- Contents -
  Q What is a personal computer?
  Q How do personal computers output Kanji?
  Q What is a font?
  Q What is a character code?
  Q How are Kanji input?
  Q Is it impossible to use characters not in the character set?
  Q Do I only need a user-defined character editor to use user-defined characters?
  Q How do I input user-defined characters with IME?
  Q Is it possible to use characters from mainframes?
  Q What is the JIS code?
  Q What is the Shift JIS code?
  Q What is Unicode?
  Q How long will it take for Unicode to become available?
  Q What is XKP?
  Q Can user-defined characters be transferred using XKP?
  Q Is it possible to use more user-defined characters than the number of character codes available?
  Q Can XKP user-defined characters be printed?

Japanese Processing Guidebook


Q How do personal computers output Kanji?

A The key words are character codes and fonts.

When handling characters on PCs, the principle roles are played by character codes and fonts.
Normally, computers do not understand characters as characters per se. They assign a number to each character and recognize different characters by the different numbers.
These numbers are called character codes.
However, character codes are no more than numbers. Because of that, we PC users cannot tell what characters are contained in the computer only by looking at the character codes. Thus, the computer must be taught about the shape of the character that matches a particular character code.
Fonts are used for this purpose.
Fonts can easily be changed by users. This allows the same character to be changed to a different design. For example, it is possible to change from a Mincho font to a Gothic font.
Character codes and fonts are not usable separately; they are both required to make the use of characters possible.