Use font editor to show Pin Yin tones

I HAVE been using Microsoft Word for Windows version 6.0 and Twinbridge version 3.3 to allow both Chinese characters and English text to be displayed in the same document.

One problem I have is how to show tones when entering Pin Yin.

Is there any solution that would place one of the signs for the four tones above Pin Yin words within Microsoft Windows? For example, you could type 'ni' followed by Alt-F9 and the first tone would be displayed above the 'i'. Alt-F10 would place the second tone and so on.

NIGEL DART Guangzhou You could edit your fonts. This worked for one of my colleagues on Technology Post.

Use a package such as FontMonger from Ares or Fontograph from Altsys. Both allow for basic font editing, although the latter is the more expensive and complex of the two.

In a font set, each font has space for 255 characters, not all of which are shown on the keyboard.

For example, accented characters can be accessed using Alt codes.

Using a font editing application, you can pick characters you do not use and replace them with vowels with the Pin Yin tone marks.

Make a table of the codes you need to use to access them, stick it next to your keyboard and away you go.

WHAT do you know? There are unique 'Cantonese' characters after all, as a number of alert readers pointed out to this red-faced hack last week.

And here I was thinking my Cantonese teacher knew everything.

I'm referring, of course, to my response to Simon Cartledge's question about Cantonese character fonts in this column last week.

Reader David Law pointed out that although Chinese script is indeed unified, the Cantonese in Hong Kong had come up with a number of their own fonts 'that can be used with Chinese Windows 3.1'.

Most of the characters were identical to the standard character-set, but some were very different and could only be 'understood by the Cantonese', Mr Law said.

There are a few font sets that include these Cantonese characters.

One that came highly recommended is called Hong Kong Chinese Computing Tool-Box and is distributed by R & B Computer Systems (telephone 380-5351).

This package contains 753 unique Hong Kong Chinese characters, mostly Cantonese.

Tool-Box can plug into Chinese Windows to get Cantonese characters.

It has two Chinese fonts from DynaLab, each with 13,865 traditional characters and 1,498 unique Hong Kong Chinese characters and symbols.

Although these Cantonese characters may not be recognised as 'legitimate' they are used by Hong Kong people.

Some are names of places and people while others are slang.

Hong Kong Chinese Computing Tool-Box includes both Cantonese and Mandarin input methods and supports both Chinese Windows and DOS with ETEN.

E-mail Larry Campbell at larry