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Character Set

A character set is a specific set of letters. For example a character set called JIS X 0208-1990 is specified as an aggregate of 6,879 characters that includes JIS Level 1 and Level 2 character sets (of which 6,355 are kanjis.) Character sets can be specified by official standards such as JIS X 0208 and JIS X 0213 or by companies or organizations such as Adobe-Japan 1 (A-J1-5, etc.) created by Adobe, Mini set by Morisawa, Apple Publishing Glyph Set (APGS) by Apple, U-PRESS by Kyodo News Service, or Meiryo character set by Microsoft.

Character sets of many of the fonts used in the DTP field are defined according to Adobe-Japan1 (A-J1) standards. For example, with Morisawa’s OpenType font, character sets of “Std” fonts conform to A-J1-3, “Pro” fonts to A-J1-4, “Pr5” fonts to A-J1-5, and “Pr6” and “Pr6N” fonts to A-J1-6.

JIS Character Sets

JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) character sets are one type of official character set standards. Starting in 1978 with the JIS C 6226-1978: code of the Japanese graphic character set for information interchange (commonly called JIS78,) the standards have been revised over time to JIS X 0208-1983 (JIS83), JIS X 0208-1990 (JIS90), JIS X 0213:2000 (JIS2000), and JIS X 0213:2004 (JIS2004).

 

The most important aspects of modifications made to JIS character sets are the changes made to the number of letters and the sample character styles. Changes made to sample character styles affect the shapes of characters of fonts conforming to the particular character set. Of the fonts used in DTP, CID fonts follow the sample character style of JIS83, and the current OpenType fonts use JIS90’s sample character style, while N fonts introduced in 2007 conform to the sample character style of JIS2004.

 

N Fonts

N fonts conform to letter forms specified by JIS X 0213:2004 (commonly called JIS2004). The name comes from the “N” found at the end of the character set names. For example, for Ryumin, the JIS90-savvy font is called A-OTF Ryumin Pr6, while the JIS2004-savvy font is called A-OTF Ryumin Pr6N. Depending on the character set the font conforms to, several types are available such as "StdN" conforming to Adobe-Japan1-3, "ProN" conforming to Adobe-Japan1-4, "Pr5N" conforming to Adobe-Japan1-5, and "Pr6N" conforming to Adobe-Japan1-6. The name "PlusN" found on some fonts made by Adobe Systems indicate fonts that contain kana characters needed to conform to Adobe-Japan1-3 and fonts needed for compatibility with JIS2004, and is differentiated from "StdN" fonts conforming to Adobe-Japan1-3.

Some examples of "PlusN" fonts are Ryo Gothic and Ryo Text. Ryo Gothic has two versions: Ryo Gothid Std and Ryo Gothic PlusN. Ryo Gothic Std contains neither kanji characters nor alphanumeric characters, while Ryo Gothic PlusN contains Ryo Gothic Std plus kanji characters and alphanumeric characters. "StdN" fonts contain 144 more letters than "Std" fonts. This is because some letter forms specified by JIS2004 are not contained in Adobe-Japan1-3 to which "Std" fonts conform. Information about which characters were added can be found on Adobe Systems' website.

www.adobe.com/jp/support/type/aj1-6.html

 

Adobe-Japan1 (A-J1)


Adobe-Japan1 (A-J1) is the character set standard developed by Adobe Systems, which is also called a character collection. As of March 2009, there are seven such standards, from Adobe-Japan1-0 (A-J1-0) to Adobe-Japan1-6 (A-J1-6), where standards with larger numbers contain larger number of characters. Most Japanese OpenType fonts today follow these standards to determine which characters to include in the font. As for Morisawa’s OpenType fonts, "Std" fonts conform to A-J1-3, "Pro" fonts follow A-J1-4, "Pr5" fonts A-J1-5, and "Pr6" and "Pr6N" fonts follow A-J1-6. The ”Min" designation found on some Morisawa fonts is an indication of Morisawa's unique mini set of characters, which is a subset conforming to Adobe-Japan1.

❖ List of Number of characters specified by Adobe-Japan1, its description and remarks

A-J1

Description

Total Number of Characters

Kanji

Non-kanji

Additional

A-J1-0

OCF

8,284

6,653

1,631

̶

Glyphs specific to Mac OS and printer OEM manufacturers.  

A-J1-1

(Kanji Talk7 compatible)

8,359

6,655

1,704

75

Includes additional character set of Kanji Talk7.1. Also includes 2 additional kanji characters (熙・凜) added by JIS-X 0208-1990 as well as Heisei ligatures, and characters unique to printer OEM manufacturers (JIS90 Standards).

A-J1-2

NewCID

8,720

7,014

1,706

361

Includes additional characters mostly from the IBM-specified kanji character set required by Microsoft Windows 3.1J.

A-J1-3

OpenType[Std]

9,354

7,014

2,340

634

Includes the addition of proportional and half-width rotated glyphs.

A-J1-4

OpenType[Pro]

15,444

9,138

6,306

6,090

Includes additional glyphs used widely by commercial printers that had previously relied on external fonts.  

30

A-J1

Description

Total Number of Characters

Kanji

Non-kanji

Additional

A-J1-5

OpenType  Pr5  (Mac OS X Compatible)

20,317

12,676

7,641

4,873

Includes additional glyphs compatible with JIS X 0213:2000, the addition of the Mac OS X (v10.2) glyph set and Standard Printed Letter Forms.  

A-J1-6

OpenType[Pr6] [Pr6N]

23,058

14,663

8,395

2,741

Includes additional glyphs required for compatibility with JIS X 0212-1990 (supplementary kanji), glyphs required for compatibility with JIS X 0213:2004, glyphs required for compatibility with 2004 revision of Jinmeiyo kanji (kanji designated for use in names), glyphs specific to Kyodo News Service U-PRESS characters.