25 Replies Latest reply: May 12, 2013 6:05 AM by P Spier RSS

    Chinese characters content

    joombler Community Member

      InDesign CS4 | English
      I want to convert my English leaflet into Chinese. So I started to replace English text with Chinese, but that doesn't work as the characters don't show up. Can someone tell me how to change my page settings to UTF-8 so that I can add my Chinese text? Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Chinese characters content
          [Jongware] CommunityMVP

          Change your font to one that contains Chinese characters.

           

          The fonts with special character support are in alphabetically order inbetween the 'regular' fonts; they are grouped at the bottom of the font list, separated by lines. (And it suddenly occurs to me a label would've been nice -- you will have to try each one to see if it supports the characters you need.)

          • 2. Re: Chinese characters content
            joombler Community Member

            Finally, that is exact what I did. Had an hour contact with the Adobe Helpdesk (NL), but they really had no clue where they were talking about.

            At the end of the call they told me that inDesign is a very critical application that is not capable of designing in Chinese unless I would re-install the app with a Japanese/Chinese setup. How low can one go... Thanks for sharing.

            • 3. Re: Chinese characters content
              Joel Cherney CommunityMVP
              At the end of the call they told me that inDesign is a very critical application that is not capable of designing in Chinese unless I would re-install the app with a Japanese/Chinese setup.

              That is pure garbage.

               

              There are some typesetting tools that aren't available without some template & style tricks (wow, I wish that thread was still stickied), but I typeset Chinese in InDesign on a regular basis. Not to mention Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Lao, Burmese, Amharic...

              • 4. Re: Chinese characters content
                joombler Community Member

                Joel,

                 

                Could you point me to that thread? I am really interested in that one. Thanks, Jmblr

                • 5. Re: Chinese characters content
                  Joel Cherney CommunityMVP

                  The templates (CS and CS2) are here:

                   

                  http://www.techart.com/downloads/

                   

                  Searching the forums for that URL was the trick to find the thread:

                   

                  http://forums.adobe.com/message/1278028#1278028

                  • 6. Re: Chinese characters content
                    Joel Cherney CommunityMVP

                    Also, I have quite a few other tricks up my sleeve for processing CJK text in vanilla-EN InDesign - but I don't know what to suggest unless I know what you're trying to do.

                    • 7. Re: Chinese characters content
                      joombler Community Member

                      I have started to get familiar with ID last year; have made some nice leaflets with it. I joined a new company last year that is located all around the world, with some Chinese offices as well. They asked me to convert existing designs to Chinese. I will use SimHei as a standard font, as it looks good and my colleagues in Hong Kong told me that this font is their favorite. I am very keen on on any information about using Chinese fonts / language in inDesign. Ofcourse other information is very welcome as well. What I have for this moment are your URL's and Real World's InDesign CS4 (ISBN-13 9780-321-59243-9) and got a second hand version of the Adobe InDesign Bible CS4 (ISBN 978-0-470-40511-6).

                      • 8. Re: Chinese characters content
                        dianeburns1 CommunityMVP

                        Here is the beginning of the original post on CJK handling in InDesign.

                        (Somehow my old account didn't come over, even though I followed directions for making it transfer, sorry it's been difficult to find.)

                        Too bad we don't have sticky posts anymore.

                         

                        http://forums.adobe.com/thread/323246?tstart=0

                         

                        Regards,

                        --Diane Burns

                        • 9. Re: Chinese characters content
                          Kenneth Benson Community Member

                          (Somehow my old account didn't come over, even though I followed directions for making it transfer, sorry it's been difficult to find.)

                           

                          I missed the directions for making my old account transfer. I started the new forum with a new account, and my several thousand old posts are now really hard to find. Where are the directions for making your old account transfer?

                           

                          Ken

                          • 10. Re: Chinese characters content
                            P Spier CommunityMVP

                            Too late now, Ken. Sorry.

                            • 11. Re: Chinese characters content
                              Joel Cherney CommunityMVP

                              This feels a little bit like a random sampling of tricks, but I'm really not sure where to start. So:

                              I will use SimHei as a standard font, as it looks good and my colleagues in Hong Kong told me that this font is their favorite.

                              Ugh. Okay, they're your clients, right? Or colleagues. You may want to try to convince them to use something like Adobe Heiti Std, which is a fine Simplified font (and should come free with your Creative Suite disk). I guess that the Chinese glyphs in SimHei are okay, but the thing I really hate about SimHei, and about all of the MS-supplied CJK fonts, is the quality of the Latin glyphs. I think that they are abysmally ugly.

                               

                              So, I use a character style to mark all Latin text: Find -> Any Letter -> Replace with LatinCharStyle in a non-horrifying face. (This works because, according to Indy's find-replace tool, Chinese glyphs aren't letters.) I have to mention Multi-Lingual Tools from in-tools.com here; I don't use it myself, but as with pretty much everything from in-tools, I'm sure that it's great and will reduce your workload if you have any amount of Latin-script stuff in your layout.

                               

                              Where is your Chinese text starting out? If it's in Word, it's worth your time to turn off a bunch of stuff (like "Automatically space between Chinese characters and Latin text") so you don't get surprised when you place text in InDesign.

                               

                              In many cases, InDesign won't obey ordinary rules like "Don't start a line with a period" in Chinese. So, it might be worth your time to look into GREP (assuming you're on CS3 or CS4) to learn how to, say, find a glyph in your Unicode range for Chinese followed by a fullwidth period and apply a charstyle to both that has No Break turned on. Might be doable in the normal Find/Replace window, I'm not certain. Also it, depends on how much volume you have, really - most of the stuff I do is so short that I just do a manual check while I'm reviewing my work.

                              • 12. Re: Chinese characters content
                                dianeburns1 CommunityMVP

                                The line break problems can be resolved by use of the templates referenced earlier in this thread and in the old thread I posted.

                                 

                                http://www.techart.com/downloads

                                 

                                Hope that helps,

                                --Diane

                                • 13. Re: Chinese characters content
                                  Joel Cherney CommunityMVP

                                  line break problems can be resolved by use of the templates referenced earlier

                                  Very true, but when I'm working in a file made by a designer who adores ludicrous profusion of styles, it's usually faster in a trifold brochure to use the find-and-replace-with-No-Break-charstyle method than the method of making seventy-five-copies-of-one-good-Chinese-style-and-massaging-them-to-match-the-designer's- poorly-thought-out-styles. OP should certainly start with the templates, though.

                                  • 14. Re: Chinese characters content
                                    David London N4 Community Member

                                    Hi Joombler,

                                    I am a traditional Chinese typesetters since 1986. I started using computer to handle Chinese typefaces in 1993. If you are keen on Chinese typography, perhaps, you can browse around our website at http://www.chinesetypesetting.com , you might find the information useful.

                                    • 15. Re: Chinese characters content
                                      David W. Goodrich Community Member

                                      Like Joel, I dislike the alphabetic characters in most CJK fonts, and almost always render "alphanumerics" with a non-CJK font.  But where Joel uses a character style to mark the alphabetic strings, via Find>Any Letter, I mark all the CJK characters with a Chinese, Japanese or Korean character style.  A GREP will search for "[\x{2E80}-\x{9FBB}]+" should turn them all up.  Separate character styles for CJK let you apply the language attributes for Japanese and Korean, plus a choice of two (simplified and traditional) for Chinese.

                                       

                                      Out of the box, English InDesign doesn't know about these attributes, but MS Word does, and InDesign can acquire them by importing a Word file that contains them.  You can then transfer them to other InDesign files as part of a character style.

                                       

                                      The above GREP search is especially handy for files that arrive with all text bearing the Chinese language attribute, even alphabetic text.  Left to its own devices, InDesign will turn off hyphenation for the alphabetic text.

                                       

                                      Good luck,
                                      David

                                      • 16. Re: Chinese characters content
                                        Joel Cherney CommunityMVP
                                        I mark all the CJK characters with a Chinese, Japanese or Korean character style.  A GREP will search for "[\x{2E80}-\x{9FBB}]+" should turn them all up.

                                        1000x thanks, David. I'm keeping that - with different Unicode values for language-specific ranges - because my method doesn't always work well when the Latin text is already charstyled. I usually wind up needing lots of duplicated charstyles (Emphasis/EmphasisLatin, Script/ScriptLatin, et cetera) and your method will work better for me in those situations.

                                        • 17. Re: Chinese characters content
                                          joombler Community Member

                                          That Adobe Heiti tip was very useful too, thanks for this. It looks so much better, will use that one in future!

                                           

                                          I have never experienced having InDesign starting Chinese text with a period, only when I have bullet mode ON (...). I mostly copy the Chinese Word text into NotePad++ (UTF-8 without BOM mode) and then paste it into inDesign. Are you suggesting that I should skip that and put the Word text directly into InDesign page? Thanks for sharing.

                                          • 18. Re: Chinese characters content
                                            joombler Community Member

                                            Great, thanks for that one!

                                            • 19. Re: Chinese characters content
                                              Harbs. CommunityMVP

                                              I've been kind of busy lately. I just noticed this now...

                                               

                                              Joel, thanks for mentioning Multi-lingual Tools! Yes, that can be done 

                                              with a GREP. The one trick "Apply Language Styles" has up its sleeve 

                                              which is kind of tricky to do with GREP alone, is that it can apply 

                                              the font to all neutral characters surrounded by a specific script -- 

                                              optionally numbers as well. I've been kind of surprised by the lack of 

                                              interest ML Tools has gotten. For my own work it saves tons of time! I 

                                              assume it's because no-one knows about it...

                                               

                                              I was really expecting to get requests for a bunch more writing 

                                              scripts to be added (CJK, Arabic, Cyrillic, etc.), but I haven't 

                                              received even one such request! Go figure...

                                               

                                              Harbs

                                              • 20. Re: Chinese characters content
                                                Joel Cherney CommunityMVP

                                                Oh, believe you me, I'll be making some requests, but I have other requests that be satisfied first (i.e. "Excuse me, managerial types, but can you please let me buy CS4?") before I make any language-specific requests of you.

                                                 

                                                For my own work it saves tons of time! I assume it's because no-one knows about it...

                                                 

                                                Have you mentioned it or advertised it on, say, ProZ or TranslatorsCafe? I'm sure that there are many people there who would be interested. However, if there is some community or forum where the multilingual typesetters hang out (that is not this forum), I haven't yet found it.

                                                • 21. Re: Chinese characters content
                                                  Joel Cherney CommunityMVP
                                                  Are you suggesting that I should skip that and put the Word text directly into InDesign page?

                                                  Well, that's my typical workflow; I always use File -> Place instead of copying & pasting. You'll find that most people here will tell you to use File -> Place, and there are many good reasons why this view is so common. However, if you're proofing your own text as you copy & paste, then the danger of the clipboard accidentally damaging your text is much reduced. Also, if you're running your text through Notepad++ (I love that app), then preserving text styles (e.g. hanging indents, underlines, and so on) is obviously not a big deal for you. Likewise, if your project is just you and your HK colleagues, then version control is probably not something that is worth much time investment on your part.

                                                   

                                                  For me, though, it's massively important, so I never copy & paste, and I always have a final Word file that I can hand off to a translator for revision. In your situation, the standard practice would be to save a raw text file out of Word, and place that file. If I did that, I'd have terrible repetitive motion disorder. Come to think of it, years of copying and pasting stuff into Pagemaker may well have contributed to my tendonitis issues. If that workflow is easy and fast for you, and it doesn't induce errors in your output, and your wrists & lower arms feel okay, I won't try to talk you out of it. But when your tendons start hurting, just post here, and pretty much anyone would be happy to tell you all about how placing is better than copying & pasting.

                                                  • 22. Re: Chinese characters content
                                                    graphicartemis

                                                    A GREP will search for "[\x{2E80}-\x{9FBB}]+" should turn them all up.  Separate character styles for CJK let you apply the language attributes for Japanese and Korean, plus a choice of two (simplified and traditional) for Chinese.

                                                     

                                                    Brilliant tip David. I can get my document to find the simplified Chinese characters with the above GREP search, but then how to I do a document-wide replace to apply my character style? I've got an 80 page document with both English and Chinese text and at the moment I'm having to select each paragraph of Chinese to apply the character style. I'm sure it must be possible.

                                                     

                                                    Cheers,

                                                    Diane

                                                    • 23. Re: Chinese characters content
                                                      David W. Goodrich Community Member

                                                      "I'm having to select each paragraph of Chinese to apply the character style" makes it seem as if you have whole paragraphs of Chinese and whole paragraphs of English, in which case you might want paragraph styles rather than character styles, which are designed for text units smaller than paragraphs.

                                                       

                                                      But if you have paragraphs containing both languages, a GREP search-and-replace can apply whatever character style you care to define to strings of characters in the range 2E80 to 9FBB, i.e., CJK characters.  Of course, GREP can't tell simplified Chinese from traditional, nor Chinese from Korean or Japanese: that takes human intervention.

                                                       

                                                      David

                                                      • 24. Re: Chinese characters content
                                                        Jan Rüter

                                                        Just tried chinese text in InDesign. Trouble. Put the same text in Pages. Fine. Textwrangler. Fine. Preview. Fine. TextEdit. Fine. Mail. Fine. Notes. Fine. Any. Other. Software. Fine. It could be simple. But it is not. You are on Adobe.

                                                        • 25. Re: Chinese characters content
                                                          P Spier CommunityMVP

                                                          What font are you using in ID? What do you see?