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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by David Pogue

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International

The International panel lets you set up your Mac to work in other languages. If you bought your Mac with a localized operating system—a version that already runs in your own language—and you’re already using the only language, number format, and keyboard layout you’ll ever need, then you can ignore most of this panel.

But at the very least, check it out. When it comes to showing off Mac OS X to your friends and loved ones, the “Wow” factor on the Mac’s polyglot features is huge.

Another Language—Instantly

The Mac has always been able to run software in multiple languages—if you installed the correct fonts, keyboard layouts, and localized software (a French copy of the Mac OS, a French version of Outlook Express, and so on). But in Mac OS X, you can shift from language to language in certain programs on the fly, without reinstalling the operating system or even restarting the computer.

Open the International panel. On the Language tab, you see a listing of the fifteen different languages the Mac can switch into—French, German, Spanish, and so on. Just drag one of the languages to the top of the list to select it as the target language, as shown in Figure 8-8.

Feel like working in Dutch? Just drag Nederlands to the top of the Language list, log out and back in, and you’re ready to start. Programs like TextEdit and Internet Explorer appear in Dutch. To switch back, simply return to System Preferences→International, and drag your own language back up to the top of the list. (You have to relaunch any programs that are running to switch them to a different language.)

Figure 8-8. Feel like working in Dutch? Just drag Nederlands to the top of the Language list, log out and back in, and you’re ready to start. Programs like TextEdit and Internet Explorer appear in Dutch. To switch back, ...

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