RE: Twinbridge & Word 2000

From: Chris Pratley (
Date: Tue Jun 27 2000 - 19:21:24 EDT

There are quite a few sorts of problems you can have when using products
such as TwinBridge with Unicode-based applications, and these can be further
complicated if you also change the operating system.
TwinBridge and similar "shell" software (e.g. RichWin, Chinese Star) were
developed several years ago primarily to deliver Chinese language processing
capability to systems and products that did not otherwise support it. This
support was accomplished through a variety of unstable hacks and unsupported
hooks in the Windows display code. The problems resulting include system
instability (these products often replace core system dlls, which is a
disaster if you have a newer version of Windows than the product was
designed for, not to mention the likelihood that serious bugs were
introduced), file incompatibility (use of the product creates files that
cannot be read by users who do not also use the shell), and incompatibility
for version upgrades, such as when Word97 reads Word95 files, etc.
Current products (such as Windows2000 and Office2000) fully support Chinese
natively, so there is no need for these sorts of "enabling" shell programs
any more. This leaves two issues:
1. Users may still want TwinBridge-style programs for the other
features they include (for example, a favoured input method or a
dictionary). Unfortunately, even though all language versions of Windows2000
now have extensible system services to support all of the features these
products try to provide (such as Chinese input), most of these products
still use their private systems and APIs. The result is usually a lot of
incompatibilities between their products and new versions of Windows, since
they are not using supported system services which are guaranteed to work in
new releases of the OS. To resolve these sorts of incompatibilities, you
should contact the maker of the enabling software (TwinBridge in this case)
2. These days an increasingly common issue is how to stop relying on
these products since their core feature (input and display of Chinese) is
now available as a system service and the most commonly used applications
are Unicode enabled and therefore support Chinese. Most of these "shell"
vendors provide tools for repairing text in files created in non-Unicode
applications using their system after the files are read into Unicode
applications. You can use these to migrate your files to a Unicode format
which then does not require the "enabling" shell to be displayed and edited
correctly. Word2000 and PowerPoint2000 include an option to help import
older files created under these shells. (make sure Chinese is enabled for
editing in the Office Language Settings applet, then in Word got to
"Tools/Options/General/English Word 6.0/95 documents contain", and select
Chinese. In PowerPoint, go to Tools/Options/Asian/Convert font-associated
Chris Pratley
Group Program Manager
Microsoft Word
-----Original Message-----
From: Magda Danish (Unicode) []
Sent: June 27, 2000 9:51 AM
To: Unicode List
Subject: Twinbridge & Word 2000
-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2000 5:13 AM
Subject: any question
To whom may concern:
        Here in the Universitat Aụnoma de Barcelona. We have carried out a
software upgrading with which we ecountred some problems.There seams to be a
problem of compatibility between the software Twinbridge (Windows 95) an
Word 2000 (Windows 2000) with the asian writing (chinese).
        Word 2000 does not recognise chinese capturer from Twinbridge,
probably because Windows 2000 works with Unicode fonts, while Twinbridge
works with True Type. The question is: Is there any way for making True type
fonts and Unicode compatible.

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