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Lesson 3: Viewing and Editing a Document

View the Example Document

For users with regular VGA screens (e.g., laptops), View Normal is the most convenient way to work. Those with super VGA screens may find it agreeable to work in other views and zooms. For the sake of the tutorial, leave the display in View Normal and the zoom at Margin Width or Page Width.

Scroll through the Document

Notice the display of furigana (tiny hiragana characters) above each Chinese character, and the embedded display of English glosses (short translations called notes). In margin width zoom, these notes continue past the right margin on a VGA screen, making the line length somewhat too long for the window, so practice scrolling horizontally. Of course, you could click the scroll bars on the window bottom and right, but instead, practice using the keyboard: Note that the line with the insertion point scrolls independently of the rest of the window. This allows you to work on the current line without scrolling the entire window.

Scroll the Current Line

Notice that the window shows only a part of each horizontal line. It is frequently useful to work on a document using a small window that shows only a portion of the line. Here's how to scroll the window as you work:

Annotations Off

If you are a fluent speaker, consider how to annotate your documents so that the least skilled in your office can cut, paste, and substitute text for everyday correspondence with native Japanese. Text displays in this style when importing from another word processor (fortunately, you can add annotations to existing text). Also, you would set the display like this intentionally to prepare for printing or faxing to a native speaker, or for use by a native speaker, who might be confused or annoyed by the annotations! Even though the annotations are not visible, they are still present. For example, the variable word spacing allows you to select a word by double clicking the mouse. Try it: (If you cannot double click, consider increasing the double click time using Program Manager Main | Control Panel | Mouse | Double Click Speed.)

It is not necessary to turn everything off at once; each annotation has its own set of formatting controls. To experiment, first turn the annotations back on:

Notes Display Off

Notes interfere with our appreciation of Japanese, so turn them off:

Pronunciation Display Off

Turn off the pronunciation display: If you tried to read the text according to the above example, you now have some familiarity with it, and may even be able to read it, depending on your proficiency. The point is that word spacing alone is a speed up for advanced language students.

Word Spacing Off, Pronunciation On

Probing the Hidden Characters

Look at the text. Nervous? Relax. We don't need furigana to decipher the pronunciation of a Chinese character, just probe the character with the insertion point, and let the hidden characters(5- 4) window show you its secrets.

Dictionary Basics

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 text.

The insertion point works with the hidden characters 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 cursor in the hidden characters window. You can look up this text in the on-line dictionaries.

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(4- 7) dictionaries. Notes objects are searched for in the translating dictionary(4- 7). Chinese characters are searched for in the reverse dictionary(4- 7). 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. Chinese objects use corresponding Chinese dictionaries, and English objects are searched for in the English word dictionary (e.g., an optional thesaurus).

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 user dictionary(4- 7) first. The number in the hidden characters(5- 4) window is the character's document symbol set number and character number(D- - 2). You can view and edit the corresponding fonts using Hanzi/Kanji | Browse or Edit. 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.

If you have installed a reverse dictionary(4- 7), the list of words and phrases is instantaneous. If not, Lookup Word and Phrase uses the Search Dictionaries(3- 32) 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 list(4- 4) 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.

If you prefer black and white to color, select the View | Display Mode | Black & White.

The text has been copied into the internal clipboard (not the Windows clipboard), ready for pasting. The internal clipboard is used for speed.

Pasting a Selection

It 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.

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 paste. It's informative 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:

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 Japanese or 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: If the notes input mode does not appear, select Keyboard | Setup and set Notes Input Mode to F12, Side + -.

All dictionary glosses except proper names are in lower case, so enter the word in lower case.

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 Japanese. 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.

Input Methods

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 kanji. 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 kana to kanji or katakana automatically in the background as you type. After every sentence or so, you go back and correct the errors in kanji selection made by the FEP. For experienced and fluent users, this method is the fastest of all. We will start by demonstrating the on request method:

Entering Kanji by Request

Enter the kanji for I or me, which is watashi in Japanese. There are many ways this particular kanji may be pronounced, so we will also illustrate changing the pronunciation from watakushi to watashi. Note that the title bar in the hidden characters window still displays English, and that input mode and object type indicator displays

... English - ^M - 13 ! Romaji >> Hiragana

This indicates a number of things: 1) that the insertion point is in an English object (in this case the beginning of a line), that the insertion point is on a hard line break (^M 13), and that the current object type (English) does not match ("!") the current input mode (Romaji >> Hiragana). The hidden characters window is blank, because English is never hidden.

Notice the Target Not Found message in the list window. No watashi, eh? (It was removed just for these tutorials.) Try watakushi instead: Note the list of kanji with the desired sound in the list window. Locate, highlight, and press Enter to select the desired kanji (the only one). In general, when looking for characters: Notice that the character is now inserted into the text at the current insertion point location. The pronunciation now displays as furigana. Sometimes the furigana is truncated at the insertion point. To save time, Smart Characters does not update pronunciations and notes as you type, but you can redraw the line as desired:

Editing the Pronunciation

Because we wanted watashi, we must edit the furigana: By the way, watashi was removed from the syllable dictionary for the purpose of this exercise. Make a note to add it back later. In the meantime, you can find watashi in the word and phrase dictionary.

Cleaning the Line

In the following example, as you type, notice how long furigana travels with the insertion point:

Using the Word and Phrase Dictionary

Add a long phrase using the word and phrase dictionary. We will look up the word joseikaiho meaning women's liberation: If it displays additional characters to the left of josei, use the arrow keys to position the insertion point to the left of jo, and press Space to insert a word separator, then press End or use the arrow keys until josei displays correctly. The characters to the left of the cursor in the hidden characters window will be given to the dictionaries to search for matching entries. Sometimes it is hard to remember the exactly "spelling" for a Japanese word, especially ones that have (or may have) elongated vowels. Methods for fluent speakers generally require exact spellings.

Entering a Shifted Pronunciation

Consider the Japanese word shigoto , meaning work or occupation. Let's not access it using the word and phrase dictionary, but rather syllable by syllable: There is no match, because goto is not in the syllable dictionary. Indeed, it is not a listed form of the desired kanji. This is because the pronunciations of the kanji frequently change when they are in compounds. All is not lost, however: Use the Lookup Similar Syllable.(3- 30) function to automatically remove shifts when entering kanji via a syllable dictionary. Native speakers have trained themselves to enter the unshifted version automatically, but this process depends on knowing whether the syllable is shifted or not, and requires later editing of the furigana.

Make it a Word

Now that we have constructed a kanji 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 user dictionary(4- 7) or dynamic glossary(4- 6), or both, for rapid future lookup and participation in the query functions.

Although shigoto is already in the word and phrase dictionaries, we will use it as an example that almost everyone is familiar with.

If you were working at the end of a line, notice that a small word space was added when you pressed the o key in occupation. Spacing is not added to the beginning of a line or column. Notes objects begin words, and the notes object type code, which precedes every notes object, acts as the Asian variable word spacing(4- 14). You can adjust the width of the separator using Format | Annotations | Horizontal Spacing | Pts Word. Turning annotations off suppresses word spacing.

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(4- 7). Add shigoto: Note that your entry is at the top of the list (above the standard dictionary entry). Also note that your entry may be better-formed than the published dictionary, with the furigana correctly apportioned between the syllables. The user dictionary is automatically saved when you quit a project or change dictionaries.

Add the Word to the Dynamic Glossary

Now that shigoto is documented in your user dictionary(4- 7), add it to your dynamic glossary(4- 6) so that you can access it by typing Work. But first, play with the sample entries to get an idea of what a dynamic glossary does: Note that the first examples were in lower case, but that Sy has a capitalized S. This is required because sy begins the Japanese romaji syo, and would prevent using that spelling (sho would still work).

The Fastest Text Entry
Dynamic glossaries

(4- 6) 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., Works is too long), and you can have up to 1000 glossary items. Take a look at the new entries in your glossary file. The dynamic glossary that matches the input mode of your dictionary language set(4- 7) (and your active user dictionary(4- 7)) is automatically loaded into a permanent document window whenever you change dictionary language sets.

Dynamic Glossaries

The dynamic glossary(4- 6) that matches the input mode of the active dictionary language set(4- 7) (and your active user dictionary(4- 7)) is automatically loaded into permanent document window 3 whenever you change dictionary language sets. 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., the Chinese Pinyin>>Bpmf and Pinyin>>Pinyin) 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 entries.

Entering the nn Character

To illustrate a few irregularities, enter the simple sentence Tanaka san wa nihon e ikimasu, meaning Mr. or Ms Tanaka is going to Japan. First of all, make a few new lines: Although you may enter kanji as you go, it may be easier on your train of thought to enter the entire line in kana, then convert to kanji later as a separate step: Smart Characters does not yet know that you want the Japanese "nn" sound. You might want na ni nu ne or no. You get the small n by pressing the single quote key ( ` ) , or by typing a key other than a, i, u, e, or o.

More Irregularity

The particle wa is written with the hiragana ha, and the particle e is written with he: You now have a compete sentence in hiragana. Convert tanaka, nihon, and ikimasu to kanji:

Try the Word Dictionary First

When converting a word, try the word and phrase dictionary search first, which also searches your user dictionary(4- 7). If you cannot find the entry, you must convert syllable by syllable, as in the above examples. Note that it is far easier to press the space bar as you type, rather than afterwards.

Japanese Dictionary Form

Now for a quick lesson on Japanese verbs. Each verb has more forms (conjugations) than you can shake a stick at, so the dictionaries contain verbs in their dictionary form only. Likewise, adverbs are shown as their adjective counterparts. Although Smart Characters includes a de-inflection module to convert inflected forms to dictionary form, it does not handle all combinations of all inflections, especially multiple colloquial inflections. For homonyms with lots of possible writings, it is frequently faster to look up the dictionary form which minimizes the number of entries in the list window.

Because beginning Japanese teaches the polite forms first (beginners should use polite forms), beginning students are generally unaware of the dictionary forms of the verbs they have learned. Now is the time to learn.

The dictionary form of ikimasu is iku. We will add the ku, convert the kanji, and delete the ku, just as you would do if looking it up in a printed dictionary: The hidden characters window shows iku. The dictionary functions always translate the characters to the left of the cursor in the hidden characters window. Because Smart Characters recognizes most Japanese inflections and verb stems, so this procedure is necessary only in unusual circumstances. Normally, you can work from the verb stem (the portion before masu): The word and phrase list shows inflected forms at the end of the list. You can get to the end of a large list by pressing Ctrl+PageDn.

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 experiment: Nihon was originally double spaced because a word separator was automatically inserted by the word and phrase dictionary, but Smart Characters removed the extra empty word separator when you redrew the window. Tanaka is not indented, even though it does have a word separator, because it is at the beginning of the line.

When you submit an essay or send or fax a letter, turn off word spacing to avoid the impression that you are ignorant of customary practice:

Entering Chinese Characters

Let's switch to Chinese for a change of pace. Write wo3 shi4 mei3 guo2 ren2 or I am an American. The numbers are tones, which specify a particular vocal pitch and modulation.

Set up Pinyin

Pinyin is far more widely taught and used than bopomofo. Although bopomofo is far superior to pinyin for learning spoken Chinese, bopomofo is not taught in mainland China, and it's tough to argue with a billion Chinese. Note the list of Chinese characters with the desired sound in the list window. Locate and select the desired character (the first one):

Pinyin and Bopomofo are Interchangeable

Notice that the character is now inserted into the text at the insertion point location, and that the current object type is now bChars (short for binary characters).

Displaying Chinese Pronunciation

The pronunciation display requires different handling in Chinese than in Japanese. You may wish to change the character formatting so that pronunciations are displayed below the Chinese characters, and glosses displayed above:

Fixed vs. Variable Character Space

Because Chinese does not contain alphabetic characters, additional fixed or variable character space must be added to align pronunciations with the matching Chinese characters. Try the version 2.9 fixed style:

Pinyin to Bopomofo

Take a look at the document using bopomofo instead of pinyin pronunciations: If you want to use bopomofo, you can set up the bopomofo keyboard to do so. Alternatively, Format | Annotations | Roman Style can be set to enter, search, and display pinyin in a variety of styles. See Romanization Display and Keyboard Configuration.

Reopen Japanese Dictionaries

If you had opened the Chinese dictionaries, reopen the Japanese dictionaries:
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