Use your PC to Master Japanese and Chinese
Launching Smart Characters
To use the Smart Characters word processor, launch Smart Characters from the
Windows Program Manager. First, locate the Smart Characters 3.0 icon in
the Smart Characters program group, and double click to launch.
Smart Characters 3.0 Program Icon
If you have moved the Smart Characters 3.0 icon to another group, you will have
to find it there. If all else fails, you can use the Program Manager
File | New command to install a new icon in a group that is convenient
For Laptop Users
For those who find double clicking too much effort (e.g., laptop owners with
erratic track balls), you can usually achieve the double click effect on an
item by highlighting it and pressing Enter.
Main Window Fixed Components
Once launched, Smart Characters displays the word processor main window
and menu. The main window consists of various parts. At the top are the main
system menu button, the title bar, a desktop that includes
all documents that were open when you last quit Smart Characters, and the
window size buttons.
Experiment with the main system menu buttons:
- Windows 95 (W95) windows contain control buttons that look different from
those in Windows 3.1: the Close button (not in Windows 3.1) is an `X',
the Minimize button is a thin line instead of a down arrow, the
Restore button is two windows overlapping instead of a double arrow
head, and the Maximize button is a large rectangle instead of an up
arrow. Switch To is not on the menu when the taskbar (task
switching toolbar) is active.
- Press Alt+Space or click the main system menu button to activate
the main system menu. Examine the menu choices provided by Windows:
Restore, Move, Size, Minimize, Maximize,
Close, and Switch To. Press Alt once to close the menu.
- Click the minimize (down arrow head or thin line) button to
minimize Smart Characters to an icon. Click the icon once to display the
system menu again. Click on Maximize to make the main window fill the
entire screen (maximized).
- In W95, minimizing a main window closes the window, but there is no icon
other than the push-button on the taskbar, which is always
Below the title bar is the main window
menu which sometimes shares space with a child window system menu
button and window size buttons.
- Click the restore button (upper right button with double arrow
heads or two windows overlapping) to restore Smart Characters to an
intermediate size. Take the time to memorize this new Windows meaning for
restore (make intermediate).
- Use the mouse or the system menu to move the main frame window to a
suitable location, then use the mouse or the system menu to adjust the main
frame window to a suitable size.
The main window optionally includes the toolbar which displays just
below the main window menu, a
which displays at the bottom of the main window, and a
window which displays just above the status bar. The codes window is not
visible at this point.
Especially important is the
window, which floats independently of the main window, and can be positioned
anywhere on the screen (although it tries to avoid the
cursor by jumping out of the way).
These optional windows are controlled by the View menu:
- Click with the mouse or press Alt+V to drop the View menu. Note
that some of the items (e.g., Tool Bar and Hidden Characters)
have check marks next to them to indicate their active status.
- Select Hidden Characters to hide the hidden characters window, then
select it again to turn it back on. It will re-appear on screen in a visible
location, even if you had previously moved it off screen to get it out of the
The main window holds child document windows, and can also launch other
kinds of windows to display and edit Chinese characters, vocabulary drills,
conversion and translation utilities, etc. as required.
Smart Characters 3.0 document windows display, edit, and print documents.
Document windows are controlled by the Windows multiple document
interface. This means that they behave in exactly the same way as, for
example, the group windows in Program Manager. You can have as many
document windows open as your machine's memory will allow.
Document windows are controlled by the Window menu.
Permanent Document Windows
There are several permanent document windows, which are always available
for instant access. They include an internal
window for displaying and selecting dictionary matches, a symbol window
to display browsed Chinese characters, and windows to hold your active
Closing and Minimizing Windows
To begin in a known state, close any open documents, and minimize the permanent
Although you cannot close the permanent windows, you can minimize
them and turn them into icons, which is their default state.
- Select Window | Close All to close all open document windows. In
this guide, menu items separated by a vertical bar (|) must be
repeatedly selected: select Window then select Close All. Don't
save any files. The remaining visible child windows are permanent
- For each remaining open child window, minimize it by using the child
window minimize button (the down arrow in the upper right corner of the child
- Select Window | Arrange Icons to arrange the minimized permanent
window icons on the bottom of your desktop.
Switching between Document Windows
You can switch between document windows using the menus, the mouse, and the
- Select the Window menu to display a list of open document windows.
Note the accelerator keys (the underlined numbers on the left), which come in
handy when using the keyboard.
- Pick 2, which is always the
The window changes from an icon to an open document window, which always
happens when you select a window from the window menu. What you see inside
depends not only on the window contents, but also on how the window's
View and Zoom settings. More on this later.
The Active Window and Input Focus
Note that the window title bar is highlighted. This means that this is the
active window. Also note that a flashing text cursor (called the
or caret) appears. This indicates the input focus: text will be
inserted or deleted beginning at that point in the window. In some cases,
active windows don't display an insertion point. Smart Characters documents can
switch between editing with an insertion point, and hypertext mode,
which uses a moveable highlight.
Using the Mouse to Activate a Window
Clicking on a window deactivates the currently active window, and activates the
new window. If the window is minimized, the window's system menu appears.
- Click and drag the icon that looks like a yellow rectangle and move it up
on the desktop away from the other icons. Note that when you move the icon, you
can more easily read the icon window title, typically a file name.
- Click on the yellow rectangle again and note the child window system menu.
Select Restore. This is the internal (not the Windows)
- In W95, the clipboard window icon bar contains a tiny yellow pad icon, a
truncated name, and buttons. Moving the icon has no effect on the window title,
which remains truncated. A real step backwards!
Using Ctrl+F6 to Activate a Window
If the insertion point is not visible, there may be no text
displaying in the window. Adjust the window size or View | Zoom to
display some text and the insertion point.
- Press Ctrl+F6 (press and hold the Ctrl key, then press F6) to rotate
through the document windows in order. Note the activation change from window
to window. Press Shift+Ctrl+F6 to go backwards. Stop on the icon that looks
like an open book with the name glossary, a title beginning with
Glossary, or a file name ending in .gls.
- Press Alt+Minus (the `-' key) to open the document window system menu,
then select Restore. This window holds your
which you use for rapid text entry of text that you have previously
Mouse and Keyboard Window Positioning
It is usually a good idea to position and size the window containing the
document you are working on carefully, because no one has as large a screen
working area as they would like. You can change size by dragging the child
window frame, or using the window system menu and the keyboard.
- Practice sizing windows with the mouse, then with the keyboard by pressing
Alt+Minus then Size and Move. Be sure to do this drill, so that
you are not completely dependent on your mouse.
- Use Window | 2 and Window | 4 to open 1 or 2 additional
windows to get exactly 4 open document windows to set up for the next experiment.
Positioning Windows with the Menus
You can also have Windows arrange your windows in a more or less arbitrary but
numbers of open windows and main frame window sizes (4 here), there may be no
difference between vertical and horizontal tiling. Close a window and try again.
- Select Window | Cascade to organize your child windows in a
cascade, then Window | Tile Vertically, then Window | Tile
Horizontally. What's going on? There's no difference!
If you position a window on the right or bottom of
the main frame window, then reduce the size of the main window, you will not
see the window which is now out of the viewing area. You can use Window |
Cascade or Tile to bring the window back onto the desktop.
- Double click the clipboard window system menu button to tell the clipboard
to close. Note the message that says You can't close the ... window,
minimize it instead. Press Enter, Esc, or click the OK button to
minimize the window. Try Window | Tile Vertically and Window | Tile
Adjusting the Zoom and Display Mode
Smart Characters offers lots of different combinations of ways to display and
print text. The most fundamental of these are the size and positioning of text
in a window, which is controlled by the View menu. Normal view is
used for most work. Page view is used to check pagination, and to edit
headers, footers, footnotes, and frames (embedded objects or pictures).
If you are
running a VGA system, consider upgrading your monitor and video card to super
VGA resolution. 1024x768 systems are inexpensive, while 1280x1024 systems allow
two full-size pages to display simultaneously, which is wonderful for
composition and translation.
- Press Alt+W, then 2 to activate the
window. This always works because the user dictionary window is permanent, so
its number in the Window menu doesn't change. Press Alt+Minus then x to
select Maximize or click with the mouse to maximize the window.
- Select View | Zoom | Fit Page to automatically switch to page
layout view, and zoom the page to fit in the window. Note that the page and the
background are different colors (not on monochrome systems).
Projects, Users, and the Desktop
At the end of a user or project session, Smart Characters saves the active
dictionary and input method preferences as well as the size, placement, and
file names of the open document windows into the current user or project
desktop file. The next time you launch Smart Characters or open a
project, Smart Characters restores the saved preferences and opens and displays
the document files as they were when you last worked on the project.
Each project or user has its own unique name which is shown on the far left of
at the bottom of the main frame window.
Create a New Project
You can create as many projects or user names as you want. Smart Characters
ships with (computer language for "includes") several sample projects named:
Welcome, Chinese, Bopomofo, and Pinyin. Projects are controlled by the File
| User & Project dialog. Because we will be doing Chinese, switch to a
Chinese project and create a new tutorial project based upon it:
Because we will
be doing Chinese mostly with pinyin, switch to the Pinyin project and create a
new tutorial project based upon it:
- Select File | User & Project to invoke the Select User or
Project dialog, which displays a list of available users or projects.
Select each project and click OK in turn to get an idea of how you can
use projects to manage different tasks or different users.
Smart Characters copies the
Pinyin project to the new project, then switches to it, closing the open
windows and re-configuring based on the new project (which at this point is
identical to the existing Pinyin project). Note the new project name Pinyin
Tutorial on the left of the status bar on the bottom of the main window.
- Select Pinyin then New to invoke the Edit User dialog.
- Replace the New Name Pinyin with Pinyin Tutorial (or
another name) then replace the File Name ScPin.ini with
PinTut.ini (or another valid DOS file name). Select OK to accept
the dialog box. Select OK on the User & Project dialog to
switch to the new Pinyin Tutorial project.
Apropos Customer Service home
Last Modified: March 23, 1996
Copyright © 1996 Apropos, Inc.