April 01, 2010

Multi-direction Language Support in Upcoming Word 2011

Screenshots of the anticipated Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 began to surface on the web in the last couple days. It's hard to know whether "leaked" screenshots like this are planned out or not, but conversation on the Twitterverse confirms their authenticity. One such conversation on Twitter references this screenshot where Word's new language direction capabilities are on display.

This is a new revelation. Not only does it seem that the version due out in December will be able to support Right to Left Unicode, it looks like the new text engine handles even more advanced vertical language. And isn't that boustrophedon (like an ox plows) heiroglyphs at the end? I remember from studying at the museum in Cairo that you can tell the direction of the line by the way the bird is facing. This is surprising since I would think it only useful for artistic and minute scholarly reasons.
The official Mac Office blog has not yet touched on language capabilities in the teaser reports, but this updated text engine is a huge step forward, so it's hard to imagine why these plans haven't emerged prior to April.


Ken Penner said...

Ah, you had my hopes up, until I read the Hebrew.

Joe Weaks said...

The Cherokee above it says the same thing, well, sorta.