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Adding Furigana to Your Microsoft Word Document

Most people have no trouble getting their computer to type Japanese (if you need help with setting up the IME, see our Wagawiki here), but adding furigana (small hiragana over kanji) for documents and PDFs can be a little harder.

This page will discuss how to add furigana in Microsoft Word 2007. Earlier versions of Word also have this feature and the setup may be similar as below. For those without Word, I believe Open Office either has this feature out of the box or as a plugin.

Basically in Word, highlight any Japanese (usually kanji) and click on the Phonetic Guide button:

Using Furigana with Microsoft Word

The computer guesses the Ruby text and is usually correct, but you can change it here.

I don't believe the Phonetic Guide is displayed in the quick launch icon section by default.

Here is how to add the Phonetic Guide to the quick launch section:

Using Furigana with Microsoft Word part 2

1) Right click on the top bar section and choose 'Customize Quick Access Toolbar'

2) Under 'Choose Comands From' sellect 'All Commands'
3) Find the 'Phonetic Guide and click on 'Add'

Now you should see the Phonetic Guide icon at the top for easy access.

You do have to go word by word to make sure the furigana is correct, it is pretty fast and easy.


Note: To make the furigana under the kanji, see this forum thread

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Excellent Article!

Thanks for an excellent article. It helped me perfectly and also gave me the good idea to put the Phonetic Guide button in the Quick Access Toolbar. Wonderful! 大変助かりました。

clay's picture

Yes! That is what I did

Yes! That is what I did too.

Thank you for the comment and I'm glad it helped.

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Great

Great tutorial, I got this added in no time! I was searching on google for a while, glad I found you.

Word 2010

I had no problem using furigana with word 2007, but now that I've upgraded to 2010, I cannot find it anywhere. Please help.

re: furigana

What exactly is the problem you are having?

I have Office 2010 starter, and mine has the phonetic guide pre-loaded on the quick launch bar.

I typed some Japanese, highlighted it, hit the button, and it did all my ruby for me.

Where in the process are you failing exactly, that might help us determine the problem :)

Also here is a guide someone found that might help with some of the necessary steps beforehand even though I didn't need to do any of it.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/office_global_experience/archive/2010/04/29/p...

man, oh man... I should have

man, oh man...
I should have better check out the link you gave before bugging you...
the answer is right there: I just changed the region... and it did the trick.
Thanks and sorry!
take care

adding furigana... with a Chinese system

Hi Dustin,
I was wondering if you would have an idea about my problem:
I am using a Chinese windows XP 2002 and when I want to add furigana it actually considers all the characters as Chinese ones and thus adds pinyin (the name for the chinese phonetic) instead of the hiraganas...
What I am missing? Is there a way to make it clear to the computer that I am using japanese characters?
Thanks for your input!
All the best.
J.

Thanks a lot it worked perfectly

ども ありがとう ございました。
とても べんりでした。

Furigana for Mac ?

Hey... the instructions that you put up were very useful... thanks alot (あいがとうございました)... but I have a Mac also that has Microsoft Word 2007 on it and I would like to insert furigana (ruby text) when using my Mac also, but I don't know how... any suggestions please. ^_^ お願いします。

Good but got problems.

Is there any way to make the hiragana characters bigger?
they are so tiny, my eyes hurt (heheh)

Making the Ruby bigger

There is a field in the Phonetic Guide window to make the font bigger, and also to raise the Ruby up a bit (I usually raise it 2 points, which is enough that I don't need to make the font bigger). Your line spacing can get a bit messed up, but is easy to fix by increasing the line spacing a little to give the Ruby a bit of room.

OTHER REQUEST

please ignore my last request.
I just want to know if we can automatically use the Phonetic Guide so that we can copy and paste a whole text and let it differentiate it for us?

do we have to download/install any add ons to make this better and more convienient for us?

Please reply asap.

ds

Looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing..

phreadom's picture

:(

Unfortunately I don't have MS Word here to test it out and answer that for you. :(

Hopefully someone who has it can?

猿も木から落ちる

How did you do it?

As a default setting, in Office pro 2007 I don't get the furigana automatically? Do you happen to know a way to fix this?

clay's picture

I mention how to add the

I mention how to add the Phonetic Guide button at the bottom part. Is that what you need?

It won't make furigana automatically appear as you type, but you can highlight your text and click on the Phonetic Guide to add it almost automatically.

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