May 15, '03 10:06:00AM • Contributed by: funwithstuff
There's a hole in Mac word processing, at least on an international level, in that Word X doesn't deal with Unicode. A file from Word on a PC can use Greek, Russian, etc. and display on (at least reasonably modern) Windows operating systems. The same file viewed on Mac OS X, under Word v.X, will show underscores in place of most Greek or Cyrillic characters. Disappointing to say the least.
In the past, a PC had to be used to save the Word document as an RTF or Unicode text file. TextEdit could then open the file without any problems. However, the new Nisus beta will open PC Unicode Word files and can save them as RTF. It can also copy and paste directly, though further problems can be avoided by pasting into TextEdit first, then copying and pasting from there. There's a clash when pasting text with multiple fonts directly from Nisus to InDesign.
BTW: On the layout side, InDesign will deal with Unicode text, but Quark and vanilla OS 9 will not. Create an outlined EPS from InDesign or Illustrator if you must use Quark.
So far, I haven't tried Hebrew, Arabic, or even Cyrillic text, and the translation engine is still new and somewhat immature. Right-to-left support is spotty, though improving. Still, I suspect the new Nisus could soon be a major help to international Mac users who need to interoperate with PC Word users. And if you've never seen Nisus before, check it out. GREP with a GUI, fully customisable key commands, and now rewritten in Cocoa. Nice stuff that should mature quickly.