- 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 long will it take for Unicode to become available?

A It is already in actual use.

Unicode is being utilized in many different areas.
It is not some futuristic fantasy character code.
The major software currently using Unicode is given below.

- Wordprocessing software (Word, etc.)
In wordprocessing software such as Word, characters are already administered using Unicode. For this reason, if the font is available, it is possible to use Unicode characters unavailable in Shift JIS.

- Windows NT
Windows NT is an OS that uses Unicode throughout. If Shift JIS is used, at the point when data is passed to the OS, it is converted to Unicode before undergoing processing.

- Windows CE
In the case of Windows CE, which runs on smaller systems, support of several character codes would make the system slower, so only Unicode is supported. This makes it possible to handle languages from around the world.

Under IMAP4, which is atracting attention as a new standard for receiving email, character-based information is passed using Unicode. Thus, people who receive their mail via an IMAP4 server can be said to be latent Unicode users.

- Java language
The Java language is designed to use Unicode for all character data handled in programs. When conducting input or output, it converts the data to traditional character codes. Thus, users who operate programs developed in the Java language can be said to be latent Unicode users.

Under XML, which is attracting attention on the Internet as the successor to HTML, it is possible to use all Unicode characters by specifying them by name, no matter what character code is used to create documents. (Of course, to display them, the appropriate font is required.)