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21:49, 19 May 2011; revision @12 by twe (Talk)
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(This document is translated from GlyphWiki:どうやって使うのか@28, which was current as of 14 March 2009)

To begin

To begin, this tutorial (on the basics), and this tutorial (on editing glyphs) have been prepared so that you can learn how to use this, so please look at them. (They are currently only available in Japanese, but there are a couple of things to be learned by watching).

First, please consider what you want to do. If you were thinking you wanted to register a kanji glyph, or make use of a registered glyph, then by all means, please read below!

Registering a kanji glyph amounts to contributing an article to GlyphWiki. On GlyphWiki, one kanji glyph corresponds to one GlyphWiki page (or ”article”). If you are contributing an article to GlyphWiki for the first time, please read GlyphDesignMethod. Furthermore, it would be great if you got some practice in the sandbox beforehand.

Kanji glyph registration

Giving a glyph its name

On GlyphWiki, all glyphs have names attached to them. In order for you to register a new glyph, it is necessary for you to give it a name. First, please refer to GivingAGlyphItsName.

If the glyph has an associated code number (i.e., it has a defined code point in UCS), then please name it with a lowercase ‘u’ followed by its hexadecimal representation (any alphabetical portions must be lowercase). For example, “一” is U+4E00, so the appropriate name is “u4e00”. For these kinds of glyphs that appear with existing character codes or ones that appear in large dictionaries, please refer to the NamingGuidelines.

For anything that doesn't fit, please choose a suitable name. Names are not first-come-first-served. Any identical name already in use by another person will be overwritten with the new data (anyone can still continue to use even the old overwritten data).

The fact is, practically any appropriate name will suffice. However, you are limited in which characters you may use. You may use the lowercase letters (of English, a–z), numerals (0–9), and hyphens (-); the first character must be a lowercase letter, and the last character must be a lowercase letter or a numeral. The total number of characters must be 60 or less.

Your own glyphs

If you are a user who is logged in, you will have some extra benefits. There is a way to name a glyph such that only that user may create or otherwise edit it. The rule is that the name must take the form “username_glyphname”. For example, the user “kamichi” can give the name “kamichi_my-gaiji-0001” to a glyph. This would be the user kamichi’s own glyph; only the user kamichi can edit it. All glyphs beginning their names with “kamichi_” can be created by kamichi and only kamichi. However, it is possible for anyone to read the data. If a user other than kamichi needs to edit it, they need to make that glyph either their own or everyone’s by copying the data wholesale under a new name.

Glyphs have version numbers.

When data is registered with a name that someone else is already using, the old data are overwritten with the new. Do the previous data become henceforth unusable? In fact, they do not; by indicating the version number, you may still use them as normal. The way to specify them takes the form “glyphname@versionnumber”. The first registration of the glyph is given the version number “@1”; afterwards, version numbers are incremented one at a time. When you want to confirm which version number a glyph is at, click its “History” tab.

If a currently overwritten old glyph is cited within another glyph, what do you suppose should be done? The answer is, “When overwriting, the previous glyph's version number is automatically given to the cited glyph name.” To wit, this means that a glyph design registered once will always be possible to use. Even if the cited portion is not new, at the point of citation, the data will be rewritten such that the old version’s portion will be designated; this will not cause the glyph to change.

Starting a page

Next, input the name you have decided on into the search box on the side of the page and click “Go”. If the name is already in use, you will be taken to its page directly. If the name is not yet being used, you will see the message “No page text matches.” displayed, but above that, you will see the message “You searched for: "(query)"”, where the “(query)” portion is your search query, which should be displayed as a red link. If it is grey, this means that the name does not conform to the naming rules, so please re-read the above section “Giving a glyph its name”, and make sure to pick a name that does.

A red link indicates that the page linked to has not yet been started (i.e., a glyph has not been registered with that name). Please click it. Once you do that, you can begin writing a brand-new page. Well then, by all means, please register your glyph! And please read GlyphDesignMethod on how to operate the designer.

Practical use of glyphs

Put them to use as image files.

Glyphs registered on GlyphWiki can be used as image files immediately. For example, if you were to right-click on an image at the glyph’s display page, you could select “Save Image As...”, and save the image. Or you could select “Copy Image” and paste it into an application of your choice (such as a word processor). The large images are 200 pixel × 200 pixel squares, served as black-and-white PNG-format bitmaps. If you reduce this to text sizes (such as 10-point) to print them normally, you can (hopefully) output them such that they seem just like normal text. If you use the EPS-format image, you can print with the same kind of outline data as normal fonts do. Modern browsers (e.g. recent versions of Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.) can handle SVG images embedded directly into HTML.

The URL’s for the images directly use the glyph name, as shown below. You may also specify the version. The 50 pixel × 50 pixel greyscale thumbnails may also be used. For sake of example, the u4e00 glyph corresponds to the usable images below.         200px, PNG format         SVG format         EPS format    50px thumbnail, PNG format   100px thumbnail, PNG format

It is okay to make direct links to these URL’s.

Specifying versions

At GlyphWiki, anyone can manage glyphs. On the other hand, after one person has registered a glyph, there is a chance that another person may modify the same glyph, overwriting the old glyph with the new (furthermore, there is no guarantee that any change results in a better-looking design). Thus, there is a chance that the glyph won’t even be the same, so when you want to get the particular glyph you specify, you can add a version number. You can confirm which version number you want by clicking the “History” tab on the relevant glyph’s page.       Version 1;  200px, PNG format       Version 1;  SVG format       Version 1;  EPS format  Version 1;  50px thumbnail, PNG format Version 1;  100px thumbnail, PNG format

Putting them into a TrueType font

GlyphWiki administers a kanji glyph as one unit. In this way, when you want to assemble an arrangement of gathered glyphs into a font file, you utilize the concept of a “group”. To use this, you create a wiki page titled “Group:(groupname)”, where “groupname” is (preferably) some descriptor of its contents, and consists of kanji, kana, and/or alphanumeric characters. On that page, you list glyphs in the format of one glyph per row. After that, save the data, and take another look at the page. Once you’ve done that, a link that says “Execute to generate font” shall appear. When you click this link, it will take some time (according to the number of characters), but after a while, the font will have been created. After that, the font is ready for download. The created font will always be downloadable, so it is possible to distribute the URL to others; direct links are okay. For details, please see FontCreation.

About acquiring all glyph data

All data contributed to GlyphWiki are collected into a single file once each week and put into the file at the following URL.

In this file, the glyph name and data are given row by row. The included data are the most recent versions, and only effective data.

Also, at the location below, you may acquire some past versions of this file.

With this data, using the KAGE/engine, it is possible to change the forms of the kanji.