Living in Japan/Getting Established/Computing
Computing in Japanese
It is necessary to do some minor changes in order to displaying Japanese text.
For Windows 2000/XP reading support, you will need to install a Unicode typeface, such as 'Code2000' or Arial Unicode MS. Both will cover nearly all of the non-Latin scripts used throughout Wikipedia.
For input support, you will need to install the East Asian language files. You can do this from the 'Control Panel'. Open the 'Regional and Language Options' and navigate to the 'Languages' tab. Minimally, you will want to check the box for 'Install files for East Asian languages', though you may wish to also install the complex script files, too. Clicking 'Apply' will install the 'Arial Unicode MS', 'MS Mincho' and 'MS Gothic' families of fonts. All of these fonts contain the Hiragana and Katakana scripts, as well as a substantial majority of the Kanji characters most commonly used.
Depending on how your computer was initially setup, you may need the original source CD to complete the installation. Your computer will prompt you to insert the CD if it is necessary
If this does not work you can also download and install the Office XP Tool: Japanese Language Pack from the Microsoft website.
Inputting Japanese Text
In the 'Regional and Language Options' Control Panel applet, choose the 'Languages' tab. Ensure that the 'Install files for East Asian languages' checkbox is selected. Click the 'Details...' button. Click the 'Add' button and choose 'Japanese'. Click the 'OK' buttons as necessary to close all dialog boxes.
To test the new settings, open any Unicode-enabled text processing application, such as Microsoft Word. Press the combination [Alt]+[Shift] on your keyboard until 'JP' replaces 'EN' in the new section of your taskbar. To input hiragana, enter the Japanese input mode by pressing [Alt]+[~].
Type a Japanese word using romaji keys (e.g. "nihongo") and either press [Enter] to leave that text in hiragana (e.g. "にほんご"), [F7] to change the text into katakana, or [Spacebar] then [Enter] to choose an alternative version containing kanji (e.g. "日本語").
To return to English input mode, press [Alt]+[~] again.
To install a Japanese typeface, simply open Internet Explorer and open a web page coded in Japanese. An Install-on-Demand window should appear, asking to install Japanese text support. After completing this install, the Japanese page should display correctly. (Please note: Wikibooks is not coded in Japanese. Try Google in Japanese.)
Mac OS X
Apple computers display Japanese characters out of the box, and are capable of inputting Japanese characters very simply. To do so, open up System Preferences (located in the "Dock") or click the Apple icon in the top left of your display and click 'System Preferences...'. Next, select 'International' and then the 'Input Menu' tab. Scroll down until you see 'Kotoeri' and check the box to the left of it. This will by default enable the input methods 'Hiragana', 'Katakana' and 'Romaji'.
To switch between your normal input and Hiragana quickly you can do one of two things. The first way to do this is to enable the input menu in the menu bar (you do this by checking the box next to 'Show input menu in menu bar' in the same place described previously), this will put a flag in the upper right part of your display. To change between input methods click the flag and select the new method. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard combination Command + Space Bar to switch between methods, although this is problematic in Apple's new operating system Tiger as this is also the shortcut for Spotlight. There are also direct shortcuts of Ctrl-Shift-; for Romaji, Ctrl-Shift-J for Hiragana, and Ctrl-Shift-K for Katakana.
Please note, while in the Hiragana input method you can temporarily switch to Katakana by holding down the shift key in much the same way that you temporarily hold down the shift key to type capital letters in English.
X11 (GNU/Linux, UNIX-like, etc.)
For displaying Japanese, you will need the correct fonts selected. Please refer to your distribution's documentation for more on that.
You will need a helper application for inputting Japanese characters. The most prominent are:
- AA Editors FAQ? - a guide to typing special characters using common input method editors
- Let's type Japanese - a guide to setting-up SCIM/Anthy on Mandriva Linux, as well as a general guide to SCIM/Anthy
- Linjap Project - How to make any Linux distribution ready for asian languages with Canna/Kinput and and SCIM/Anthy