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    OS X Update: check here.

  • Jaghbub before Unicode: The older fonts


    Today, almost all software on the Mac can handle the current "Unicode" type of fonts. Thus, all users are recommended to install and use Unicode fonts, such as my Jaghbub Unicode fonts or similar. However, only a few years ago, that was not the case, and there are many people still using the older, pre-Unicode versions of the Jaghbub fonts. And there is still some software even under OS X that cannot handle Unicode. This page, then, is for you: The older versions of Jaghbub called just "Jaghbub", "Bairut", "Koufra", with the "-Uni" added to their names. These fonts, dating back to 1987, still exist, and are useful for those people who prefer them.

    It must be stressed, however, that the older font "Jaghbub" and the new Jaghbub Unicode, or "JaghbUni" are mutually incompatible. That is: an s/dot under in classic Jaghbub will appear as ß in JaghbUni; a JaghbUni s/dot under as nothing in Jaghbub. They do not follow the same system for their diacritics.

    Older program can display Unicode fonts like Jaghbub Unicode or Arial Unicode, but they can only use the "European" part of them. The diacritics are unavailable, we cannot type them and they do not show up in the document if we e.g. try to display them in "Word for X" (the Word version that appeared in 2001). Similarly, AppleWorks does not support Unicode, nor does the current version of Eudora, older versions of Filemaker, and quite a few others. And in particular, if you still are using "Classic" (OS 9 or earlier) programs, none of them can use JaghbUni or other Unicode fonts. Classic is fast disappearing, and so are programs unable to handle Unicode, but for some years still they will be around. That is why we keep the Jaghbub Non-Unicode font available as well. Notice, therefore the difference between the menu names "Jaghbub" (the old version) and "JaghbUni" (the new one, with Unicode support).

    If you have both old and new applications on your Mac, you can certainly install and use both fonts. You just cannot change the text from one font to the other without losing sight of the diacritics.

    But definitely, if you can use the new Unicode fonts, do that. As both Mac and Windows follow the Unicode standard, a text written in JaghbUni will move effortlessly to Windows, while classic Jaghbub will not. Also, there are a number of other Unicode fonts on the Mac which contain the same characters as we need - you can easily find on your computer a considerable number of decorative fonts that have s, d, and the other emphatics with dots under and vowels with line over. Since they follow the same layout as JaghbUni, you can just switch back and forth between them and JaghbUni. Not so with the old, classic Jaghbub.


    Anyway, here is the most current version of the older "classic" version of Jaghbub:

    • Jaghbub "Classic": The three classic fonts, Jaghbub, Koufra and Bairut, OS X-compatible, with the US Diacs keyboard layout.
    • Jaghbub "Classic" package in PC .ttf format. It actually is a Mac font in a foreign environment, but is provided e.g. for the purpose of reading documents written in Jaghbub Classic on a Windows machine. (In Mac OS 10.10 and perhaps also some earlier system versions, Mac users may also prefer these "Windows" fonts, as many applications, including Word, have problems in displaying the "suitcase" font files Macs used earlier. The fonts themselves are identical, only in the Windows package, each weight (bold, italics, etc.) is a separate file.

    Compared to the Unicode version, Jaghub Classic has some fewer characters, it lacks CSZ/caron, Y circonflex, the Hausa characters, and Koufra and Bairut classic also lack G breve and combining line under. With Jaghbub Classic, you must use the USdiacs.rsrc keyboard layout, not the .keylayout file, which is Unicode only. Remember to put the .rsrc file also into the Classic System folder (in the "Appearance" folder), if you are using Classic programs. The Windows package also provides some tools for typing it in MS Word, but these are not tested by me.

    If you are an existing Jaghbub user, and are interested in the upgrade only, check here for more detail.


    Moving from Classic to Unicode Jaghbub

    If you have used Jaghbub before, but want to move with the times, you are not stuck with the old ways. As I said above, you can install both alongside each other, for different files or purposes (only remember that they relate to different keyboard layouts, so you don't get confused). So, you can start using JaghbUni for new documents while reading your old in Jaghbub classic, if you like.

    But you can also easily make the old documents into Unicode-based ones, for example if you want to integrate the text into new work, or just send it to someone else who works in Unicode (a Windows user, say). You do that by converting the old-style characters to Unicode. I have created some tools for this purpose, both for Jaghbub and many other old "legacy" transliteration fonts. The tools are made for the Microsoft Word 2004 and NisusWriter programmes. See the separate web pages for these tools and dowloading them.


    Jaghbub under OS 9


    The Jaghbub fonts have a long history, the first version was made back in 1987, and the last "generation 4" in the mid-1990s. After the introduction of Unicode, some programs such as Microsoft Word 2004 and NisusWriter could no longer display these mid-90s versions of Jaghbub properly, so at the same as Jaghbub Unicode was developed, an upgrade was also made of Jaghbub Classic. If you have trouble reading older Jaghbub documents, but do not want to convert all the way to Unicode, replace the 1994-95 versions of "Jaghbub" with the 2007 version of the same font, and the diacritics will reappear.

    >>More on the Jaghbub Classic font in OS X programs

    Those still working in OS 9, or otherwise interested in its history, may also find the following "legacy" information about stuff from that age of some interest (some only historical now!).

    Jaghbub-related downloads

    These packages are still available for download, but are only useable on in OS 9 or older, or in Classic:

    There first contains four screen fonts that are in bitmaps only. They are more prosaically named

    • Courier D
    • Geneva D
    • Monaco D
    • New York D.

    These bitmap fonts will work OS 9 and earlier, in Classic and in pre-Unicode OS X applications, such as "Word for X".

    Tools related to Jaghbub under pre-OS X systems (some also under Classic)

    In the course of these years, I have entertained myself by trying to make some tools for working with Jaghbub files. I have included some of them as "freebies" in the jaghbub.extras.sea file. They are not required for running the fonts, they are only there if you want to play with them.

    Real old: System 6 resources (pre-1993)

    One problem concerns using texts written in Jaghbub in catalogues that sort titles alphabetically. The computer does not know that the 'h/dot under' in Muhammad should be treated as an h. Either it will divide the word, and sort it as Mu Ammad, or it will put the h/dot after Z, sorted as Muzzammad.

    I tried solving this by asking a colleague to change the system resource in the Mac operating system that organizes sorting, so that the h/dot is sorted as normal h. This works, but unfortunately very few programs use the System's sorting resources, neither FileMaker or Word does that. So for these programs, it was a wasted effort. But HyperCard, Excel and some other programs will sort according the selected sorting resource. Since it was of limited value, I have not upgraded this resource to System 7, it will only work under System 6. You must be able to use ResEdit to install it.

    For Filemaker vs. 1 (1990)

    With FileMaker Pro, however, you got the ability to choose which national alphabetic order you sort your database after. So, I created a "Diacritic nation" and made a sorting order for this, where again h/dot is sorted as h, a/macron as a, ain/hamza ignored etc. It will work for FileMaker Pro 1 and 2.x, but not in version 5 (it uses a different sorting system, where you apparently can modify a standard national sorting order using ResEdit, but not add a new one. The result is not quite ideal, so I have not added that to this site. I have not tested versions 3 and 4). Again, installation by ResEdit. There are two orders, one locally here which adds diacritics to the Scandinavian sorting order, and one based on the US English order. US users can ignore the first of the two. The file is called XLATs.


    Another issue was compatibility with other users. I edit a journal which is printed in Jaghbub, and I occasionally get articles written in some other fonts that contain diacritics. To help me in dealing with this, I use a tool which translates the diacritics of these fonts to the Jaghbub system (I did not create the tools, a colleague here in Bergen did). I have included two of them, one called MidEast Times > Jaghbub and the other ME Geneva > Jaghbub; each for the font by that name (There is apparently also a ME Times font, different from MidEast Times, that follows the ME Geneva setup: Use that filter for this). Drop any text-only file on top of this utility (or "paradoid"; Paradigm-let), and it will create a new one called [name].PD with the converted text. It only works on "text" files, i.e. saved as "text only" under your word processor's "Save As" option, so formatting is normally lost. But I include it here for those who wish to use it.

    Sometimes, diacritics must be removed, i.e. when a bibliography written in Jaghbub is to be included in an e-mail message or sent to a user who does not have the font. Another similar conversion tool, Remove diacritics will do that. In the Jaghbub Extras folder, I also include another couple of these small converters, one (Remove diacs / rtf) will remove the Jaghbub codes as they appear in a RTF (Rich Transfer) format, replacing them with non-diacritic characters. That might be useful if you want to remove them from a formatted file without losing the formatting - Export as RTF, drop it on top of this converter, re-import the result into the word processor, and h/dot under has become h.

    Another, experimental, converter allows you to use transcription in Web documents. It is based on the assumption that you create your file (containing Jaghbub or one of the other fonts) in a word processor, then export it in RTF format and use the well known "rtftohtml" programme to convert it to a Web (HTML) document. In that case, pass the RTF document through the Jaghbub rtf > html ASCII paradoid before passing the result through "rtftohtml". This inserts character codes which, when put on a Web server and read in Netscape or MacWeb, will display Jaghbub characters correctly. Of course, the user must then choose one of the Jaghbub fonts as his display font in his/her own browser, so it requires an effort on the reader's part. Equally of course, such pages will be pretty unreadable by anyone with a PC, UNIX or on a Mac without the Jaghbub fonts. For this reason, it probably still advisable not to use these diacritic fonts on Web pages except in closely guarded circles; but anyway, this tool will allow you to do it.

    A third sometimes useful option is to use bibliographic references downloaded from Melvyl or other on-line sources that can give diacritics in Library of Congress codes (actually EBCDIC codes surrounded by <>). A third paradoid (LC Diacritics) will convert such a captured Telnet file from LC codes to Jaghbub (Melvyl has long since discarded EBCDIC codes for Unicode, so this is really of historical interest only!).

    The fourth may have its uses, although it was originally made as an experiment or, perhaps, rather a toy. I played with the idea of converting automatically from Arabic script to Jaghbub and back. From Arabic to Jaghbub is fairly pointless, adding vowels to the result is often more work than typing from scratch. But a Jaghbub file can be converted the other way, to Arabic, with vowel marks deleted or retained. For Arabic speakers, this may be equally pointless, but many Western Arabists will type more quickly in English transliteration than in the Arabic script on an Arabic keyboard. This converter allows you to do this, enter the Arabic text in transliteration using Jaghbub or one of its sisters, and then convert the text into the Arabic script afterwards. Normally, such a conversion cannot sort out all ambiguities, and will require some cleaning up or at least proofreading afterwards. There is a separate document that explains how the conversion process is done, and how one most speedily can adapt the Jaghbub text for optimal conversion.
    There are three files, Jaghb > Arab vowels goes from transcription to Arabic script and retains the vowels; Jaghb > Arab NoVowels does the same but deletes the vowels for a "cleaner", more normal Arabic text, and Arab > Jaghb takes a crack at transliterating Arabic script to Jaghbub; making some guesses at word forms to insert some vowels into the text (mhmd = Muhammad etc.).

    If you don't happen to live in the US, you will not be happy with the "US" style of keyboard layout. For some of those, I have created alternative diacritics keyboard layouts for the UK, France, Germany and Denmark. If you live in one of these countries, select one of these keyboard files and install instead of "US diacs". (Now also available in the "" folder)


    What was said about print quality in relation to Times in the main, OS X page, mainly goes also for the Classic versions, although the screen font quality was actually better in OS 9 and earlier (and in Classic) than in OS X. The fonts cater for normal Persian and Turkish. However, only Jaghbub has yumushak g (all the -Uni fonts have it), in Koufra and Bairut you must use g/caron.

    One caveat must be mentioned concerning the keyboard in Classic. Two characters from the original font layout have moved: u/U-umlaut (diaresis) and German double s. Both exist, but in different locations in my fonts. This is for historical reasons, a betrayal of their Norwegian background. Thus Muller with two dots over u in Times will become Muller with macron over u in Jaghbub. However, pressing option-m in the US diacs keyboard with Jaghbub, will give you Jaghbub's u/umlaut as normal. This should normally not be a great problem for US users, but Germans may have to watch for this.

    Postscript files

    These old fonts also exist in PostScript versions, contact me with detail; the revised fonts compatibel with OS X are only in TrueType.

    Thanks and acknowledgementsMention should be given of Mark Winberg of TypeCraft in Stockholm, who did most of the work in turning Generation 4 of the Jaghbub font into TrueType, to the Sudan project at the University of Bergen who provided the funds for that part of the effort, to Sigmund Tveit who created the System 6 itl2 resource, and to Albrecht Hofheinz of Berlin and Bergen who has acted as quality controller for Jaghbub Generation 4.


    Knut S. Vikør


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