Friday, February 12, 2010

OS X Support for Ideographic Variation Sequences

In an earlier article I noted that Unicode 5.1 added codepoints for Ideographic Variation Sequences (IVS), which can be used to trigger display of glyph variants in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

OS X 10.6 has support for IVS in TextEdit, as described in this recent blog article. All you need is one of the Adobe Pr6N Japanese fonts.

Inputting an IVS is not so simple, however, because Character Viewer won't scroll down to U+E0100 and the Unicode Hex keyboard requires typing in two surrogates. The easiest way is to have UnicodeChecker on your machine. Then you can copy/paste from that or type in the character entity (like 󠄀 ) and convert it via the html > unicode item in the Services menu.

PS I see now an easier way. You can put the IVS characters in the Kotoeri dictionary and invoke them via vs0, vs1, etc. directly from the Kotoeri IM. Here is a demo page I did using that method.


Tseng-tsz said...

I should be easy to throw together a keyboard with Ukulele. I'm not sure I have the time myself, but I'm pretty sure that Ukulele handles the astral planes fine. (Even if it doesn't, you can make the base keyboard with Ukulele and tweak it with TextWrangler.)

Tom Gewecke said...

Tseng-tsz -- I think that's correct. I suppose you would just need to put the IVS characters someplace where they would not interfere with normal Kotoeri input, so you would not have to change layouts to use them. Or could one just add them to a Kotoeri dictionary somehow?

Tom Gewecke said...

PS I tried the dictionary idea and it seems to work. I used vs0 for the Reading and copy/pasted U+E0100 for the Word, and now Kotoeri will input this like any other character.