WinMac Dene TrueType Fonts contain the 66 special vowels and consonants required for writing the Athabaskan languages (Chipewyan, Dogrib, and North and South Slavey) of the Northwest Territories.
Installing the fonts will be sufficient for those needing to read and print documents in a Dene Language. Those needing to create or edit documents will need some additional tools to type these characters.
Because the special Dene characters are in the extended portion of the Windows and Macintosh character maps, they are not readily accessible from the keyboard. The WinMac system includes specialized keyboard remapping programs that enable these extra characters to be typed on any ordinary keyboard --sometimes with one extra keystroke-- while still keeping the full set of standard "English" letters.
The WinMac system was designed for cross-platform file sharing. Dene language documents can be shared between Windows machines and Macintosh machines as long as both have the WinMac Dene fonts installed. Keyboard utilities for both platforms use the same keystrokes, making it easy for a user to move from one system to another.
In the past Dene language word processing was the exclusive domain of the Macintosh. The character mapping used (both by the older DeneKey fonts and the more recent Vowel First Dene Fonts) was totally incompatible with Windows.
In 1995 I had a huge document (a two-hour film script) typed using a DeneKey font which I absolutely had to edit on a Windows machine. Not only that but I had to be able to send it back to the Mac for repeated proofreading, then edit some more on Windows.
The result was the development of the WinMac system.
Converting Documents from older Dene Fonts
It is now possible to convert older documents to the WinMac fonts with no loss of characters, provided these documents were created using the Macintosh-only DeneKey and Vowel First fonts. Conversion is cumbersome, must be done on a Mac, and requires the document to be reduced to plain text before conversion. However this conversion is necessary if the older documents need to be viewed, printed, or edited on a Windows machine.
The program most easily used for this conversion is "Consistant Changes for Mac". Consistant Changes is not a part of the WinMac Dene Font System and is not included in the downloadable archives from this site. Please contact Jim Stauffer <firstname.lastname@example.org> if you need to convert older documents.
In the future I hope to develop a Word Macro for Macintosh to do this conversion without losing document formatting.
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