Meltho Fonts

The Meltho Fonts package consists of over 20 Unicode OpenType fonts. The following files are available:

  1. melthofonts-1.21.zip is a zip file with all the fonts.
  2. mlstomeltho.zip is the Multi-Lingual Scholar converter. It converts MLS 3 and MLS 4 files to Unicode (only Syriac is converted in multi-lingual documents).

How to Use Syriac on a Mac

(Updated for OS X 10.11 – El Capitan)

Part 1: Installing the Software

1) First, you need to download and install the Meltho Syriac fonts.

2) Next, you need to download and install a Syriac Unicode keyboard. There are several Syriac keyboard layouts you can find online, like this one.

3) After you have downloaded the keyboard, you have to move it to the correct folder:

Macintosh HD -> Library -> Keyboard Layouts

4) Once the keyboard layout is in the right location, you should restart your computer so that it will recognize the new keyboard layout.

5) After you restart, you need to activate Syriac as a language option in System Preferences:

System Preferences -> Language & Region (This may be called “Language & Text” or “International”, if you are using an older OS)

In Language & Region, click the “Keyboard Preferences” button, then click on the “Input Sources” tab.

You will see a box that shows the active languages and a picture of a keyboard next to it. To ad Syriac, click on the + button below the box of active languages.

After clickin on the + button, a new screen opens with language options you can add. To find Syriac, you will need to click on “Others.” After clicking on “Others,” you should see Syriac as an option. Select Syriac and then hit the “Add” button.

Additionally, if you have never used a Unicode language, you may want to select the “Show input menu in menu bar” box at the bottom of the screen. This will show a flag icon in your top menu (at the right) which will allow you to selct different languages you have selected easily. You can also set keyboard shortcuts to swtich between languages.

After you have completed these steps, close System Preferences and restart your computer once more.

Note: If Syriac does not appear as an option in your list of languages in the Input Sources screen, then your computer has not recognized the keyboard layout. Make sure it is in the correct folder, and then try restarting your computer again.

Part 2: Using Syriac on your Mac

1) Internet browsers

In OS X 10.11, Syriac fonts should show up on all major web browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox).

2) Word processors

Mellel

Mellel is the best word processor for using Syriac (and other Eastern scripts like Hebrew and Arabic) on a Mac. And as an added bonus, it is quite affordable (especially if you are a student because they offer a generous student discount).

Microsoft Office for Mac

Regarding Microsoft Office, and specifically Microsoft Word, there is bad news and good news. First the bad news: Microsoft Office for Mac does not fully support right-to-left typing or connecting scripts. (Note: this has nothing to do with Mac OS; Microsoft just does not make the Mac version of Office do everything that the Windows version can do. The lack of right-to-left support is only one of a number of features not available on the Mac Version of Office.)

Now the good news: the newest version of Office for Mac (2011) has demonstrated limited success with using Eastern scripts (including Arabic, Hebrew, and Syriac), despite the fact that they are not fully supported. Specifically, this means that although you cannot create a setting to make the Eastern scripts work correctly, you can migrate the correct setting from another word document that contains Syraic text. You should be able to save the “style” on your own computer and then use this style in the future. 

Others

If you don’t want to use either Mellel or Word, you can use open office software (like NeoOffice) or Nisus.

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