YNLC Fonts and Keyboards
- The YNLC fonts are intended to
- work for all eight Yukon languages and more
- work on all platforms
- be freely distributed
- be Unicode compliant
Roughly speaking, the YNLCserif font has two parts, the outlines of the character shapes, and programming to define how the shapes appear together on the screen or printed page. In addition to the font, specialized keyboards are required to access the special base characters and diacritics. For Yukon languages and many others, is necessary to stack multiple diacritics above and/or below base characters. Lesser known languages like those in Yukon which need to use combining diacritics face trouble with the Unicode precomposed characters in both Windows and Macintosh. There is no web site which tracks the ability of software to stack diacritics. As of March 2006, the only word processor on Macintosh able to stack diacritics is Nisus Writer Express on OS X 10.2 and above. Windows word processors have not been systematically examined for diacritic stacking but Microsoft Office Word 2003 does stack.
This package only works with System OS X 10.2 or higher. After downloading and unstuffing yukonmac.sitx, put the font files in /Library/Fonts, and put the keyboard files in /Library/Keyboard Layouts. Log out and back in, or restart. Under System Preferences > Keyboards > Input Menu put a check beside YNLCkey and close. There will be a new keyboard icon in the menu bar, perhaps a US flag. YNLCkey is only accessible in Unicode applications like TextEdit or Nisus Writer Express. Launch the application, select the YNLC font, select the YNLCkey keyboard and begin typing. For much more information about the package, please look further on this web site.
This package only works with Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003 and later (and sometimes with NT4). After downloading and unstuffing yukonwin.zip, Install the font files through the Fonts Control Panel. Run the keyboard installer. Add the keyboard through Control Panel following the Windows Help instructions for your version of Windows. You may need to put a recent version of uniscribe (usp10.dll) in the same folder as the application for it to work properly with the fonts. Microsoft Office Word 2003 will work with the package. Other software may or may not work. As of March 2006, Internet Explorer will stack diacritics but Firefox will not.
Anyone who does specialized language work can confirm that the issues of special characters, fonts, keystrokes, document exchange, web sites, and others have cost much time and anxiety. The technology seems to be almost within reach to make these issues much easier. At the heart of this advance is the universal character encoding scheme called Unicode. Almost any character you could wish to use has a unique, standard code. All of the characters used by Yukon languages are already encoded. Two people, anywhere, using any computer or software can exchange documents in Yukon languages provided computers and software at both ends work with Unicode. There have been Unicode based solutions for many languages for several years. A solution has not been possible for Yukon languages because of the extensive need for diacritics. These are the little marks or accents which are used above and below letters to show change in vowel quality, tone, and nasalization, or to show semi-voicing in fricatives. Special programming is required to make the diacritics appear in the correct places. Often, two diacritics must be stacked above a character. Ideally, one would like to be able to buy any computer and any software and work with Yukon languages with no special extra software or work. Eventually, that may be possible. There are four separate software components for any solution: operating system, text processor or other application, font, and keyboard driver. The YNLC package provides the fonts and keyboards. The standard operating systems and word processors should in future be able to work correctly with the YNLC package.
© 2003-06 Yukon Native Language Centre
Last updated 31 March 2006