Macintosh Software

The Vietnamese Macintosh software is provided by the TriChlor Software Group and friends to promote the use of a standardized Vietnamese character set commonly known as VISCII (Vietnamese Standard Codes for Information Interchange) designed by the Viet-Std Group in 1992. All software provided by the TriChlor Group is generally distributed free on the Internet subject to individual authors' copyright notice.

To type Vietnamese letters in any Macintosh application, one needs to install a Vietnamese keyboard driver and Vietnamese fonts. The TriChlor Software Group released version 1a in February 1996 and version 1b in September 1996. They are available at many ftp sites. They are usually packaged in MacBinary format (suffix *.bin) or BinHex format (suffix *.hqx). Many decompression utilities available commercially or in public-domain can be used to decompress these packages. For example, you can download BinHex or StuffIt Expander.

It has been known that certain versions of Netscape are uncapable of downloading binary files; what you get then is a corrupted file, which is useless. In this case you can use anonymous ftp or order the software from TriChlor.

Announcement of Release 1a - Feb 1996
Announcement of Release 1b - Sep 1996
Order Mac Vietnamese Software
Download Vietnamese MacKeyboard Driver
Complete MacVNkey Manual - Release 1a
Complete MacVNkey Manual - Release 1b
Download Vietnamese MacVISCII Fonts
Configure MacVISCII Fonts for Netscape Browsers
A Proposed MacVISCII Character Set
Software Development Kit for MacVISCII Developers



Unlike files on other computer platforms which are data only, Macintosh files have a 'Resource fork' and a 'data fork'. If you take a Mac file and put it on a non-Mac such as a PC or a UNIX machine, the resource fork will be stripped off. In some situations, this is ok, but many Mac files will be rendered unusable if they lose their resource fork. To prevent this from happening, users can 'MacBinary encode' their files before posting to a non-Mac. MacBinary encoding takes the resource and data forks of a Mac file and attaches them together into a single data file. MacBinary encoded files often have '.bin' at the end of the file name.

While binary files are smaller then text-encoded files and therefore download faster, they are more likely to be damaged during the file-transfer process if not downloaded correctly (using an 8-bit, binary transfer mode). If you are not sure how to perform a transfer in binary mode, or you don't think your application will do the transfer in binary mode automatically, then you should download a text enocded version of the file you are looking for.


The internet is a network that was originally designed for sending text messages between computers. Text messages need only 7-bits of data, so many internet gateways are 7-bits wide by default. Most non-text files that we use are 8-bits wide. If 8-bit wide files are sent through the internet, they can lose 1/8th of their content and be rendered unusable. It's a bit like sending a big truck through a small tunnel. There are ways to perform a 'binary' transfer via the internet which forces the file to be sent through an 8-bit wide gateway (a bigger tunnel), but the most common way to get around this "bit-width" problem is to encode the 8-bit wide file into a 7-bit wide format (actually a text format). This process will actually make the file bigger in file-length. ENCODING IS NOT COMPRESSION! For Mac users, BinHex is the standard 7-bit encoded format because it preserves that Mac resource fork, as well as the data fork. BinHex files usually have a '.hqx' suffix


Windows DOS Unix / X-Windows Macintosh