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Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Mavericks Edition by David Pogue

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The Many Languages of OS X Text

Apple has always taken pride in its language-friendliness. You can shift from language to language on the fly, as you type, even in midsentence—without reinstalling the operating system or even restarting the computer.

OS X’s facility with language, though, goes the extra overseas mile. It lets you type vertical Japanese and Chinese text; includes fonts for 20 more non-Roman alphabets (including the ones you need for five Indian languages); offers “filtering by tones, ordering and filtering by radical or stroke count, and improved pinyin-han conversion accuracy” (you have to be a Chinese speaker to appreciate those tweaks); and much more.

Top: You can flip your copy of OS X into any of about 165 languages. Click the button to see them all—and add them to the list of Preferred Languages. You’re asked, when you add a language, if you want it to be the Mac’s primary language.Bottom: Here’s Safari running in Dutch. Actually understanding Dutch would be useful at a time like this—but even if you don’t, it can’t help but brighten up your workday to choose commands like Spraakfunctie or Knip. (Alas, your success with this trick varies by program.)

Figure 5-4. Top: You can flip your copy of OS X into any of about 165 languages. Click the button to see them all—and add them to the list of Preferred Languages. You’re asked, when you add a language, if you want it to be the Mac’s primary language. Bottom: Here’s Safari running in Dutch. Actually understanding Dutch would be useful at a time like this—but even if you don’t, it can’t help but brighten up your workday to choose commands like Spraakfunctie or Knip. (Alas, your success with this trick varies by program.)

First, tell your Mac which languages you’d like to have available. Open System Preferences→Language & ...

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