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Lion is a multilingual operating system. As such it provides you ways to not only change the languages it uses, but also the formatting for time and dates. We'll look at just what this powerful system preference can do now. into System Preferences > Language & Text. Now, Language tab is where you choose the language you want to use. By default, it's the language you chose when you set up your Mac the first time. You can rearrange the order of languages by dragging. So for example, I could take Espanol and put it here at the top.
Now, the next time I log in, my interface would be in Spanish instead of English. Although I took six years of Spanish, I'm not sure that all of you did. So I'm going to put that back down the list so we see this in English the next time I log in. Now the major languages appear here. However, there are more languages that you can use, and you do that by clicking on the Edit List. Major languages here, and then as you work your way down, you see there are some languages that aren't used quite so widely.
You can choose the sorting order if you like. Next, is the Text tab. On left, you see Use symbol and text substitutions. By default, if you were to type (c), it would instead substitute the copyright sign. Same idea with (r), becomes the Registered Patent, and then you've got TM. The shortcut for that is Trademark but it makes it tiny. Also, you can create fractions that way, so that when you type 1/2, you get this much nicer fraction which is smaller.
You can add your own keyboard shortcuts if you like. Just press Plus. Let's say SIG, which is going to be short for signature. I'll type-in what's going to appear and we'll move over to TextEdit and I'll show you how that works. So I type SIG here, press Return, and it automatically auto-fills the entry that I put under that abbreviation. For now, we get rid of that, and to do that, just click the Minus button. Lion has a new feature where it will automatically correct your spelling if you allow it to.
This is another feature that's taken from the iOS. If you don't care for Lion correcting your spelling, you can just simply turn this off. When you do that you will no longer have automatic spelling correction. One thing to note here is if you have an application open that is capable of correcting your spelling, you turn this off and you leave that application open, it will continue to auto-correct until you quit that application and start it again. You have the option to correct spelling here, but it depends on the language you use. So Automatic by Language. It knows that I'm using American English because that's the way I set it up.
However, if I chose to use British English instead, when I entered C-O-L-O-R for color, it would auto-correct to C-O-L-O-U-R, because that's the British spelling of color. You can choose to have things auto- corrected so that in supported applications you get smart quotes, which are the curly quotes instead of dumb quotes or standard quotes, which is just the two lines straight up and down. You can also decide how you want the smart quotes to be notated, so you can also put double brackets in if you like and here are the dumb quotes at the bottom.
Then there's Formats. I'm recording in the US. We have a certain way of notating dates and time, so we have January 5th, 2011. So there's month, date, and year, but in other countries they may do it differently. They may have day, month, and year for example. So you can choose the region you want to use and then it will change the way things like date and time are formatted. This is reflected not only in the operating system but it's also changed in iCal.
So if you happen to be an American and you're using a British laptop because you've gone overseas, you can change it to the US formatting so that you see dates the way you prefer to see them. If you were to click the Customize button, you can customize the way these things are formatted. So for example, under Medium, you can choose to show the full name, just the initial, or the number of the month. And you can show all regions, because again this is a limited list and you could see a much longer group if you like.
Then there is Input Sources. The Mac supports a variety of international keyboards and the way to initiate those is simply to flip on one of these settings. So let's say I wanted to have a Brazilian keyboard because they use different characters than may be on my keyboard. When I do this, you notice that the American flag icon appears here. This flag is going to differ depending on which country your Mac is associated with. In this case, it's America. But if I wanted the Brazilian keyboard, I simply select Brazilian and here's the Brazilian flag.
So when I type, I'll now be using the Brazilian keyboard layout. Go back to U.S., turn this on so I don't mistakenly type in Portuguese. One other thing to note here is the Keyboard and Character Viewer. Turn that on and you'll see a couple of options up here at the top of the window. The first is Character Viewer. If you're looking for little symbols of some kind that you can't normally produce with your keyboard, this is where you find these things. Here, Latin characters. But here are some of the alternate characters that you can use.
If you want to insert this into some text, you can simply select that character and then drag it into the text, much like that. If you want those cute little smileys, you can do that here, and this is actually something that's new in Lion, that Lion natively supports this Emoji character. And one other viewer that you should know about and that's the Keyboard Viewer. So this shows you a layout of the keyboard that you're using with your Mac.
Now, what makes this helpful? Well, you already know where these characters are because they're printed on your keyboard. However, if you hold down the Option key for example, you can see what you can type when you have the Option key held down, or Option+Shift. So if you're looking to make the Apple symbol, that's how you do it. So again, if you're looking for alternate characters, this is one way to figure out how to create them. And we'll make that go away. I'm going to turn that off, so that doesn't appear in the menu bar any longer. There you have it, the workings of language and text.
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