Master BTRON!
Knowhow Made Public
No. 20

World Character Input Primer

Kazuhiro Suzuki

Personal Media Corporation

"World Character Input" is a system through which we can input from the keyboard [1] all the characters that can be utilized on Cho Kanji.

In Cho Kanji we have provided many language modules as standard equipment, but it is possible to customize these or newly create language modules.

On this occasion, I would like to try actually creating from scratch a World Character Input module [2].

Basic Point 1: A Method for Inputting a Character Stamped on the Keyboard and Outputting a New Character

I would now like to try to construct a language module that outputs "" [a Chinese character pronounced 'a'] when we type "a" from the keyboard.

Procedure [3]

(1) Take a manuscript form out from the Text Pad in the initial window; when you do that, make the title "Kihon 1" [Basic 1]
(2) Double click the "Kihon 1" manuscript form that you took out
(3) Input the character strings of the contents displayed in Script 1 [Translator's Note]

(4) After input is finished, save and quit the application
(5) Double click Utility Box in the initial window
(6) Double click "World Character Input" from inside the Utility Box
(7) Double click the virtual object of "Kihon 1" that we just created in the World Character Input window
(8) When "Will you register Kihon 1?" appears, select "Register"

If Kihon 1 is displayed in the lower right of the system message panel, then it is properly registered. In this state, change the kana-to-kanji conversion mode to "alphanumeric [eisuu]." This will be displayed [in the system message panel] as "Ra" (in the case of Roman letter input) or "a" (in the case of kana input) [Fig. 1].

After registering in World Character Input, input "a" from the keyboard in a manuscript form, etc. The character "" will be output on the screen [Fig. 2].

Explanation of the Script

Let's take a look at what is actually happening in the script we input in (3) of the Procedure.

Fist Line
This is a script command that is necessarily required at the head when creating a language module.
Third Line
This takes in characters that have been input from the keyboard. At such time, that which is written for "@henkanjisho" specifies the dictionary that will be used with ADD_KEY.
Sixth and Seventh Lines
These define the dictionary. The dictionary form is entered as "<TAB> input character string <TAB> conversion character string." In Kihon 1, we make the input character string "a" and the conversion character string "." In other words, when we input "a" from the keyboard, inside this dictionary it is converted to "" and output.
Eighth Line
When the input character string is not in a dictionary definition, the language module outputs the input character string as is. In the case of Kihon 1, inputs from the keyboard outside of "a" correspond to this.
Fourth Line
This fixes all the input character strings. In Kihon 1, the character "a" that was input via the conversion dictionary is converted into "," fixed with OUT_ALL, and output on the screen as "."

The correspondence table we draw up of character strings input from the keyboard and the character strings that correspond to them becomes the basis of language modules created in this manner.

Basic Point 2: A Method for Inputting a Character Not Stamped on the Keyboard

In Kihon 1, we input an alphabetic character stamped on the keyboard and output a corresponding Chinese character, but what should we do in a case when the input character string in the dictionary definition is not stamped on the keyboard?

For example, when we take a look at a dictionary definition part from the Korean language module, a character that is not on the keyboard is defined [Script 2].

Figure 3 is the Korean key arrangement; "" [the Korean script character for 'm'] is allotted to the spot for "a" on the keyboard.

With World Character Input, in this type of case, by using the SET_KEY script command, it is possible for us to make a character that is not stamped on the keyboard the input character.

Here, as "Kihon 2," we shall create a language module that modifies and fixes the input character from "a" to "" when we type "a" on the keyboard [Script 3].

Register this Kihon 2 in World Character Input, and then input "a" from the keyboard using a manuscript form or the like. The character "" is output on the screen [Fig. 4].

Explanation of the Script

Third Line
We convert a character input from the keyboard, and we make the converted character the input character. "@ki-jisho" specifies the dictionary for converting,
Seventh through Ninth Lines
When the "a" part on the keyboard is typed, we convert to "."
Fourth Line
We take in the character converted with SET_KEY (in Kihon 2, "").
Fifth Line
In particular, because we haven't converted with a dictionary using ADD_KEY, we output and fix as is a character that has been taken in. In Kihon 2, we output and fix "."

In this manner, by using SET_KEY, it is possible to make a character not stamped on the keyboard the input character.

Basic Point 3: A Method for Inputting a Character Not Stamped on the Keyboard and Outputting a New Character

This is made up in a form in which Kihon 1 and Kihon 2 are combined.

Here, for Kihon 3, we will create a language module that when we input "a" on the keyboard will convert the input character to "," and will output and fix "" for the the input character "" [Script 4].

Register Kihon 3 in World Character Input, and then input "a" from the keyboard with a manuscript form or the like. The character "" is output on the screen [Fig. 5].

Explanation of the Script

Because it is in the same form as Kihon 1 and Kihon 2, I shall omit an explanation.

When "a" is input on the keyboard, inside the script, the input character is converted into "," and "" is output and fixed for the input character "," but the screen operation results become the same as Kihon 1.

Basic Point 4: A Method for Outputting a New Character for an Input Character When the "Conversion" Key is Pressed

In the Kihon scripts up to this point, the input character is automatically converted and fixed, but with World Character Input it is possible to for us to carry out an operation of the type in which when we input a character and press the "Henkan [Conversion]" key, the character is converted for the first time and the corresponding character output, and then when we press the right [Ctrl] key ([O] key), we fix it.

Here, as Kihon 4, we will create a language module in which when we type "a" on the keyboard and push the conversion key, we output "" [Script 5].

Input "a" from the keyboard. On the screen, "a" is displayed as is, and it is in unfixed status [Fig. 6].

Here, we push the Henkan key. On the screen, "a" is converted into "" and displayed [Fig. 7].

In this status, we push the the right [Ctrl] key ([O] key). The character "" becomes fixed [Fig. 8].

Explanation of the Script

Third through Fifth Lines
In the script used in Kihon 1, for the character input from the keyboard, we took in a character string input with ADD_KEY without any conditions, but this time, because we use the Henkan key and the right [Ctrl] key ([O] key), we have distinguished with the IF condition for that purpose. Here, when we have input the character, it is taken in by ADD_KEY.
Seventh through Ninth Lines
"001E" means the "Henkan" key. Please make reference to the fact that this numerical value is the same as the numerical value displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the key arrangement modification utility [Fig. 9]. Here, when we press the "Henkan" key, conversion takes place by using "@henkanjisho."

Eleventh through Thirteenth Lines
[0004] means the right [Ctrl] key ([O] key). When we press the right [Ctrl] key ([O] key), we fix the character string that has been output.
Fifteenth through Sixteenth Lines
When a key outside of the IF condition is pressed, we pass the key data to the application as is.

In this script, conditions based on the input keys carried out different operations.

I believe that you can understand that the same operation method as the conventional operation method in which we convert characters by means of the "Henkan" key is possible also in World Character Input also, and that the script too is not complicated.


In the Kihon scripts up to here, I have not described the operations of all the keys on the keyboard in order to make the explanations easy to understand. In actual language modules, what sort of operation takes place when one presses each key is described.

However, in cases where basic operations are carried out with World Character Input, I believe that just making additions to and/or modifying the contents of the dictionary based on the script of Kihon 4 will prove useful in in various types of applications.

On the basis of the World Character Input scripts explained on the occasion, I will be glad if they serve as a reference when creating new language modules.


[1] This article is based on the 106-key Japanese-language keyboard as the keyboard that will be used. In a case when the reader will be using another keyboard, please make a timely rereading.

[2] For an explanation of World Character Input and the like, please refer to the "World Character Input" column under "Accessories," which is under "Basic Items" in the "User Manual" utility.

[3] There is no explanation of the procedure from Kihon 2 onwards, so please perform the operations by referring to the procedure for Kihon 1.

[Translator's Note] The translator personally went to Personal Media Corporation and confirmed that each of the scripts described in this article actually work. According to what he was told there, these scripts are not written in the MicroScript visual programming language, rather they are scripts with statements that are unique to the World Character Input utility, which interprets them. Therefore, the spaces between the lines of code are acceptable, and are, in fact, how language modules for the World Character Input utility are written. Line numbers are not used. On the other hand, the "<TAB>" portions of the above scripts must left out if the scripts are to be properly interpreted. In other words, do not input


rather input


If you are uncertain as to how to set up the input/output character columns, open an existing World Character Input module in the Cho Kanji 4 operating system and use that for reference.

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The above article on World Character Input appeared on pages 60-64 in Vol. 77 of TRONWARE . It was translated and loaded onto this Web page with the permission of Personal Media Corporation.

Copyright © 2002 Personal Media Corporation

Copyright © 2002 Sakamura Laboratory, University Museum, University of Tokyo