In 2012, a new font was created that is compatible with the previous fonts, but it includes all of the glyphs (signs and symbols) in a single font. Documents created with this new font read the same on a Mac or a PC. It is also compatible with OS X.
This font has the same glyphs on the upper and lower case keys as earlier versions of the font, but all of the glyphs are also located in the Private Use Area of the font beginning with EA00. These other glyphs are accessed by typing in their hexadecimal number. The first three digits indicate the name of the glyph and the last digit indicates its place on the staff.
The PC version of MS Word makes it rather easy to get this glyph. The number is typed in and then alt-x. This turns the number into the proper glyph. Sometimes a space must be added before the number.
The Mac is also rather simple. With the Option key held down, the number is typed, and when the Option key is released, the proper glyph appears. However, for this to work, the user must activate and use the “Unicode Hex Input” keyboard that comes with the Mac. Since most users have not done this, it presents a bit of a challenge, but once accomplished, it works very easily.
The Saint Meinrad chant fonts began in 1992 with fonts for the Macintosh developed with Fontographer. Because fonts at that time were limited to 256 characters, two fonts were created: StMeinrad-A and StMeinrad-B.
In the years that followed, the font was slightly revised to better reflect the font found in the books produced by Abbey of Solesmes. The early font is straight, while the later font has subtle curves.
With OS X, Apple disabled some of the keys and gave certain glyphs priority over a font. As a result, these fonts have been difficult to use with OS X. A document with all of the glyphs is included below, and it would be possible to copy needed glyphs from that document. I am working on a better solution.
About 1996, when it became possible to develop the font for the PC, the glyphs (signs) on the upper and lower case keys remained the same, but those beyond were put in different places so that they could be accessed logically: MeinradA, MeinradB and MeinradC. At one point, without realizing the complication, the glyphs were designated as a symbol font, which transferred them to a new location (F000).
When Apple moved from OS 9 to OS 10, some of the keystrokes no longer worked or accessed different glyphs, such as the Apple logo.
If you have not used the chant fonts before, I highly recommend that you begin with the newest font, Meinrad.
Meinrad: The New Single Font for both the Mac OS X and the PC
Fonts for the Mac OS9
Fonts for just the PC
While various people have found these helpful, I recommend that people take the time to learn one of the free programs, such as Finale Notepad, which offer much more flexibility.
These fonts have problems for OS X as well.
If you have a problem with the font, you can email me, and I will try to respond. If the problem is really about the Mac, I may not be much help, but I will encourage you.
Fr. Harry Hagan, OSB