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The Yiddish Typewriter

What it is: The Yiddish Typewriter is a free program that is available for use on the web, developed by Raphael Finkel and graciously donated by him to the entire Yiddish speaking computer literate world. This program is a valuable conversion utility that you can use to create Yiddish text to/from English letters and/or to convert Yiddish text between the formats which various programs can use. This is very useful for sharing Yiddish text between people who use a variety of software and hardware.

How to use it: Access the program at: . You don't install the program on your computer. You simply visit the web page whenever you want to use it. All necessary basic instructions for how to use the Yiddish Typewriter are on the above referenced web page. Following are a few additional practical notes which you might find helpful.

Browser Choices:
When using the Yiddish Typewriter, you get better options for saving PDF and GIF files if you use Netscape instead of Internet Explorer. However, Explorer works fine for saving text in any other format, and also Explorer works fine to view (not to save) text in PDF and GIF formats. So, this is a concern only if you want to save PDF and/or GIF files for sending as email file attachments or to use these formats for creating Yiddish web pages.

Notes for Creating a GIF or BMP file with the Yiddish Typewriter:
  Netscape: After you generate the viewable GIF Yiddish characters, just right-click on the image, select Save Image and give it a *.GIF file name.
   Explorer: After you generate the viewable GIF Yiddish characters,  right-click on the image. Select Save Picture As and give it a *.BMP file name.

Notes for Creating a PDF file with the Yiddish Typewriter:
A PDF file is a file in a format which can be read by a free program, made by Adobe, called the Acrobat Reader. This program is available for both the MAC and IBM platforms. Many software companies are now providing user manuals only in PDF, so many of us have Acrobat installed on our computers without our even realizing it, since Acrobat is installed as part of the installation process for a variety of programs. If you don't have it, you can download it from the link provided on the Yiddish Typewriter page.

You can create a viewable PDF image in MS Internet Explorer - version 5, but you cannot save the PDF file that is created when visiting the Shraybmashinke via Explorer. (Creating a PDF image doesn't work at all with Explorer version 4.) If you want to save a PDF File, use Netscape. If you have trouble saving the PDF file in Netscape, read below.

In Netscape, you can link in an another program (e.g., Acrobat Reader) in one of two ways -- either to open as a separate "helper" application whenever it encounters the specified file type, or as a "plug-in" which makes the program open inside of Netscape.  If you have previously installed the Acrobat Reader as a Plug-In, you should have no problem. When the PDF file is created, you just hit File/Save-As in Netscape and you can save the file (but be sure to give it a file name in the *.PDF naming format). To learn how to install the Acrobat Reader as a plug-in look at: . If you do not wish to bother with installing Acrobat Reader as a plug-in, you might need to check the following settings in Netscape:

1. Go to Netscape - Options/General/Preference/Helpers.

2. Find or create the Acrobat Reader application linked to files with a PDF file name extension.

3. Set Netscape to  prompt you for a choice when encountering a PDF file.

4. Then, whenever you create a PDF file with the Yiddish Typewriter (or if you click on any PDF file with Netscape) you can choose to either Save it or View it immediately with the Application, foregoing the option to save it.

5. Go to the Yiddish Typewriter and select the Input mode, as usual, and select Output PDF.

3. When prompted, select the option to Save the File to Disk and give it a file name with the *.PDF extension and save it on your computer.

5. You can then send the file to someone else as an email attachment and/or open it later with the Acrobat Reader to read and/or print. You can also upload your PDF file to your web page with a link so that visitors to your site can clik on the PDF file to read it with the Acrobat Reader.

Uploading a QText File to the Yiddish Typewriter: If you prefer to upload a file from QText instead of cutting and pasting, you must create a special file from QText. In QText, just go File/Export/Hebrew at 224/ Save ASCII File (Instead of File/Save As). You'll get an uploadable *.asc file instead of the usual *.QTW file. If you don't like the results, re-try the same steps, but select a File Type *.txt instead of *.asc when creating the file export from QText. Depending on what you're trying to do, the *.asc or the *.txt may work better.

Creating a QText File from the Yiddish Typewriter: When you select Output - QText, you get funny text which you can't read. Just select all of the strange text and paste it into QText. Before pasting, be sure that QText is set to Options/Clipboard-Uncheck Swap Hebrew on Paste. After you paste, if the text still looks funny, Edit/Select_All and re-set the font to one of the Yiddish fonts; e.g., QFrank, QYad, etc. NOTE: Using the Shraybmashinke with Netscape works better than Explorer for creating a QText file.

Converting Mac Nisus Yiddish text to IBM formats &/or to Unicode: This only works well if the Mac user who created the text  that you wish to convert used one of the fonts which came with the built-in Hebrew Language Kit. Many Nisus users use special font character sets and keyboard definitions which provide better options for creating Yiddish text, albeit only within Nisus. Per Mark David, Coordinator of  UYIP, "This is why we need the Mac and Nisus to make it possible to have a good keyboard WITH the built-in Mac Hebrew character set." I suggest that Mac Nisus users write letters to Apple and to Nisus requesting the ability for users to customize keyboard layouts (i.e., for Yiddish) within the Mac Hebrew character set. This is an important key towards our goal of making Yiddish text which can truly cross platforms between Macs and IBMs. For more discussion about this topic, click here.


07/02/2006 10:14 PM  blat_gebitn.gif (1206 bytes)

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