Introduction

Many software developers today are familiar with the use of Unicode for information storage and retrieval. Using Unicode, however, is not enough to satisfy the requirements of a truly globalized application. Developers must consider other things, such as cultural formatting of information, font selection, and keyboards. The keyboard is the most popular input device. It supports many scripts, and permits the user to enter characters in each of the supported scripts. However, many scripts contain more characters than can possibly be assigned to the physical keys of a keyboard. The challenge of inputting scripts with numerous characters requires that the keyboard be used in a different fashion than most users are accustomed to. The methodology that has been created to input these scripts is called an input method editor, or IME. In its most primitive form, an IME takes one or more keystrokes and converts them into one or more symbols, characters, or words. A successful global application must process text written in any language, or even in multiple languages at once. To display and print multilingual text, applications need the right fonts. The following topics will provide more information.

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