- 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 Is it possible to use more user-defined characters than the number of character codes available?

A Yes.

It is actually a mistake to think that a character code must be given to a character in order to specify that character.
With the HTML language, used for creating documents on the Internet, and the SGML language, famous for CALS, it is possible to specify characters that have no character code by name, instead of using the character code itself.
Of course, character codes are used to describe the character's name.
For example, in the HTML language, the "&" character has a special meaning, making it impossible to use it directly in a document. The & character has been given the name amp; by following the rule that when &amp appears in a document, it should be considered to be the & character, it is possible to use a character that cannot be described with a character code by including the name of the character instead.
In the same way, under the XKP standard there is a method for describing characters using names. They are recorded internally by the computer, not with user-defined character codes, but as data in the following form.

The " " of is expressed as &00012345.

With this method, it is possible to use a practically infinite number of user-defined characters without using up even one character in the user-defined character area.