- 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 What is a font?

A A type of graphic data that has the shape of a character.

Fonts are a form of graphic data that records the shape of characters.
A piece of graphic data is stored for each character code.
Normally, fonts do not include any other information.
The reason for having several different fonts is to allow switching between typefaces such as Mincho and Gothic.
Installing fonts that contain characters not standard on that system only allows the display of those characters through a special procedure; features, such as search functions, will not work correctly.
There are two major types of font.
One type is called bitmap fonts, and describes characters as a collection of points.
The other type is outline fonts; this expresses the shape of characters as the lines around its edge.
Bitmap fonts are simple in construction, but when magnified, they are blocky and difficult to read.
On the other hand, because outline fonts include the surrounding edges of characters, magnification does not alter the shape adversely. For this reason, outline fonts are now the main type used.

Bitmap font Outline font