Use your PC to Master Japanese and Chinese
Entering Chinese characters begins by typing some sort of key that identifies
the characters you wish to write. Smart Characters supports a variety of key
types. The most widely used key uses pronunciations to identify matching
characters. The desired characters are then selected and pasted into the
The insertion point works with the
window to automatically (without highlighting) select text as keys for
dictionary lookup. The automatically selected text is the portion of the
current text object to the left of the solid insertion point in the
hidden characters window. You can look up this text in the on-line
The dictionaries searched
depends on the type of the current text object displayed in the hidden
characters window. Pronunciation objects are searched for in the
syllable, word, and user dictionaries. Notes objects are
searched for in the
Chinese characters are searched for in the
If you have not installed translating or reverse dictionaries, or if you
specifically request it, Smart Characters will emulate them by searching the
available on-line dictionaries, which takes some time. Japanese objects use
corresponding Japanese dictionaries, and English objects are searched for in
the English word dictionary (e.g., an optional thesaurus).
- Select Translate | Select Dictionaries to display a list of on-line
dictionaries for Chinese. If the dictionary language is not set to Chinese,
backtrack to the Set up a Workspace section, and set up the Chinese
dictionaries, keyboard, and input methods.
- Select Cancel to close the Select Dictionaries dialog.
A Character Reference
In order to learn more about a Chinese character, use Translate | Lookup
Word or Phrase to list each entry that uses that character. This function
always searches your
The number in the
window is the character's document
symbol set index(4-
You can view and edit the corresponding fonts using Hanzi/Kanji | Browse
- Open or switch to the example file Lesson1.ch0, and position the
insertion point on the Chinese text beginning on line 12. Maximize the window
to cover up all other windows.
- Press Right to move the insertion point one or more positions to the right
until you notice that the object type indicator on the hidden characters window
shows Chars or Bchars (short for binary characters, or
If you have
to wait, observe the Searching for dialog, which shows the dictionaries
being searched and the progress made. You can stop searching if you get
impatient, and work with the matches found to that point.
- Select Translate | Lookup Word or Phrase to get a list of words and
phrases that use the character, and its various pronunciations.
If you have installed a
the list of words and phrases is instantaneous. If not, Lookup Word and
Phrase uses the
command to emulate a reverse dictionary. The Translate | Search
Dictionaries menu selection forces this emulation.
The Search Results in the List Window
After the search is completed, the
window appears with the results of the search.
If you had hidden the list window, open
it now (its title has changed to Copy to Clipboard from List, but its
window number is always 5) and position it so that you can easily read
it. If you cannot find the list window, use Window | Tile Vertically to
begin the arrangement.
- Note that the original Lesson1.ch0 document is no longer maximized,
but is rather as large as a child window can be without being maximized.
Adjust the position, size, and zoom of this and the list window to suit (large
zooms are easier to read). Leave the list window activated (click the list
window title bar or press Alt+W-5).
If you prefer black and white to color, select View | Display Mode | Black
If you are using a VGA screen, you may want to reduce the tab size. Select
Format | Tabs and set the default tabs to 0.1 inch or to taste.
Note: the entries with
glosses ending in an asterisk (*) indicate that the adjective form of the word
is formed by adding de5
- Test and observe the behavior of the mouse in the list window. The hand
cursor means that the mouse will select the highlighted entry, rather than
position a text
Note also that the toolbar hypertext button (a lightening bolt) is
depressed, indicating hypertext (not editing) mode.
The text has been
copied into the internal
(not the Windows clipboard), ready for pasting. The internal clipboard is used
- Select one of the more complex multiple-hanzi entries from the
list. Highlight it and click or press Enter. The original document regains
activation and moves to the top, and the list window title changes to Paste
into Document, but nothing else changes. Of course, if the Lesson1 window
covers the list window, you will not see its title.
Pasting a selection
is faster and more precise to get to the beginning and end of a line by
pressing Home and End than by using the arrow keys or mouse.
- Position the insertion point at the end of a short paragraph: press the Up
and Down arrow keys until you get to a short line, then press End to get to the
end. Observe the ^M.13 hard line break on the status bar, which
means you are at the end of a paragraph (^J.10 is a soft line
break, which indicates the end of a word wrap line in a paragraph).
- Press Ctrl+V or Insert to insert the entry and its associated notes from
the internal clipboard into the text. Note that the notes are not aligned to
the pasted object. Try all four methods of redrawing the line: press F10, click
the redraw line toolbar button (a circle with a line through it), select
View | Redraw Line, and Redraw Line from the Right Mouse button
Directly from the List Window
Typically, most selections from the list window paste directly into the
document without going through the internal clipboard. When querying a
character, however, it is almost certain that the insertion point is not
properly positioned to paste the selection, hence the additional step of
copying to the clipboard to allow you to move the insertion point and then
to repeat the choose-reference-select-insert process on different
Chinese characters from the newly inserted entry, exploring how these
characters form words and compounds. Do that now on your own, using the
following alternatives to the menu:
- Leave the insertion point in a reasonable place and press Esc to switch
back to the list window, now titled Paste into Document, and select a
few more entries. Note how they automatically paste into the document. Also
note how the first mouse click activates the list window, and how the second
pastes the text and activates the working document window.
- Position the insertion point, click the dictionary button (an open
book) on the toolbar, make a selection, position the insertion point, and paste.
- Repeat the previous step using Query from the Right Mouse button
speed menu, then using F2.
Looking up English Glosses
Our curiosity piqued, let's see what the dictionaries have to say about the
English word dog. Thinking for a second, English words appear in the
dictionaries as glosses to the Chinese entries. A gloss is an equivalent
word or phrase. Glosses are represented in Smart Characters by notes
objects, so we will look for notes objects containing the word dog:
- Go to the end of a short line by pressing End. If you wish, make a new
line by pressing Enter.
Input Mode Shortcut Keys
Practice jumping directly to an
by pressing the appropriate shortcut key. This method is faster only when you
can remember the key. To start learning the shortcut keys:
All dictionary glosses except proper names
are in lower case, so enter the word in lower case.
- Press the Right Mouse button to bring up the speed menu. Note the
selection of input modes listed on the right. Observe that the shortcut key for
notes is Ctrl+d (^D).
- Press Esc to cancel the speed menu, then press Ctrl+d to begin a new notes
object. Note that the insertion point changes to a musical notes (
symbol. Because this type of visual pun may be obscure to non-native English
speakers, make a note of it!
- Type dog. Note the cursor at the end of the word dog in the hidden
- Select Translate | Lookup Word or Phrase, or Query from the
speed menu, click the dictionary icon, or press F2 to look for dog.
- Select an entry from the list and press Enter. The entry is automatically
substituted for the notes gloss, with no additional paste step needed.
Ctrl Keys Split Existing Text Objects
Use Ctrl+ key shortcuts carefully. Pressing a control key not only changes the
input mode, it also splits an existing text object at the insertion into two
objects, and changes the type of the text in the second object to the input
mode type. This effect is used in Japanese to change hiragana to katakana,
and to convert between notes, English, and wide ENGLISH. In the example above,
we started at the end of a paragraph, so the insertion point was not in the
middle of a text object. If you do inadvertently split an object, just press
BackSpace or select Edit | UnDo to restore the object.
Adding a Gloss
In Chinese, it is generally ok to split existing words at syllable (Chinese
character) boundaries, because each character is a separate text object.
Turning to the example sentence, the gloss American is ambiguous.
Correct it by adding person to the ren2 character.
- Use the mouse or arrow keys to position the insertion point just before
ren2 character, then type person. Feel free to use the entries in
the dictionaries in any way you want.
When Pronunciations or Notes are displayed Above or
Below the text, the main insertion point does not move, and new text
will interfere with other pronunciations or glosses on the line. Redraw the
line as necessary for a clear display. Practice editing the gloss in the
example sentence by deleting the WWW from AmericanWWW.
mode is perfect for editing, where you do not want to have to constantly fiddle
with setting a different input mode when editing Chinese, English,
pronunciations, and glosses.
- Press Side Asterisk (*) or Alt+F12 to switch to
input mode, in which the input mode changes to match the current object. Note
the asterisk Same indicator on the status bar between the object type
and input mode indicators.
- Click the mouse just to the left of the mei character to position
the insertion point on the gloss. Press BackSpace repeatedly to delete
WWW. Note that the window still displays the WWW, but that the
display in the hidden characters window is correct.
- Press F10 to redraw the line, and clean up the gloss.
Access with BackSpace
When notes placement (set by Format | Annotations) is Above or
Below, you can access only the end of a notes object using BackSpace
(which also deletes).
controversy of whether to consider meiguoren one word or two.
- Practice editing glosses by positioning the insertion point, then pressing
BackSpace repeatedly to delete person, then type the phrase human
being. Note that the window display is unclear, but that the display in the
hidden characters window is correct.
- Press F10 to redraw the line, and clean up the gloss.
- Remove the asterisk from any glosses you pasted in the character reference
or English translation steps above. Be sure to add the de5 character.
Make a note to add de5
Normal Text Entry via Pronunciation
The two methods of entering text demonstrated previously, character reference
and translation, are useful for times when you have forgotten a word, but they
are far too slow for normal typing. Additionally, they interrupt your train of
thought from your primary goal: the well-formed expression of a thought in
Chinese. The benefit of these tools is that they minimize this interruption.
The preferred mode of text entry is via the pronunciations of the words in a
sentence, so that your typing is similar to typing English, where you
concentrate on what and how you are trying to say something, rather than trying
to remember a word or, worse, the mechanics of entering it into the computer.
Smart Characters offers two basic internal methods for entering Chinese
characters, lookup On Request, and Incremental Match, and the
ability to install and use native front end processors that you may be
familiar with already. On request is the simplest method to use. Type a
pronunciation, press a key, and pick the correct hanzi. Incremental
match creates a list as you type, and has a variety of preference options
to control the list format and location, and the keys used to select from the
list, to begin new words, etc. Separate front end processors for native
speakers sometimes go a step further and convert entire sentences typed in
pinyin or bopomofo to hanzi automatically in the background as you type. After
every sentence or so, you go back and correct the errors in hanzi selection
made by the FEP. For experienced and fluent users, this method is quite fast,
nearly half the speed of typing English. We will start by demonstrating the on
- Select Translate | Auto Input Method to invoke the Chinese
Character Input Method dialog. Select On Request. Click the
Setup button and note that there are no preferences to set for this
Try the Word Dictionary First
When converting a word, try the word and phrase dictionary search first. This
method begins by searching your
If you cannot find the entry, you must convert syllable by syllable, as in the
first examples above. After doing so, you should add gloss annotations, then
consider adding the word to your user dictionary and possibly to your
Use the word and phrase dictionary to enter the next sentence:
You can insert glosses into the text at the same time as you enter Chinese
- Prepare for easier typing by setting Format | Annotations | Horizontal
Pts. Char to 3 (points) and Pts. Word to 4.
Hand Entered Glosses Are Short
The example above shows Notes | Lines at 2 to illustrate that glosses
can occupy several lines. However, the short glosses used in this example do
not need more than 1 line. Most users prefer to conserve screen space by
setting Notes | Lines to 1. On the other hand, the output of the
translation programs such as the
ScAnnotate Automatic Annotator(11-
includes sometimes lengthy glosses (e.g., United States Embassy,
Beijing) into each word, requiring up to three lines for a clear display.
- Switch to Pinyin >> Pinyin input mode, type wo3men2, then
press F2. Select the Chinese character entry by pressing Enter, then select the
correct gloss again by pressing Enter.
- Continue with yong4, hen3duo1, shi1jian1, and lai2. You need to type a
tone from 1 to 5, but it doesn't need to be the correct tone.
- Type tao2lun2 (use the wrong tone for tao) and press F2. Pretend it's not
there (if you are using the student dictionary Chi100wd.dic, it
isn't there). Because the list is not empty (there are matches), the
list window is active. Press Esc to return activation to the example document
Use the Syllable Dictionaries Second
If you cannot find a word as a whole, look it up by its syllables. Go back and
look up each syllable, starting from the beginning:
Even though lun2 shows as four characters in the hidden
characters window, it occupies only three characters on the screen because the
tone marking has been combined with the vowel for the screen display.
- Press Left three times to position the insertion point to the right of
tao2. Dictionaries are searched for entries that match the characters
to the left of the cursor in the
- Press LeftShift+Space to look up the syllable as tao2. It is not
there (the tone is wrong). Press Esc to switch back to the lesson window.
Fishing for Tones
Although pressing RightShift+Space ignores the tone, you will save time by
learning the correct tone. You can "fish" for the syllable by changing the tone
and looking again. Here we will jump to the correct tone:
- Press BackSpace to delete the incorrect tone, then press 3 to add the
correct tone. Tones are always entered and stored at the end of a syllable,
even if they display as accent marks on a vowel.
- Press LeftShift+Space to look up the syllable. Select the correct entry.
Note that the pronunciation for the second syllable remains in the text.
- Press the End key to get to the end of the line, and note that the hidden
characters window displays lun2. Press LeftShift+Space to look it up, then
select the correct entry. If necessary, Press F10 to clean up the line.
Make it a Word
Now that we have constructed a compound hanzi out of two syllables, we are
inclined to move on to something else. However, consider adding word spacing to
words and English annotations to words you create. Word spacing allows rapid
word insertion point movement using Ctrl+Left and Ctrl+Right, and enables word
selection by mouse double clicking, which is handy for drag and drop editing.
Annotations help you or others less fluent read the text later. Further,
consider adding the newly-annotated word to either your
or both, for rapid future lookup and participation in the query functions.
is already in the word and phrase dictionaries, we will use it as an easy
- Add the two glosses discuss; debate to the word: Position the
insertion point to the left of
switch to notes input mode, and type discuss; debate. Separate discuss
and debate by a semicolon and a space, which is the Smart Characters
convention for separating two glosses for the same word.
Notes & Words
If you were working at the end of a line, notice that a small word space was
added when you pressed the d key in discuss. Spacing is not added to the
beginning of a line or column. Notes objects begin words, and the notes
object type code (Ctrl+d), which precedes every notes object, acts as
variable word spacing(4-
You can adjust the width of the separator using Format | Annotations |
Horizontal Spacing | Pts Word. Turning annotations off suppresses word
Add the Word to the User Dictionary
Every business or hobby has its own technical terms. These terms number in the
tens or hundreds of thousands, and it is not practical to publish a dictionary
with all words included. Consequently, you will encounter many candidates for
inclusion into your
user dictionary is automatically saved when you quit a project or change
- Double click
to select it (make it highlighted). Double clicking works only if a word is
surrounded by word separators, or line breaks. Otherwise, click and drag using
the mouse, or press and hold the Shift key while moving the arrow keys to make
the selection. To be sure to include the notes object at the beginning of the
word, begin the selection before the
variable word space(4-
on the left.
- Select Translate | Add Selection to User Dictionary to invoke the
Verify Dictionary or Glossary Entry dialog. Verify the pronunciation and
the glosses, then select OK to enter the word into your user dictionary.
- Test the entry by deleting the selected text, typing tao3lun2, and
pressing F2. Note that your entry is at the top of the list (above the standard
- Select your entry, and further select the discuss gloss for pasting
into the working document.
- Take a look at the new entry in your user dictionary:
- Select Window | 2 to display the user dictionary, then press
Ctrl+PageDn to scroll to the end. Adjust View | Zoom for a reasonable
display. View your new entry, then minimize the user dictionary window.
Add the Word to the Dynamic Glossary
Now that tao3lun2 is documented in your
add it to your
so that you can access it by typing Talk. But first, play with the sample
entries to get an idea of what a dynamic glossary does:
- Position the insertion point on a new line, switch to Pinyin input
mode, and type cs in lower case (all keyboards are case sensitive), and see one
technician's idea of our organization's name. Type fsk and CJ to list some
developers who worked on Smart Characters.
Note that some entries are capitalized. This is optional for entries that do
not match a valid pronunciation. However, any entry that does (e.g.,
dao, song) must contain a capital letter to distinguish from
pinyin. As a memory aid, it doesn't hurt to capitalize the first letter of a
dynamic glossary entry.
provide extremely rapid text entry compared to any other method. Don't limit
your use to just common words. Include longer names and addresses that you use
over and over again. The maximum glossary key length is 4 characters (i.e.,
Talks is too long), and you can have up to 1000 glossary items.
- Double click the new
with the mouse to select it. It now has only one gloss, since you deleted the
original. Since the purpose of a dynamic glossary is to speed things up, you
should select the gloss that you would prefer to use most of the time.
- Select Keyboard | Add Selection to Dynamic Glossary to invoke the
Verify Dictionary or Glossary Entry dialog. Verify the pronunciation,
and the glosses, and assign the glossary key Talk. Don't forget to capitalize
the T to prevent interference with ta. Select OK to enter
the word into your dynamic glossary. Done!
- Test the entry by deleting tao3lun2 (again!), checking
Pinyin>>Pinyin input mode, and typing Talk in the working document
and its gloss appear immediately.
Take a look at the new entries in your
- Try a few more examples (such as your name and address, hello and
good-bye, etc.) on your own.
- Select Window | 3 to display the dynamic glossary window, then
press Ctrl+PageDn to scroll to the end. Observe your new entries. Minimize the
dynamic glossary window.
that matches the input mode of the active
dictionary language set(4-
(and your active
is automatically loaded into permanent document window 3 whenever you change
dictionary languages. This dynamic glossary is automatically saved when you
quit a project.
Unlike the user dictionary, the dynamic glossaries for other alphabetic input
modes (e.g., Pinyin >> Bpmf and the Japanese Romaji >> Hiragana)
are always active, but are not loaded into a permanent document window. They
can be edited using Keyboard | Setup | (destination mode) | Glossary,
which loads the glossary file into a new document window for viewing or
editing. Entries can be pasted from another glossary, or entered by hand in the
format <key><entry>. Use File | Save to activate the new
Deleting Chinese Characters
If you choose the wrong character by mistake, you can delete it without
deleting the pronunciation:
- If necessary, use the arrow keys to position the insertion point to the
right of the lun character. Note the character in the
window. Press BackSpace to delete the character. The lun2 pronunciation
reappears in the text (the correct tone was added from the dictionary entry).
- Press Left three (four if displaying bopomofo) times to position the
insertion point to the right of the tao character then BackSpace to
delete it. Note the tao3 pronunciation in the text, and that the lun2 is
not showing in the window.
The pronunciation object tao3lun2 was split into a separate objects when
we looked up a each syllable. Rejoin them so we can test our new entry:
If you had double clicked with the mouse, or otherwise
selected the notes gloss before the pronunciation, you would be seeing a mess
as the pronunciations were joined to the English gloss! If that happened, press
Ctrl+Z to UnDo, and try again.
- Select just the pronunciation (don't double click), then click the
right mouse button and select Join Objects to join the pronunciation
objects into one object. Note that the insertion point moves to the end of the
joined pronunciations, and that the hidden characters window shows the full
- Click the Right Mouse button and Query the pronunciation to look up
tao3lun2, then click the entry in the list window to paste it into the
Looking up Under an Alternate Pronunciation
Sometimes you will find that a Chinese character is not listed in either the
word and phrase or the syllable dictionaries.
Now what? Generally, Chinese characters are not
listed under variations of their pronunciations, but are listed under a
citation form (dictionary) pronunciation. Such is the case with zhei4
which is listed under zhe4. Look it up under the citation form, then
correct the pronunciation:
- Type zhei4 and press F2. Nothing. Press RightShift+Space, and again note
Target not Found.
If you do not know to look for an alternate pronunciation, then you
can locate the character by radical and stroke from using Hanzi | Browse
(later in this chapter), or by using an optional
radical and stroke(4-
You may wish to not gloss each word, or to use a different gloss.
- Press BackSpace to delete the i4. Type 4 to form zhe4, then F2, and
select the correct entry.
- Press Alt+Left repeatedly until the pronunciation zhe4 displays in the
hidden characters window.
- Press BackSpace to delete 4. Type i4 to correct the pronunciation to
the unwanted gloss, the word and phrase dictionary always inserts a ^D word
separator to begin a new word. Words in Smart Characters consist of a
notes object followed by any combination of pronunciation and characters
- Press End to get to the end of the line. Type jian4, then press F2, and
select the correct Chinese character entry. Select [measure], although
we consider this jian to be part of the previous word.
Because the syllable dictionary does not automatically
make words, it is not necessary to perform the above procedure if you use
LeftShift+Space or RightShift+Space to look up the character.
- Press Alt+Left to position the insertion point just to the left of the
jian4 character. Note that the object type indicator shows
Pinyin, and that the hidden characters window displays jian4.
Press Alt+Left again to move to the notes [measure] object. Press
BackSpace to delete the each letter in the object, then press it once more to
delete the empty object. Note the previous Chinese character in the hidden
Deleting a Gloss
If you are deleting an entire gloss, you can do it in one step. Go back and
delete the to come gloss from
- Press Ctrl+Left to move to the left of the lai2 character.
Ctrl+Left and Right moves by words by jumping to the next word separator. Note
that the current character indicator displays ^D, the word separator.
- Press Delete to delete the next visible object (the gloss come).
Note that the word space has been deleted, but that the gloss is still visible.
Press F10 to redraw the line.
Deleting and BackSpace
BackSpace and Delete work completely differently. BackSpace deletes a character
from the object to the left of the insertion point. The character may be part
of the in-line text, or it may be part of an annotation.
Delete deletes the in-line object to the right of the insertion point and other
objects between the insertion point and the next character. An object is
in-line if it occupies space on the line. Typically, the Delete key deletes
several objects at a time: one in-line character plus associated
pronunciations, and sometimes notes glosses. In addition, the LeftShift+Delete
combination deletes the single byte current character, and the
RightShift+Delete combination deletes a single hidden object beginning with the
Notes glosses when displayed above or below the line can also occupy
variable word spacing(4-
on the line. As long as variable word spacing is not zero, you can delete a
gloss by pressing the Delete key. However, when annotations are off, variable
word spacing is automatically set to zero, and glosses can be deleted by only
by deleting the following character, or by selecting the gloss using the
Shift+Alt+Right key, then pressing Delete. Although the insertion point does
not move on the display, the hidden characters window displays the object being
Glosses in the first word on the line and pronunciation objects do not occupy
space (word spacing is zero on the left margin, so that the margin lines up).
Delete them using the Shift+Alt method above.
Use Word Separators
Life becomes easier when you insert word separators (notes objects) into the
text you type. They can be used to
separate writing into words for easier reading. Also, the Ctrl+Arrow keys jump
entire words, so
entries are easier to extract when text contains word separators in the correct
places. We have deleted the entire notes object associated with lai2,
including the word separator. Re-
Word spacing does
not display if Format Annotations | Notes Placement is set to Off
- Press Ctrl+Right and Ctrl+Left and note where the insertion point lands
(not before lai2). Press Right or Left to position the insertion point
- Press Space and note that the hidden characters window becomes blank,
indicating the start of a new object. Also note an extra increment of
horizontal word space has been added to the text.
Looking up Glosses
Besides entering pronunciations to match words, you can search the dictionaries
for Chinese characters and glosses. Practice by looking for matter.
If you cannot find a word, try a synonym (e.g., thing,
affair, etc.). Examine the other glosses in a word's entry to discern
the underlying concept of the Chinese word, then pick the most appropriate word.
- Press End to go to the end of the line. Press Ctrl+d to begin a new notes
object, then type matter and press F2. Select
If you are using the small student dictionary, it isn't there, so skip the next
- Delete the word you just entered using English: double click the word, and
press the Delete key.
English to Chinese
To build your Chinese language skills, use English to look up words only after
you have tried for a few seconds to remember the Chinese phrase that
expresses the concept you are communicating.
The English search method accesses English glosses of the words in the Chinese
word processing dictionaries. Consequently, many English words are not
represented at all, and the entries under a particular word are not necessarily
the best translation of the English word. Additionally, a word for word
translation, although theoretically perfect, may not be an acceptable way to
express a concept in Chinese, so be careful.
Why is this lesson taking so long? Class is in five minutes, so it's time to
cheat. Copy the last words from the example line below and paste them in as if
we had typed them ourselves:
Cut and paste is another fast and
safe way to enter text. The template method uses pre-defined and
customized document templates, paragraphs, and sentences to accelerate routine
correspondence text entry.
- Click the mouse or press Down to position the insertion point before the
desired word shi4qing4. Note the current character display of ^D. Double
click the word, or press and hold the Shift key while pressing Ctrl+Right to
select (highlight) the word. Might as well copy the period at the end as well.
- Press Ctrl+C to copy the word to the internal clipboard. Note that the
highlight goes out. Reposition the insertion point at the end of your sentence,
and press Ctrl+V to paste the text. Done!
Adjusting Word Spacing
Stereotypically, native speakers, advanced students, and purists hate word
spacing. They prefer to read and write characters in fixed grid arrays, which
has the (minor) benefit of allowing for a precise character count simply by
counting lines. Generally, word spacing is used only in textbooks, where the
parsing of a sentence into words is one of the major tasks students must
master. Smart Characters accommodates both camps by making word spacing
adjustable, removing the need to insert fixed spaces into a document. Let's
submit an essay or send or fax a letter, turn off word spacing to avoid the
impression that you are ignorant of customary practice:
- Select Format | Annotations | Pts Word. The default value is 4
points. Change this to 12. Note the rather large word spacing.
- Select View | Annotations or click the scholar/student (a.k.a.
expert/novice) toolbar button to turn annotations off. View the text as would
be read by a recipient, completely unaware of the annotations hidden inside.
Typing with Annotations off
Type the next sentence with annotations off (if you wish, turn the annotations
off in the list window, too). To get practice with horizontal scrolling, adjust
the main document window size and horizontal scroll so that only the first
two-thirds of the sentence is visible (up to lianxi).
You can continue to type with the line individually scrolled. You
can also scroll the entire window to match the current line:
- Type the sentence with annotations off. Smart Characters automatically
inserts pronunciations and glosses into the text as you type. Note how the line
scrolls horizontally as you approach the right border of the document
- Press F9 or select Redraw Window from the Right Mouse button speed
menu to redraw the window to match the current line, and finish typing the
- Press Down and note the window insertion point moves to line below,
scrolling it, and that the former line restores itself to match the rest of the
window. Play with pressing the Home, End, and Ctrl+Right and Left keys, plus
Redraw Window to get a feel for horizontal scrolling.
Annotating Existing Text
You can annotate or re-annotate existing text.
Replace the glosses on ta1,
bu4, and hao3. Although you could simply edit these English
glosses by hand if you know the correct gloss, the following method is required
for unfamiliar words (e.g., text that you import from other Chinese word
- Turn annotations on and examine the pronunciations and glosses. Observe
the odd glosses on several words.
In the example above, glosses were inserted without asking
when typing with annotations off. This preference is set by the Adopt Notes
- Click to position the insertion point after ta1, and note the
character in the hidden characters window. Press the Right Mouse button to
invoke the speed menu. Select Query from the menu, select the single
ta1 entry, and select the correct gloss (he). Double click
ta1 to select it, then click the Paste button on the toolbar (or
press Ctrl+V) to paste the corrected entry into the text. Repeat this for the
- Select Translate | Adopt Notes to invoke the Adopt Notes
Preference dialog. You can set preferences that become active according to
whether notes annotations are displayed or hidden.
Annotation Strategy and Tactics
The default adopt notes preference is to Ask when notes are displayed,
and to take the First annotation when they are not. Native speakers who
do not wish to fool with English should be trained to turn the Annotations
Hidden preference off, otherwise they will be tortured by the resulting
English vocabulary drill!
A frequency dictionary makes a more intelligent choice of glosses based
upon frequency of usage. Alternatively, you can change the order of entries in
the word and phrase dictionaries, then re-compile them to place your preferred
glosses first. However, many native speakers will register a very large number
of words in their dynamic glossaries, and avoid typing in pinyin at all. So, if
you want to read what a fluent speaker in your office has written with the
least amount of trouble, annotate their dictionaries and dynamic
glossary to your taste (with their permission, of course...).
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Last Modified: March 23, 1996
Copyright © 1996 Apropos, Inc.