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Typing fonts in Japanese

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Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby Joey 鷹 Vega » Fri 11.19.2010 3:44 am

Since I had a friend help me installed Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade that I got for free with the computer I bought (vista home Prem.). I check the fonts that were available on Windows 7 notepad, since I'd installed the IME for Japanese. I think there's like about 7 that are (not sure if there's more than that) on the fonts selection availability. Here's the seven fonts I'm talking about:
Meiryo
Meiryo UI
MS Gothic
MS Mincho
MS PGothic
MS PMincho
MS UI Gothic
When I change the size to make it bigger (72, better clear view of how it's displayed) they show different styles of how they are displayed, but in size 12 (default size) they appeared to be the same. Is there really a difference between all of them when you select one of them to type in or are they all the same at size 12 text? And which is the most used fonts when typing? Please and Thanks you :)
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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby Dustin » Fri 11.19.2010 5:26 am

The font I see most often is some variation of gothic since it tends to have the best on screen visibility.

Normally you probably won't see much difference at 12 pt with these fonts, but I usually blow my kanji up a bit more since the more complicated ones tend to turn into black boxes, or have just a thick line where several close lines meet at these smaller sizes.
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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby Hyperworm » Fri 11.19.2010 8:58 am

I'm pretty sure the "P" stands for "proportional" (i.e. non-monospace) characters; other than that they're identical to their non-P counterparts.
"UI" is the same font tweaked for appearance as a "user interface" font (appearing in low font sizes as window titles etc). Seems to be proportional as well.

Personally I prefer Japanese characters to be monospaced. I avoid the proportional ones completely.

There's a noticable difference between the Japanese characters in MS Mincho and MS Gothic at font size 12 - Mincho has serifs and is more "curvy" on the kana. (Look at あ at font size 12. In MS Gothic the horizontal bar is flat on the left, curves up on the right, and is much longer to the right - but in MS Mincho it curves up at both ends and is only slightly nonsymmetrical around the vertical bar. And the vertical bar in MS Gothic is completely vertical, but in MS Mincho it curves right at the end.)
Also, MS Mincho and MS Gothic seem to have no antialiasing/smoothing before font size 16, whereas Meiryo always has it.

Meiryo's Latin characters are basically Tahoma, unlike the other two fonts. I prefer Meiryo's Japanese characters to MS Gothic, as well. Meiryo scales better (retains its form across sizes), whereas MS Gothic has "jumps" in its appearance between font sizes 8-9, 11-12, and 16-17. (After 16 MS Gothic seems to suddenly change weight XD) And the kana of Meiryo just look nicer to me.

They're all mainly body fonts so it's not surprising that they're all fairly simple, thin in weight, and reasonably similar in appearance, but there are still definite noticeable differences. :)

The question of "which do people most use when typing" ... you can't tell online :lol: Since you can't normally pick the font. Unless you're writing a blog and customizing its appearance. So I'm not really sure what opinion is there.
That's a pretty limited selection, though, and there are many other (free, even) Japanese fonts out there. It takes a little bit of searching to find ones containing a full (enough) range of kanji. But I think there have been threads on that... ._.
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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby phreadom » Fri 11.19.2010 9:09 am

Roughly speaking, the MS Gothic fonts are the older sans-serif fonts that were standard for displaying Japanese on Microsoft products (Windows, Office, etc), and the MS Mincho were the companion serif fonts.

These were recently replaced by Meiryo in Vista and Windows 7 in order to have a font that could use subpixel hinting and thus look better and be easier to read on the now standard LCD displays found on laptops and flat panel desktop displays. It is now the standard Microsoft font for displaying Japanese.

The UI versions of these fonts use narrower width kana to fit better in program menus etc.

The "P" versions are proportional, which means that the letters are not all evenly spaced, but spaced closer together or not according to what looks subjectively better to the viewer. :)

Meiryo is actually a proportional font, but is not named as such (possibly because there is no monospaced version of it?).

Hopefully this answers your questions? The links I provided should give you all the other info you might want about these. ;)

EDIT: Dang it! :doh: I got ninja'd by Hyperworm. :ninja: :blush:
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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby Hyperworm » Fri 11.19.2010 9:15 am

Haha, sorry Phreadom :sweatdrop:
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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby chikara » Fri 11.19.2010 9:27 am

Epson provides a number of fonts that vary from quite angular to hand writing style.

They can be downloaded from here.
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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby phreadom » Fri 11.19.2010 9:33 am

Hyperworm wrote:The question of "which do people most use when typing" ... you can't tell online :lol: Since you can't normally pick the font. Unless you're writing a blog and customizing its appearance. So I'm not really sure what opinion is there.
That's a pretty limited selection, though, and there are many other (free, even) Japanese fonts out there. It takes a little bit of searching to find ones containing a full (enough) range of kanji. But I think there have been threads on that... ._.


There are other fonts used for print that are quite popular.

http://thejapanesepage.com/forum/viewto ... 20&t=13364

I think some of the more popular were mentioned in this thread... and some VERY bizarre kana fonts. ;)

For instance looking at the Genki I textbook, they use a wide variety of fonts and styles... gothic, mincho, handwritten, script, bold, light, etc...

chikara wrote:Epson provides a number of fonts that vary from quite angular to hand writing style.

They can be downloaded from here.


I thought those fonts lacked a proper character mapping, but I think I'm mistaken... all the EPSON fonts I have on here work fine. I know there was a particular set that wouldn't work outside of having a specific kind of printer and software... *looks* :think:

Looking through my collection I do see some others that are basically worthless, lacking correct mappings.
gt2000-01 → gt2000-13, gt2000-k1 and gt2000-k2, kana, "kanji A" → "kanji L", and "kanji special"
These might have been fixed in later versions, but right now they're just random collections of kanji stuffed in files with a document that lists an index for them and how to manually select characters. These fonts don't use the modern standard Unicode mappings that all these other fonts we're talking about use.

(For more explanation, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CJK_Unified_Ideographs and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicode to understand what the "proper" modern mappings are that make the CJK (Chinese/Japanese/Korean) fonts useful in modern OSes and programs.)

Now with my yammering done, check out these lists for some fonts you can grab. :)

http://www.wazu.jp/gallery/Fonts_Japanese.html
http://cooltext.com/Fonts-Unicode+Japanese

There is also a rather exhaustive list at http://cg.scs.carleton.ca/~luc/japan.html that you could probably spend all day digging through. Proceed at your own risk. ;) (this list includes a lot of the old style fonts that lack unicode mappings, and so on... you could end up with a pretty nasty mess of questionably useful fonts if you just start grabbing them willy-nilly.)
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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby 血まみれ剣術師 » Sun 11.21.2010 5:58 pm

http://note.openvista.jp/2007/japanese- ... rcial-use/  Just found it. Thought it might come of use. :D
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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby Joey 鷹 Vega » Sun 11.21.2010 11:28 pm

Thank you, really helpful 8). You guys are the best.
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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby 血まみれ剣術師 » Tue 11.23.2010 9:06 pm

Suggestion, don't search for Japanese fonts in English. You'll get more results by searching in Japanese.

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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby phreadom » Wed 11.24.2010 1:04 am

Thanks! :)

I don't know about other people, but I'm still intimidated by trying to do searches in Japanese. :(
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Re: Typing fonts in Japanese

Postby Dustin » Wed 11.24.2010 1:35 am

phreadom wrote:Thanks! :)

I don't know about other people, but I'm still intimidated by trying to do searches in Japanese. :(


^^

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