Re: Word and Asian fonts?

Subject: Re: Word and Asian fonts?
From: "Ned Bedinger" <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 19:08:32 -0700

----- Original Message -----
From: "Geoff Hart" <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2004 6:46 AM
Subject: Word and Asian fonts?

> I'm using Word X on the Mac, with all the latest patches applied and
> Asian language support installed. I'm editing in English, but many
> files come to me from Japan or China.
> Most of the time, the files I receive from my Japanese and Chinese
> clients pose few problems. But every so often, I get a file with a
> mismatch between the onscreen display of the type and where Word
> believes that the cursor actually exists. So, for example, I'll use
> Command-RightArrow to move to the start of the next word in a line, but
> the cursor will appear midway through the word. As a result, I have no

I've got a word for you: DBCS (Double-Byte Character Set)

It sounds like the cursor is falling through the cracks because Word has
made the mistaken assumption that a character occupies a single byte in

The Chinese glyphs are probably all composed of double bytes, each byte
representing half of a glyph. Does the Mac OS or the Word version you're
using have a compatibility setting for Unicode or DBCS? If there's a
solution, I suspect it resides in Word or Mac documentation for working with

> idea where the insertion point is, and can only discover this through
> experimentation--type a key and see what happens. As you can imagine,
> this makes editing a nightmare.
> One solution that occasionally works is to open a new blank document
> and insert the file. What this does is display the contents of the
> document using the settings specified by my own Normal template.
> Because I haven't actually changed any of the style names or font
> specifications, this seems to cause no grief for the author; however,
> it saves my bacon by telling Word to display the onscreen text using
> the font substitution settings that I have defined rather than the
> settings defined by the author's template.

There might be some help available from Mac OS or Word on "IME" or "Input
Method Editor." An IME might have better DBCS word recognition that Word
does. IME will be a one-trick pony--it is a stripped down language-specific
editor for composing or editing DBCS text. The last IME I saw was devoid of
extended features. That's why I imagine it will do that one thing better.

The IME stuff would be a distraction if you're working on formatting--IME is
just for text composition and editing. If you copied the text out to an
IME, edited it there, and then pasted it back into Word, would that help?

Also, Mac OS might provide IME or DBCS support at the OS level (as a feature
or add-on that ships with the OS). XP does it that way, which could also
mean that Mac OS doesn't. Why we patronize these children in the name of
productivity, is a mystery that remains.

> But every so often, as is the case today for a particularly thorny
> Chinese manuscript*, nothing seems to work: I've tried the "insert
> file" trick with no luck. I've tried modifying the "compatibility"
> settings (in the Preferences dialog) to use/not use printer metrics to
> lay out the screen display; to use/not use Asian line breaks; and a
> couple other settings that seemed logical. I even forced Word to use
> Times New Roman for all the Asian fonts. No luck.
> * Since you asked <g>, it's a very cool economic model that applies
> thermodynamics principles in general, and entropy in particular, to
> model the urban environment as if it were an organism with a
> metabolism. I understand it well enough to rewrite it, much to my
> pleased surprise. And yes, that constitutes bragging. <g>

I picture you at work, humming "Nice work if you can get it, and you can get
it if you try..."
A chorus of grad students in the background is singing in rondo "I am right,
I can prove it" :-)

> I've also tried exporting the file to RTF and reimporting it, but this
> crashes Word big time; I suspect it's the embedded equations, which I
> can't afford to simply delete, and it would be time-consuming in the
> extreme to manually delete and reinsert them.

I'm not a player, I admit it--all too often in my humble experience, "too
time consuming" becomes "I wish I had just done this in the first place."

> Any suggestions (particularly from people who work regularly with Asian
> files using North American or European versions of Word) on how I can
> solve this problem once and for all? Upgrading to Word 2004 is a
> possibility, but not one I'm eager to try; this is the equivalent to
> Word XP on the PC, which is the version that just about made revision
> tracking unusable. Xie xie nin!

I wouldn't throw money at it just yet-- it sounds like a glitch, but it
might well be a configuration thing. Try the OS and application help for
DBCS and IME, and the newsgroups--any group with [Microsoft | Apple |
Macintosh | Word] in the name AND [.cn] on the end, ought to be a fair forum
for this problem. Cross-post to all of them for best results :-)

> --Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
> (try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)

BTW--is xie xie the real spelling of the (phonetic) "sheshay" I always hear
in Jackie Chan movies--"Thank you"?

Good luck

Ned Bedinger
Ed Wordsmith Technical Communications


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Word and Asian fonts?: From: Geoff Hart

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