Phonetic/Furigana support?

I am starting to do a lot of work in Japanese where I need to include furigana, phonetic pronunciations over kanji, is a good example. I’ve only found a few western programs that support this, Word being the most common.

However, I just discovered Scrivener yesterday and it’s interface is perfect for the sort of documents I’m writing. I often have two or three source materials in either English or Japanese on my screen at the same time as I’m writing a document in English or Japanese.

While I’ve been writing software for ~20 years, I’m pretty ignorant of how OSX handles fonts, typesetting, etc. It appears that furigana support in Word is part of the Phonetic Tool and has nothing to do with Kotoeri support in OSX. Is it a matter of supporting phonetics in general for all languages at the application level?



Hmm, maybe someone else who is more conversant in the use of different languages on OS X can answer this… Certainly, Scrivener relies on fonts and languages built into OS X, so it depends on what OS X can support by default…
All the best,

Hi jet,

Welcome to the wonderful world of Scrivener :slight_smile:

It’s a pity that Maria seems to have disappeared off the forum as she would probably have been best placed to answer the question. As a mere Chinese user I can’t really talk for Japanese.

Microsoft uses it’s own text-engine — in '08 version rewritten in cocoa; earlier versions were carbon and I don’t use Word so I don’t know how much difference that has made — so however they handle Furigana won’t apply to the Apple text-engine. Also, I have to say, that in spite of having been made to dabble in Japanese for about a year some 40 years ago, I don’t actually know what Furigana look like.

If you open the International Menu, one of the options is “Half-width Katakana” … that’s not the same thing is it? If it is, simply turn it on and you can access it under the “Flag” menu. If it’s not, then perhaps go and look at the SIL site, as they may well have a Furigana font, and, if you’re in luck a keyboard macro to simplify entry. I believe they have a program allowing you to set up your own keyboards for rare languages which they provide fonts for.

And you might like to have a look at Wock’s comments in this thread:

Sorry I can’t be of more help.



I see that this thread is years and versions old now. Has there been any progress in the phonetic guide department?

To clarify, what we Japanese users of Scrivener are looking for is the ability to put supertext over a character, aka “Phonetic guide” in Word. For example, in Japanese, there is a Chinese logograph like 心, that could have a variety of different phonetic readings ‘kokoro (こころ),’ ‘shin (しん)’ etc. What we’d like to be able to do is to be able to insert this tiny bit of text above the character, a common need other logographic languages as well. It doesn’t have to be language specific, rather just the ability to insert tiny hovering text over the main text would be great.

Also, is there a way to request this feature in Scrivener?

It’s been five years since this thread was active, so I’d just like to say that this is still a concern and an essential feature for my work.

Being able to type with furigana is integral part of my research (premodern Japanese literature), and I’m so used to having this feature in Word that I didn’t even consider it might not be available in Scrivener. I wouldn’t have bought the product if I’d known. The “Research” section is useless without it, and I can’t integrate primary source material into my draft. Keeping separate files in Word for primary source material for tens if not 100+ sources and tag-teaming between the platforms doesn’t make sense.

I think LibreOffice may also support rubies. It’s probably not often seen in Western software because of the typesetting difficulties. If the stock text engine doesn’t provide a way modify how letters are put into the rectangle where the primary letter sits, it requires some rather lower level programming to do that. It’s a level of programming that, to be clear, Scrivener generally avoids—it is by and large built on top of the programming toolkit rather than within it.

That aside, since you mention this being a thing for the “Research section”, have you tried saving as PDF from Word and importing that? If this is reference material and not writing material, you don’t need Word for that, right? It’s just the shape in which black meets white, at that point. And if you need to edit these things now and then, just drop the original .docx into the PDF’s Bookmark list. It’s two or three keystrokes to open it from there, or a similar quantity of mouse clicks if you prefer. Updating the PDF is a simple call to the Documents ▸ Replace Media File… command. A workflow like that isn’t all too different from what I do with graphics all of the time, it’s really not that much more effort than using Finder once you train your fingers.

For future reference on our software, we give you a 30-day demo for just this reason.