Illustrator has an excellent feature for working with Japanese text that many users may not be aware of: Composite Font.
When creating composite fonts you can mix characters from Japanese and Roman fonts and use them as one composite font, but they must be based on Japanese fonts. Composite fonts are displayed at the beginning of the font list.
Working with Composite Font
First you must be sure you have this option available in the Type menu. If you don't see the command, go the Preferences menu:
Preferences > Type
Select "Show East Asian Options"
In this tab you can also control how to show the font names that can be displayed (in English or in the native language) by selecting or deselecting "Show Font Names in English" checkbox.
After that a new menu should be available in the main menu:
Type > Composite Fonts
Categories of Characters in Japanese Composite Fonts
Kanji: The base font of the composite font. The size and baseline for other characters are set according to the sizes and baselines specified here.
Kana: The font used for hiragana and katakana characters.
Punctuation: The font used for punctuation.
Symbols: The font used for symbols.
Roman: The font used for half-width roman characters.
Numbers: The font used for half-width numbers. This is usually a roman font.
View a sample of the composite font:
To view a sample of the composite font, click Show Sample. You can change the sample in the following ways:
- Click the buttons on the right side of the sample to show or hide lines indicating the ICF Box, Embox, Baseline, Cap Height, Max Ascent/Descent, Max Ascender, and x-height.
- Choose a magnification level from the Zoom pop-up menu.
- Click Save to save the settings for the composite font, and then click OK.
I hope this tool will help you with your Japanese files. Unfortunately, with this option you cannot create fonts that include Chinese or Korean, also you can't use Chinese or Korean-based composite fonts copied from another application. Hopefully in the near future Adobe Illustrator will include them in the Composite Font tool.
GPI's Multilingual Desktop Publishing Services
Globalization Partners International provides many services with document translation and website translation that involve multilingual desktop publishing services. This list below highlights some of the more common products used in such projects:
- Adobe InDesign Desktop Publishing and Translation
- QuarkXPress Desktop Publishing and Translation
- Adobe Acrobat Publishing and Translation
- Adobe Photoshop Publishing and Translation
You may also find some of our previous blogs on desktop publishing useful:
- GPI's Vision for Technical Communications Future
- Using PDF in Illustrator When Source Files are Lost
- Importance of Client Review Cycle in Translation
- Extracting Word Format Source Files from PDF
Please feel free to contact GPI at email@example.com with any questions about our language and technology services. Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in our future blogs. You may request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects as well.
[Instructions and lists abstracted from Adobe Application Manuals. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Captivate, FrameMaker, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and RoboHelp are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © Adobe Systems Incorporated.]
About the Author
Desktop Publishing Specialist. A native speaker of Spanish, Nicolás has expert skills on both Mac and PC platforms with many DTP applications including Adobe Tech Comm Suite, specifically structured and unstructured FrameMaker, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and others. He also has advanced skills in Microsoft Office products like PowerPoint and Word, as well as Quark.More Content by Nicolas Carcano