Poll: Font Styles?

Discussion in 'Pleco for iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch' started by mikelove, Jan 15, 2012.


Which new font styles would you most like to see added to Pleco?

  1. Ming / Song style - system default for Chinese on Windows (SimSun), and in our old Palm and Windows

    15 vote(s)
  2. Kai style - "regular script," more calligraphic, second most common print style after Ming/Song

    37 vote(s)
  3. Xing style - "semi-cursive," somewhere in between Kai and Cao

    17 vote(s)
  4. Cao style - "grass script," free-flowing cursive

    8 vote(s)
  5. Li style - "clerical script," old-fashioned but colorful and still pretty widely used

    4 vote(s)
  6. Seal script - still used on seals, not widely used elsewhere now but etymologically interesting

    9 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. ahenobarbus

    ahenobarbus Member

    seal database would be just great!
  2. WangYuHong

    WangYuHong 秀才

    Do you happen to know what MS Word's SimHei font matches up to on that poll list?

    Of that list, I think Kai (Regular script) looks the most pleasing to my eye (although it's hard since I'm sure I'd say something different if I saw an actual book full of that font). To me though, using the default Pleco font, or even the default Word font (Ming, or SimSong?) makes me weary after a while...
    It'd be awesome to be able to select it from a list (bonus if different parts of Pleco can use different fonts: one for dictionary, one for doc reader, etc.)

    Is adding fonts for the iOS version a pending task (2.2.x release? Maybe 2.3?), or does it still have a ways to go?
  3. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    That's actually the same style as the font that's built into iOS, the same one that you don't like. Mobile screens really change the look of fonts - the only style I'm really confident in besides that one is Song, because that's what we used on Windows Mobile.

    Actually the new plan is to hire a bilingual Chinese/English type designer (haven't officially hired him yet, but if he doesn't pan out there are others we can talk to) to overhaul our entire approach to typography and come up with a brand new, consistent, beautiful way to render Chinese-English dictionary entries on mobile devices, a common theme that we can use to unite our currently-rather-variable dictionaries. However, since that probably won't be completed until 2013, we're looking to add custom font support or one or two alternative Chinese fonts sooner than that. At the very least 2.3 should let you supply your own fonts if we don't have our own Kai or Song by then.
  4. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    FWIW, we've just signed a license for Song / Kai / Xing, so while the full type design overhaul may not come until later it's likely that they'll all be available in some form in 2.3.
  5. I am extremely happy with your decision to purchase a license for the new fonts; especially the semi-cursive Xing font. I have been trying for a long time to learn semi-cursive handwriting as I work in an office where a lot of people write notes on the board in semi-cursive, and as anyone who has spent a lot of time in China knows, semi-cursive handwriting is pretty much used everywhere when people are taking quick notes, jotting things down or writing up receipts, etc., so I think the pen Xing font could really lend itself to some interesting tools for teaching semi-cursive handwriting to Chinese learners.

    I can't wait to have access to this font in Pleco, let alone some tools that are later developed around it for teaching semi-cursive handwriting.

    Cheers Mike and the Pleco team!
  6. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Thanks! It's been a crazy period for us licensing-wise recently and we're looking forward to finally getting a lot of this stuff in the hands of our customers soon.
  7. david_t

    david_t Member

    Would it be possible to add other custom fonts with the addition of these new fonts (as in android)?
  8. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Probably not, unfortunately, since iOS doesn't provide an easy interface to let us install a new font "live" if it's not built into our app.
  9. david_t

    david_t Member

    Attached Files:

  10. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    That one is GPL-licensed, which probably makes it impossible to use in Pleco (since it could be argued that by embedding it in our application we'd then be obligated to share the source code for the entire app, though I don't know if there's ever been an actual legal ruling on that). Also, to be honest, if we wanted to mix Zhuyin / Pinyin pronunciation with characters we could do that with existing fonts - it's just not a feature we've had that much interest in, and frankly it's one that I'm inclined to be skeptical of because many characters have more than one common Mandarin pronunciation and a system like this has to just assume the most common one.
  11. Hello Mike. I know you have a million other tacos (春饼? :) ) on your plate right now so no pressure intended. Anyway, I'm just curious if there has been any progress made in making the semi-cursive Xing font available for the upcoming release of Pleco for iOS?
  12. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    The Xing one might get bumped, unfortunately - the priority (based on user feedback anyway) is Kai, there's a ton of interest around that and it's easier to integrate since it can simply replace an existing font and doesn't need its own UI.
  13. Fair enough and completely understood. I'll keep sitting tight and hope that the xing font will show up in a later release with tools to teach us non-native Chinese speakers how to write Chinese characters like natives do so we can finally get past writing in the Ming/Song and Kai scripts that only kids and us foreigners are taught when starting out learning characters.
  14. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Bit of hope for followers of this thread:

    iOS Simulator Screen shot Jul 22, 2013 12.19.01 AM.png iOS Simulator Screen shot Jul 22, 2013 12.25.02 AM.png

    Note that the TC version of our default XinGothic font may not make it into the initial release for copy-protection reasons - people who want traditional-optimized characters can still use the same built-in-to-iOS STHeiti one they have now, though. (this SC versus TC distinction applies purely to styling differences like putting the little box in 骨 on the opposite site, not to support for simplified / traditional in general)
  15. AdamD

    AdamD 秀才

    Oooh, that's nice.

    Why is there a an either/or choice for SC and TC? Is it for those rare cases when the simp/trad characters don't reliably match up?
  16. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    No, it's only for stylistic variations - I mentioned 骨, another big one is the walking radical 辶 which is generally drawn with an extra 'kink' in traditional-using areas. Quite a few others too - doesn't make the characters mutually unintelligible, but it irritates traditional users (who already find much to be irritated about in the current state of Chinese computing) and even results in the occasional point deduction on people's Chinese tests, so we try to support the traditional variations too whenever we can - we'll probably eventually add them to our stroke order database if we don't end up licensing a different one.
  17. AdamD

    AdamD 秀才

    Ah, sorry. Fair point (it irritates me too).

    This would just apply to document reading then, yeah? I presume that the switch between SC and TC in the dictionary and flashcard views will remain, because I can't see them working any other way!
  18. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    The dictionary already switches to a simplified- or traditional-variant font for all characters depending on your preferred language setting; the difference now is that you'll configure that traditional/simplified option in a Settings screen (instead of through a button in the main interface), and instead of tying the font selection to that there'll be an option right next to it to choose your Chinese font.

    So you can use whatever font you want with whatever character set you want, mainly so that we can expand the selection of fonts available for traditional character users who don't mind getting the wrong variants. (it's way way cheaper to license fonts from the mainland than from Taiwan or HK, so our Kai- and Song-style fonts are from there and only support simplified-style characters (but do support traditional in general, just with the wrong stylistic variations)).
  19. AdamD

    AdamD 秀才

    Ah, cool. I have more questions, but I'll look through the threads before asking them.
  20. glazuragana

    glazuragana Member

    If it were possible, I would have voted for all. Wenlin is really not enough to get used to all possible scripts with which we often have to deal. The grave embarrassment of "What's written on this wall?" has to be dealt with! :D

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