- 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 are Kanji input?

A IME translates the reading into Kanji.

The system that allows input of Kanji on a PC is called an Input Method.
The Windows OS Input Method is broken onto several function modules; the part that actually handles input and Kanji conversion is called IME (input Method Editor).
IME interprets the Roman or hiragana reading of the string of characters input by the user, and displays a phrase containing Kanji as a candidate. The user then chooses the appropriate phrase from among the available candidates and confirms the decision.
This makes the input of Japanese with Kanji possible.
IME is normally software that accepts a string of characters as input and confirms the converted phrase.
A string of characters is a list of character codes.
Thus, information other than character codes is not included.
This makes it impossible to store font information with the characters and specify a font when inputting a string of characters. For example, it is not possible to record the same character using both MS Mincho and MS Gothic, and then use them separately based on the reading of the character.
In other words, you cannot input Kanji with IME simply by having several fonts with different characters registered under the same character codes.