Yiddish Unicode Email
Outlook Express
Windows 95,98,ME,NT,2000,XP
Mac OS 9.1 & 9.2*

IMPORTANT: These instructions assume that you have already visited a Users' Guide to Yiddish on the Internet and followed the link for your operating system to set up your computer for Yiddish. If you use Windows, this assumes that you have installed the Yiddish Keyboard Layouts at <www.shoshke.net/uyip/win-installer.htm> and have followed all instructions there for configuring your system for Yiddish Unicode UTF-8. If you use Mac OS 9.1 or 9.2, this assumes you have installed the Hebrew Language Kit.


NOTEAOL Users  and Users of the Free Version of Yahoo Mail -
                                              Click here for special instructions.

Other options besides Outlook Express are the email clients which come with the free web browsers  Opera  and Netscape 6.1 or later. Most other email clients cannot be used for Yiddish email. An exception is LingoMail, which must be purchased and which has some known restrictions.

* Re: Mac OS 9.1 & 9.2 -- I have yet to see a test of Yiddish email in Outlook Express which is error free with all Yiddish text showing up perfectly, although there have been rumors that it can be done. Yiddish email is in a much better state in OS 10.2 or higher using other programs besides Outlook Express. It is recommended to upgrade to OS 10.2 or higher for Yiddish email. Outlook Express does not work on OS 10.2. Click here for more information about Yiddish email on the Mac. In short, Outlook Express is NOT recommended for Yiddish email on the Mac, but if you want to try it, go ahead. The only versions worth trying are OS 9.1 and 9.2. If you can figure out how to get it to work properly, please let me know and I'll include instructions here. In the meantime, the following instructions are only for Windows.

Outlook Express (OE)
The following steps (designed for Windows) are helpful in using Outlook Express v.5.1 or later, the free email program that comes with Microsoft Internet Explorer. (Note that OE is not the same program as Outlook.)  Similar steps work on the Mac, but that is an area which is in an exploration stage. Please send the web author (a Windows user) confirmation or clarification. Please note that even after the following steps, you may encounter some open issues. After a one-time pass through all of the following instructions, click here for a Cut-Out Cheat Sheet to keep near your computer until the steps become habit.

For OE5 or 6, first create a folder for the purpose and then go to:

Tools | Options | Maintenance | Store Folder | Change

Point to a new location (the folder must already exist) and okay your way
out. Close OE and reopen it and it should move the files. Note that this
must be on a local drive, not a network drive.

Now that you know where your files are, you should be able to make back-ups the same way that you do for any other data files. [Restoring email from back-up files has not yet been tested. Good luck.]

Create a message, but you may leave the to/from fields blank. You can fill in the subject if you want, for identification.  Using File, Save (or Control+S) in OE saves the text in your OE Drafts folder. It's easy to re-open something from the Drafts folder by double-clicking on it.

Alternatively, you can save a file by clicking on File, Save As. Browse to a folder on your computer and type a file name. It can be saved as an email file with a file extension <*.eml>, or as an html file <*.htm or *.html>. Use Save As and select the same file if you want to overwrite it for updates. To re-open an *.eml file, find it in My Computer and double-click on it. OE will open with the file.

To print Yiddish text created in OE, one method is to send it as an email to yourself. (OE lets you print a received message, but not an unsent message.) Alternatively, save it as an html file and open it in your web browser as follows:

When you want to print, use Save As in OE, and save as an html file <*.htm or *.html>. Open the html file in your web browser - e.g., Internet Explorer (IE): File, Open, Browse, find the file. Then, hit print from IE.

If you save a file as hmtl, I don't know how to re-open it in OE for further editing. (If anyone knows how, please write me.) So, if you saved to an html file solely for printing, just re-open the *.eml file for editing and re-save (as) to the html file when you need to print again.

Beware of posting web pages with these html files - only because not everyone will be able to read the web page. Html files can be useful when sending a document to someone to, for example, create a PDF file, or for further editing by a Windows 2000 or XP user.

Both of the above methods of  printing Yiddish text created in OE, to send it as an email to yourself and/or to print it in your web browser as an html file, give you headers and footers that you may not want. If you need  high volume, high quality word processing in Windows 95, consider purchasing a commercial program. Otherwise, the methods above  may suffice as a low cost alternative.


Open Issues


You can't mix paragraph direction in one paragraph, or if it's a plain text message, even anywhere in the entire email message. It's either Right-to-Left or Left-to-Right. (This problem does not exist in Word2000, incidentally, but we're talking about Outlook Express here.)  If you mix languages, either your English, for example, or your Yiddish will look incorrect. Also, when typing whichever language is out of synch with the Paragraph Direction setting, you'll have trouble with your cursor movement and location. If you can be a purist and only use one language for all of the complete sentences in any one email message, it will handle smoothly and look beautiful.

There is not any problem with inserting just a few words of mixed languages in one email message. The problem only occurs with mixing complete sentences. It's an unfortunate drawback.

If you're creating an HTML message only (Format, Encoding, HTML), you can mix Paragraph Direction within the email message, as long as each paragraph has only one direction. So, if the inserted language contains punctuation, switch to a new paragraph when switching languages. Set the Paragraph Direction accordingly for the new paragraph. You set the Paragraph Direction via the icons on the Format Toolbar, which appears when you are creating an HTML format message.

A big problem with switching Paragraph Direction is that it is indeed an option which is available only when creating an HTML email message. As mentioned above, many users cannot read or otherwise do not wish to receive email messages which are formatted as HTML.

Regardless of whether you're creating an HTML or Plain Text  message, if you want to insert an entire English sentence within a Yiddish paragraph (or vice versa), you can't do it correctly. The problem is that Paragraph Direction (not to be confused with document direction, text justification, or line/text direction) is what determines where the end of a sentence is in some Microsoft products. For example, a period at the end of a sentence will end up at the beginning of a sentence if the applicable Paragraph Direction does not match that which your current language requires. This issue arises when inserting a URL (web address) into a Yiddish paragraph, especially when there's a slash at the end of the URL.

You can sometimes trick the system by switching back to the original language (Yiddish in this example) before typing the period, or other punctuation.


Additional issues? Please comment on the UYIP discussion group.

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