[OS X TeX] Malayalam and other Indian languages on Mac

Jonathan jonathan at jfkew.plus.com
Mon Jul 2 08:33:50 EDT 2012

On 02.07.2012 12:56, Peter Dyballa wrote:
> Am 02.07.2012 um 13:27 schrieb NMPOST7:
>> I read somewhere that open type fonts do not function on Mac.
> Was this on a Classic Mac OS lovers site?

That's an unhelpful and irrelevant remark. Until the most recent 
versions (10.7, possibly 10.6), Mac OS X did *not* have support for 
OpenType shaping of Indic scripts (and did not ship with AAT fonts for 
most Indic scripts - IIRC, only a few of the north Indian scripts were 

> In this third (christian) millennium Mac OS X has pretty good
> OpenType support. You can try it for example in TextEdit.

The OP said he's using Leopard (OS X 10.5), in which case I don't 
believe Indic OpenType fonts are supported - the basic characters will 
render but without the proper shaping behavior. They do work properly on 
10.7. (I forget whether 10.6 included Malayalam support...).

This means that most text editors, including things like TextEdit and 
TeXShop, will not display the Malayalam Unicode text properly (even 
after installing an OpenType-enabled font); however, it will typeset 
properly in xelatex provided the font is loaded with fontspec and the 
proper [Script=Malayalam] option.

It's possible that some third-party editors, including 
OpenOffice/LibreOffice and perhaps Mellel, may have better Indic 
OpenType support than OS X itself offered in the Leopard days. So a good 
combination might be to use LibreOffice as the text editor for a xelatex 
source file.

Better (but perhaps not an option, depending on hardware and finances) 
would be to upgrade to OS X 10.7 and thus gain support for Malayalam in 
TeXShop etc.


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