Use your PC to Master Japanese and Chinese
Set up the Workspace
You may be going through this tutorial again some time in the future, and the
Japanese project may be non-existent, or modified by yourself or another
person. In any event, let's take a quick check of the user preferences critical
to the next section.
Start with an Active Window
Smart Characters preferences come in two kinds: project or user preferences
that affect all the document windows, and preferences that affect only the
current document window, and are saved with the document. Having an active
window open allows the menus and dialogs to report on your document
window preferences are particularly significant, because automatically
generated lists are displayed according to these preferences.
- Press Alt+W then 2 (look at what you are doing so that you can use the
mouse the next time) to activate the user dictionary window.
Alphabetic and Kanji Input Modes
Unlike English word processors, in which pressing the "A" key types the letter
"A," Chinese and Japanese typing using a standard keyboard requires a way to
control and indicate what the keys mean when you press them. Smart Characters
distinguishes between two kinds of text input: alphabetic and
kanji (hanzi in Chinese). Alphabetic input mode is controlled by
the Keyboard menu, while the Chinese character input method is
controlled by the Translate menu.
Check the Keyboard
Alphabetic input converts your keyboard typing into alphabetic text such as
English, hiragana, or katakana according to the active alphabetic
input mode (or keyboard) setting. You can switch keyboards using the
Keyboard menu, the speed menu (press the Right Mouse button), the
keyboard function keys, or by typing a control key.
Restricting input mode access is important for rapid text entry. If
every alphabetic input mode had access through F12 or the side keys, it
would take too long to skip over modes you didn't care about for the F12 key to
- Select Keyboard | Setup to invoke the Alphabetic Input Mode
Preferences dialog, which displays a list of alphabetic input modes and
- With the Input Mode control selected, press Up and Down to scroll
through the list of input modes.
to the input modes Notes, English, Hiragana, and
Katakana. Each should have Access set to F12, Side + -,
meaning that the F12 key and side gray keypad Plus and Minus keys on the side
of your keyboard rotate through these input modes. Otherwise, you can always
access any mode by typing a control key, or by pressing the Right Mouse
- Select OK or press Enter to quit the dialog. Adjust the window size
or View | Zoom if necessary to display some text and the insertion point.
- Test the setup by repeatedly pressing the Side + and - keys (F12 and
Shift+F12 for laptop users) to rotate through the input modes. Observe the
insertion point and the status bar
input mode indicator(5-
the input mode text at the far right of the status bar at the bottom of the
main frame window.
Check the Input Method
Kanji character input requires selecting a correct kanji or kanji compound from
a list of kanji that match what you are typing.
A front end processor (abbreviated FEP) converts keystrokes
into Chinese characters, and is the way most Chinese and Japanese computer
operating systems implement Chinese character input methods. Taking a more
general approach required for a multi-lingual word processor, Smart Characters
comes with two internal input methods and the capability to install external
front end processors.
- Select Translate | Auto Input Method to invoke the Chinese
Character Input Method dialog, which displays a list of front end
The internal input methods On Request and Incremental Match
provide rapid text entry for users who require language assistance. Fluent
users who do not require language assistance can install their own preferred
All methods create and select from a list of kanji that match the pronunciation
you have just typed or selected. On request creates the list at your
request (using the menus or function keys). Incremental match creates
the list automatically, with a variety of options for display and selection.
External FEPs can operate in either fashion. We will begin the tutorial
demonstrating the on request method:
the list window had been minimized, it will now appear with the title Adjust
Position and Size. This window is used to select Chinese characters, and,
for speed, should not overlap the window containing the document you are typing.
- Select On Request, then OK to close the dialog box.
- Start out by positioning the list window on the right of the main frame
window, at full height, and about 1/4 to 1/3 of the window width.
Check the Required Dictionaries
Smart Characters dictionaries are used to lookup and translate between English
(or another roman language), alphabetic text, and Chinese characters. The
internal input methods use these dictionaries in the text entry process.
- Select Translate | Select Dictionaries to invoke the Select
Dictionaries dialog, which displays a list of dictionary types and file
names according to the active
dictionary language set(4-
Verify that the dictionary language is set to Japanese, and that there
are entries for at least Syllable, Word, and User
You may have entries for Translating and Reverse dictionaries,
which accelerate English word and Chinese character queries. Both the
Radical and the Stroke dictionaries support input methods for
users who cannot or will not learn standard pronunciations, but are willing to
learn and use even more complex systems for entering Chinese characters. All
Japanese learn a standard system for pronunciation, so these dictionaries are
generally not used for Japanese text entry.
On the other hand, a
radical and stroke(4-
dictionary makes a handy rapid reading tool, and is typically installed into
Smart Characters as a Reference dictionary.
- Select OK to close the dialog box.
- If you have not installed a Japanese word processing dictionary (an large
optional dictionary that consumes disk space), you may get a Dictionary Not
On-line notification message. You can still follow these tutorials by
setting the Word and Phrase dictionary to Jpn100wd.dic, a small
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Last Modified: March 23, 1996
Copyright © 1996 Apropos, Inc.