How Results are Displayed

Searches result in the listing of pairs of related Japanese and English. For example, searching for the English ``motorcycle'' might result in, among others:
Shoei (motorcycle helmet manufacturing company)
two wheeled vehicle (bicycle, motorcycle, etc)

The Japanese is shown as italicized romaji, which is also a hypertext link to an image of the real Japanese. Selecting that link will call up a GIF of the Japanese, and will be displayed in a system-dependent manner (on my system, the image is shown in a separate window).

Try it on the example above. Clicking on the nirinsha should result in [Kanji Image] appearing in some way or another.

Inlining the Japanese Text

Optionally, you can have all the images inlined, such that the display might appear as:
[Kana Image] motorcycle
[Kanji Image] Shoei (motorcycle helmet manufacturing company)
[Kanji Image] two wheeled vehicle (bicycle, motorcycle, etc)


Image inlining is not the default, as some queries might result in hundreds of entries requiring hundreds of image transfers, potentially taking a long time. If, however, your browser has the ability to delay image loading, as my system does, inlining the images can be very convenient. One can then click on the icon next to the romaji of the individual Japanese entry you'd like to see to call up just that image, which will then replace the icon inlined within the text.

If an entry's romaji has an appended ``*'', the entry's Japanese is all-kana. This can be useful information - knowing that you'll not be shown kanji can help in the decision to not call up the Japanese text image. Because seeing the actual Japanese for a kana-only link doesn't provide all that much extra information, they are not inlined unless you explicitly ask for it (which you haven't with your current configuration). Of course, as with all entries, you can still the Japanese for individual entries (including kana-only) by clicking on the romaji.

Inlining can be turned on by clicking on the inline box on the main query page.

Appearance of the Japanese Text

The Japanese text is sent as an image, and so therefore won't know about the colors (foreground/background) and size of your browser's font.

It's not really very efficient, but if your browser doesn't support raw Japanese text (check here for info on how Japanese text can be encoded, and here for an example of some raw text), there's not much else that can be done (except to use a browser that supports Japanese).

It's my understanding that most recent versions of Netscape Navigator can support Japanese. All versions of Mozilla and Firefox can also support Japanese. They should work with my pages automatically (once you tell my server to feed it Japanese, which you can do from the gateway or customization pages) -- if it does, but you find it doesn't work with other pages using Japanese text, you may well have to adjust the [Options/Language Encoding]. My pages will do this for you automatically.

So anyway, without raw Japanese support, the best we can do is send the text as images. The default appearance of the Japanese text images in query results is white text on a transparent background (if your viewer supports the GIF89a standard, a black background otherwise), with characters 26 pixels square. You can change these defaults by selecting the appropriate items in the form on the main dictionary page.


You can select ``white foreground'' or ``black foreground'' from the Japanese text colors selection on the main page. The background will be transparent (i.e. use your window's background color) if your viewer supports it, the foreground's opposite otherwise. You can also choose to have a background colour present instead of a transparent background to do some funky things, but there's no accounting for taste so don't blame me. Going one step further, you can also chose to have the image inverted, that is, the foreground colour can become transparent, with the background colour taking on the former foreground colour. Note however that if you define a background colour other than black, then the colours will be reversed (think reverse video), not the transparency To get a transparent foreground, select black as the background colour and check the ``invert colors'' checkbox.


Also on the main page, you can select from a number of font sizes: 18 pixel, 26 pixel, 48 pixel, 64 pixel and 96 pixel. Selecting a size is a compromise between a number of things: Readability: The kanji for nihongo (``the Japanese language'') can be rendered by this server as small as
 	[tiny text]
or as large as
You'll probably find that one is a bit easier to see than the other. Visually pleasing integration with your local (i.e. English) fonts. Access speed: characters from larger fonts take more time to transfer, although it seems that most of the time is in the per-image transfer overhead. In practice, a 48 bit font should result in images about four times larger than a 16 bit font, but access doesn't seem to be all that much slower.... the main time cost is in the per-transfer overhead.

Vertical Printing

There's also the option of having the server emit Japanese text as images in a vertical manner. In the server's case, this is done by rotating each character counter-clockwise 90 degrees before generating the image. While this leaves you the work of rotating the whole image clockwise using an image manipulation program, doing it this way saves from creating a messy presentation on the screen. As this process is a bit calculation-intensive, you'll need to wait longer for the images to be generated as they load into your web browser.

Comments appreciated
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(this page's master source last modified 11 days, 19 hours ago)
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