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I noticed that using the Google IME for windows the { } are not equivalent to the { } from the default keyboard. They do not display as furigana after posting.

This is really annoying having to switch between input modes to type something out.

Should this not be functional in Japanese input mode?

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There should be a setting in any IME to change the default for such symbols to either half or fullwidth (you are currently set on fullwidth and want halfwidth). Below is a picture of where to find this in Google IME's settings.

In Google IME

I'm not saying that fullwidth {} shouldn't be supported, but at least this will allow you to type furigana without switching input languages for now. You can also use 【】 to enter furigana (one of the options when you press the [] keys).

  • Great advice, but fundamentally shouldn't they both just work? – Ian Apr 29 '12 at 4:19
  • @Ian Sorry, I just added something to the bottom of the answer that I forgot to include originally. I'm not sure what is or isn't supposed to work, so I can't really help you out there. – atlantiza Apr 29 '12 at 4:20
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The short answer is that no, they shouldn't just work, at least not by default.

The you're getting from Google IME is a full−width character, and a completely different character (in encoding terms) from {. It's not standard practice for full-width characters to be parsed as special characters. For example, even if you're writing a website in Japanese, you can't have a <html> tag (should be <html>). This is all down to limiting the number of reserved characters.

That said, in this particular case SE may be willing to make an exception for usability's sake.

I imagined (although there's really no basis or precedent for this) that when we graduate from beta and get a custom design etc, one of the SE guys will work with us to fine-tune the furigana and implement any other special features we require as a site. If there's no response from them to this question, that would be a good time to bring it up again.

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