Saturday, May 3, 2008


This is a small utility program I wrote for an ESL instructor at my school (yes, this is just written for you, Janet!), but I made a few changes to it so that this can be also useful for other people.

Originally, she told me she was having trouble typing IPA phonetic alphabets in Unicode. There is a keyboard mapping to type phonetic alphabets, but it is cumbersome. So I simply put a lot of buttons to enter IPA characters. Because this was written specifically to serve her purpose, the characters are the ones used for English and some special ones that are used for the book she and her colleagues are working on.

What you can do with this utility is type phonetic alphabets by simply clicking buttons. Once you are done, copy/paste them to whatever the program you are working on. You can either go to Menu to copy or Command + C to copy the string, which keeps all the font information (font type/size). Or you can click Copy button, which only keeps the character information, so when you paste the string, whatever the font setting (type/size) on your document will be applied.

The latest version (0.3) supports key (button) mapping (if it functions as intended). Now, any character can be assigned to any of the buttons, so users/teachers of languages other than English could use it (I hope).

The system requirements are the same as all the program/utilities I wrote: Mac OS X 10.5.2 (Leopard) or later. I think this works on 10.5, but now all my machines are running 10.5.2, so I can't check the version prior to this (but at least I'm sure this won't run on Tiger). You also need Doulos SIL font, which can be downloaded freely from the SIL site. The link to their site is on the download page of this utility.

If you find any bugs or have any feature request, I will try to fix them/add them as much as I can (if they are minor). I don't have time to spend much time on this now (or I should say I should not spend time on this). But any feedback is welcome. Especially, I'd like to know if this helps someone.

No comments: