Unicode UTF-8
Yes -
not Unicode
Email - Yiddish in Unicode UTF-8 Yes Yes
(but not perfectly)
(but not perfectly)
Web Pages -- Viewing Yiddish in Unicode UTF-8 Yes Yes Yes No

You can type perfect Yiddish on the Mac without buying any additional software as long as (and only if) you have OS 10.5 or higher.

Notes re: earlier OS versions: Theoretically, Classic Mac OS 9.1 and 9.2 handle Unicode UTF-8, but the author of this web site has never heard anyone report a program that can be used to type a document, either for word processing or email, in Yiddish, with all YIVO standard characters, with correct right-to-left word wrap in OS 9.1 or 9.2 using this Unicode standard.  Nor has a browser been reported that views Unicode web pages correctly in 9/1 or 9.2 so, even though it's supposedly theoretically possible for OS 9.1 and 9.2. Therefore, they are lumped together with earlier operating systems in the above chart until such time as someone reports a working application for Yiddish that actually distinguishes them for practical purposes.

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