How do I type that, exactly?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/07/02 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

So reader Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven's question (by email and suggestion box) was:


sorry for the potential duplicate (had sent it to your trigeminal account 2 weeks ago)

What would be a/the reason the candidate list presented by the Japanese IME 2007 to be almost empty when using it in Notepad?

When I write, for example, ほかけへん most (if not all) of my applications will allow me to create 他け変. In Notepad, however, I get these options only:

歩か/ほか/ホカ け/ケ へん/ヘン

A bit strange that only Notepad suffers from this.

It's Windows x64 by the way.

Any ideas?

No worries on the duplication, that is nowhere the record!

In fact....

The record was an MSLU question that over the course of a few days made it to me via 

I asked the two PSS folks to nicely ask the person to try to use just one of those methods since they all made it to me eventually. :-)

Anyway, back to the question at hand....

I happen to have a Vista SP1 machine with Office 2007 installed -- it is that good old Mac Book Pro of mine (I only run in 64-bit mode these days; the 32-bit OS space has been re purposed so I can do some actual work on the machine!), so I felt well-equipped to try out this question.

First, I'll give people who want to try this out on their own the keystrokes to get that


that is the input string we are working with, basically

I got it by typing (on my US style keyboard):


Okay, so now let's play....

Okay, let's hit the space bar and see what we get:

Hmm, an interesting start. My results are already different.

Let's hit the spacebar again to look at the candidate list:

Okay, some familiar, some not.

Let's try changing the conversion mode from the General to the Bias for Names choice:

We'll hit that spacebar again:

Hmmm... already different still! Let's look at the candidate list by hitting the spacebar again:

Different again! Maybe the Bias for Speech

has something interesting too? Let's hit the spacebar again and see:

Hmmm. Let's see the candidate list:

Okay, clearly we have lots of choices.

Let's pay more attention to where in the candidate string we are, since the candidate list is just about the "bold underlined" bit, e.g. the third character in this case:

Interesting. and doesn't that character look familiar?

What do some of the other candidates look like for some of the other characters?

Anyway, enough torture. :-)

In the end, I got the string in question:

So technically I was unable to reproduce the issue reported.

But let's be honest -- I have no idea if we were using the same version of Windows or the same IME or anything.

Obviously there are interesting linguistic issue in with those candidate bias settings, probably a good topic for another day?

So to talk about the specific question about the possible differences between applications, that has a lot to do with how much support they build in for the IME, and how much the IME itself can discern about the application, as well.

Offhand, I would guess that the applications are making modifications to the candidate settings based on what is being typed, maybe?

Though in the end, I would need to be able to reproduce the problem of the inability to get 他け変 in order to say for sure why 他け変 was unavailable....


This blog brought to you by 他け変 (U+4ed6 U+3051 U+5909, aka three CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH characters)

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