typing or making characters I can't type : )

#1
Hi!

I want to be able to type or make characters that aren't part of the computer's regular set. I have read about things over the past several years such that there are supposedly up to 30,000 characters that one can type, but on what computer? Not mine.

The Unicode CJK has I guess a zillion or so characters and one can download for free the fonts to read them all, but how I can I type this stuff?

I found a video for the Windows way to do this. I am using a Mac at the moment (can it?), but looking to get a PC at some point. Still, I would prefer to just be able to type things. One can type quite a few obscure characters/components (e.g. 㠯), so it would be nice to be able to type the rest of the ones I need.

Type what? For example, the left hand side of 帥 (i.e. 帥 without 巾) or the bottom of 雪 (not 彐 as the Taiwan version of 雪 has the middle line going through the right side). Dictionaries have lots of weird characters, so the software is out there, but when I asked about it in China a few years back, none of the software related stores had any idea. Not surprising since not many people need this sort of software.

I need to be able to type these into Pages or Word or a PDF.

If you know for sure about some way to do this, ideally if you have used it yourself, please let me know here or by PM. Thank you!
 
#3
Thank you! That is the character I was referring to. I also want to type some others. Actually, for what I am doing, even just being able to cut and paste them from somewhere else (and adjust the size and font) would do me fine. I did cut and paste [that character; it was in my browser window until I clicked "save changes"!] just now and put it in Pages. I can adjust the size, but not the font, so the 短撇 on top is not only ugly but also oddly placed.

Thank you also for telling me of zisea.com. I was not aware of that site. Playing around with it now.

This information below is for XP. If Windows 8 still has this, that would be good. My Chinese and Taiwanese friends are understandably ignorant of this, since it is not something most people ever need. It looks like it would be quite useful, once I got the hang of it. Still, the number of characters I want is not too large, so if I could simply type stuff from some sort of giant character set, that would be grand. I am also looking for specific forms of characters (Taiwan vs PRC), so the video looks nice since I should be able to get the form of a character that I want.
(he should get an Oscar for best special effects educational video)
and
http://blog.xuite.net/yh96301/blog/34191048-Windows XP 造字程式
(step by step)

Strangely, I just solved some of my problems by trying a font I hadn't noticed on the computer before, and it did some things I could not get done otherwise for Taiwan forms!

This question remains open. There are some characters I still need to type or cut and paste. Sorry to be so long winded.
 
#4
seemly incredibly simple according to the video...
what I don't get though is why he typed 榮 instead of something where 榮 already has a 部首 like: 嶸 [which would already be perfectly formatted for a new radical]...

unless, I guess, he wants to teach how to do it with any character you want...

zsea has an incredible amount of non-unicode characters too...I think they just save them as gif's...
as long as you can figure out how to find it!
 
#5
Am I right in assuming that a self-made character, since it doesn’t have a mapping on any other computer than mine, would cause trouble on other PCs? Empty square boxes or something similar?
 
#6
ACardiganAndAFrown: yeah, zisea is about finding it, and items with less strokes than the radical and abbreviated items don't seem to be there. For example, there is a character gèng ㄍㄥˋ which is 豕 without the 一 on top; it is typically under the 豕 radical in the few dictionaries that have it. I also can't find abbreviated forms of 艮 or 良 whereas I can of course type the abbreviated form of 食 (i.e. 飠). Actually, for the bushou look up, zisea doesn't list the actual bushou, instead starting with characters with one stroke added on. I must be missing something.
 
#7
[1]
[hope it displays!]

http://www.zdic.net/z/a3/js/27C28.htm

zdic 笔顺 found it in 2 seconds.... :)

well actually -- first I looked up 豕 which gave me the 笔顺 of 一ノフノノノ丶which is 1353334
after which I just did a 笔顺 search of "353334" which, of course, is the 笔顺 of 豕minus the heng

[2]
"abbreviated" as in as a radical?!

edit: would this be it:
http://zisea.com/content.asp?uni=002337

seems it is not unicode...if it is indeed what you are looking for

[3]
Am I right in assuming that a self-made character, since it doesn’t have a mapping on any other computer than mine, would cause trouble on other PCs? Empty square boxes or something similar?
yes, should be. I haven't actually tried it myself but it couldn't be more than something stored locally -- I don't know about sharing though

actually does anyone have the true type 造字 software?
I found some off of baidu but didn't really seem trustworthy
 
#8
ACardiganAndAFrown: Thank you! I am a fool for assuming zdic wouldn't have item 1. Item two is what I am looking for, but I am holding out for a prettier prom date.

What is "true type 造字 software". You mean something other than what comes with Chinese Windows?
 
#10
ACardiganAndAFrown said:
I don't believe it actually "comes with" windows....吧 [at least not mine!]
Do you have Chinese Windows? I had thought it comes as part of Chinese Windows, traditional and simplified versions. If one could purchase it as an add on for English Windows, that be much preferable to my running two versions of Windows on one machine, especially as I would have to learn who to do that.
 
#11
#12
Hold the presses!
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/.../en-us/prelim_pceditor_overview.mspx?mfr=true
The fifth and final bullet point under "Note" suggests one can do what is in the video I linked to earlier while in English Windows. Not having English Windows, I don't know. Can someone give it a try?

While the above is from XP, the below is from 7, and non-microsoft.com stuff on the web suggests it is in 8 also.
http://windows.microsoft.com/zh-tw/windows7/what-is-private-character-editor
haha running eudcedit worked perfectly!

now for my next question does sougou have an ime table

[edit:] okay well I've been doing some research and testing
sougou, if you're interested, is not compatible
the only thing that seems to be compatible so far is MS's quanpin [which is quite rubbish, acutally]
afterwards the only programs that actually seem to support these private characters are notepad and wordpad -- I tried displaying it in open office and it was displayed as something wildly different [this might be due to the characters using gb 2312]...back to the drawing board...

[edit:2] ha-ha! works after a restart [duh]
but, strangely enough, only with non-chinese fonts!

here's two characters I made and typed up in open office:
Screen Shot 2013-07-04 at 5.44.51 PM.png
 
#13
That's great. Thank you! But it doesn't work in Word, or you don't have Word? I only need the characters I need for a few iterations, so an IME is not an immediate need for me. Still, it would of course be nice to have that option. This should be fun.
 
#14
That's great. Thank you! But it doesn't work in Word, or you don't have Word? I only need the characters I need for a few iterations, so an IME is not an immediate need for me. Still, it would of course be nice to have that option. This should be fun.
I don't have word but it should work no problem in word or in any other program for that matter, as far as I can tell. The only available compatible IME is MS' own QuanPin.
 
#15
I have a new computer, with Windows 8.1 (English). I can't find this stuff on my computer. Any thoughts? This is the biggest reason I got this computer. Maybe I need to get Chinese Windows from Taiwan? Or go back to Mac and learn to use Photoshop or something (crayons?).

EDIT: Silent movie. I followed along and made 堃 (which is typeable anyway) in Word 2013 (English). Now I need to figure this out so I can do this in various ways. This would definitely be harder than the video above, so ideally I am still hoping to find something like the video above.


EDIT 2: Searching for eudcedit turned up the program (what else is hiding on my computer?), and I can do everything in the first video above except the last part! I can save it, but I can't select "輸入法連結(L) ..." which in English is "Text Service Link ..." Doing so gets me the error message "There is no active TextService that can link to Eudc." Whatever that means.

After all these decades I can't understand why multi-billion dollar companies with tens of thousands of employees can't make these things more useful and user friendly. It's not a technical hurdle; most of the things I want they can do, they just don't connect the dots. Chinese characters are used by 1.3 billion people and learned by a not small number of foreign language learners.
 
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#16
I will continue the dialogue with myself . . . ;)

I seem to have made it work. The program eudcedit is called Private Character Editor. I still can't figure out how to make TextService Link under Edit work which would allow me to get the character more easily, but I found another way from this page:
http://www.7tutorials.com/create-your-own-characters-private-character-editor
Follow their instructions. Now open Character Map (one of the programs you can find on your App page in Windows 8.1). If you saved under "all fonts" in Private Character Editor (I did this since I was not sure how different fonts would deal with a homemade character), then under the pull down menu at the top of Character Map choose "All Fonts (Private Characters)". You will see just the characters you made. If you choose a specific font in Character Map, you will get a large number of letters (and characters if it is a Chinese font), but you will not see your homemade character if you saved it as all fonts. Apparently all fonts is only available under all fonts, not under each font.

Also, while Character Map has a box for you to type in the unicode from Private Character Editor, it only turns up the character you are looking for if you have already selected the appropriate font (see previous paragraph).

Note that at least in my brief experience with this, while some fonts will alter the homemade character's shape in a weird way, others will change it into a completely different character altogether. None of the ones that display it correctly look any different from each other. For example? I made a character with two 風 , one on top of another (haven't bothered to check if there is such a character). The Taiwan Ministry of Education font displays my character as 尔; many of the non-Chinese fonts chop off the top of my character; some non-Chinese fonts display one small solid square or two outline rectangles side by side; MingLiU_HKSCS font (one of a few) displays it as 金 next to 串 (a character I can't find online; will need to use paper resources tomorrow; a Cantonese character usage). Point is . . . the whole thing is a little weird.

Very important: my example character above can only display with the line above the 虫 as a 平撇 (PRC traditional form), not a 短橫 (Taiwan official form). This is crucial for what I am trying to do with all this, so I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. I have attached a shot of the character in Private Character Editor.

I am still looking for a way to have something available via phonetic typing (TextService Link), but the present solution will probably work well enough for my purposes. I also can not figure out how to delete a character once saved in Private Character Editor. It seems that it is forever part of your choices.

Feel free to offer your suggestions if you know how to do this. Hopefully Microsoft improves rather than deletes Private Character Editor for Windows 10 (due out this fall).
 

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#17
I will continue the dialogue with myself . . . ;)
I've had a skim through this thread but I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to do here - are you adding new characters to fonts that don't already exist in them (or even in the standard (Unicode or otherwise) character map)?
 
#18
I guess the answer to your question may be yes, but I don't have any deep understanding of what Unicode is. In the first post on this thread I said, "Type what? For example, the left hand side of 帥 (i.e. 帥 without 巾) or the bottom of 雪 (not 彐 as the Taiwan version of 雪 has the middle line going through the right side)."

There are some things I need to be able to type into Word and print out or make into a PDF that don't appear to typable, but as I also said in my first post in this thread, "I have read about things over the past several years such that there are supposedly up to 30,000 characters that one can type, but on what computer? Not mine. The Unicode CJK has I guess a zillion or so characters and one can download for free the fonts to read them all, but how I can I type this stuff?"

Does that answer your question? I would love to able type 30,000 characters as that would hopefully obviate the need to make characters, but how does one get this mythical character set in one's input method?
 
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#19
I guess the answer to your question may be yes, but I don't have any deep understanding of what Unicode is. In the first post on this thread I said, "Type what? For example, the left hand side of 帥 (i.e. 帥 without 巾) or the bottom of 雪 (not 彐 as the Taiwan version of 雪 has the middle line going through the right side)."

There are some things I need to be able to type into Word and print out or make into a PDF that don't appear to typable, but as I also said in my first post in this thread, "I have read about things over the past several years such that there are supposedly up to 30,000 characters that one can type, but on what computer? Not mine. The Unicode CJK has I guess a zillion or so characters and one can download for free the fonts to read them all, but how I can I type this stuff?"

Does that answer your question? I would love to able type 30,000 characters as that would hopefully obviate the need to make characters, but how does one get this mythical character set in one's input method?
There are two parts to this:
1. Does the font have the character you want to type?
- If you can read it then the answer is yes (at least one of your fonts must have the character).
2. Setting up an easy way to type it.
- Some characters will have default shortcuts (e.g. Alt-1820 - not a real example) in Windows at least.
- If you want to map it to Pinyin / Chinese IMEs this will be more difficult (maybe prohibitively so for some IMEs).

Which part are you at so far?
 
#20
1) For example, the left side of 帥 (without 巾), doesn't display properly in any font (got it from zisea.com). It is visible in any font, but none of them do the lines the way they do as part of a common character like 帥.

2) Thanks. I guess you mean this: http://www.7tutorials.com/use-special-characters-windows-7-character-map ? I am looking at that now.

3) The big thing is trying to find a way to make characters. It sort of seems like I can do that now, but it will be March before I can fully test all the ones I want (I guess only a few dozen, but I am not sure), since I am busy with something else right now. Most important, I need to see if a font can display them in the standard way for Taiwan and also for the PRC (as was the problem with my 風 on 風 example above, though that was just a test; I don't need that character).
 
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