Microsoft Office 2010, typography, and proofing tools

Microsoft has released Office 2010 as a beta that you can use up to and including October 2010 (scheduled to be released in June 2010). You can download it as either 32 or 64 bit, although it seems the 64 bit download is a bit hidden since many buttons for downloading seem to lead to the default 32 bit download. If you follow the link at the Professional Plus site to ‘Get It Now’ you should be presented with links to both versions. At the moment Microsoft supports Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. If you are like me you just use the application in English, but then miss some of the proofing tools for, say, Japanese.

You can download language packs from the Microsoft Download Center. If you change the language to, say, Japanese you are presented with two download links at the bottom for the Japanese language pack. This language pack includes user interface changes for Japanese as well as proofing tools, OCR support, and fonts.

Once the pack is downloaded just run it and you can customize want you want to install. Since I am not interested in the UI aspects of the pack, I selected the top part and toggled selection for all to not install. Then for the entries 国際フォント (international fonts) and 文章校正ツール (proofing tools) I made sure to install everything. 文章校正ツール includes both 日本語用校正ツール and 英語用校正ツール and I guess you can most likely skip 英語用校正ツール since it is already installed. 国際フォント includes 標準フォント (standards font), which I am guessing is related to JIS X standards for font encodings.

Basic Windows 7 has 134 fonts installed. A basic English Office 2010 install increases this to 198 fonts installed. Installing the Japanese language pack proofing tools with fonts brings this to 228 fonts installed.

If you press the expansion arrow at the bottom-right of the Home part of the ribbon (or press CTRL-D) you will get the Font dialog. If you select the Advanced tab you can turn on features such as OpenType ligatures. This will mean that with text such as ‘fl’ or ‘ffi’ certain parts of the letters will connect instead of showing white space between the letters. This is the same technique used in printed media such as books.

Update: Michael Hendry was kind enough to point out that I was mistaking 標準 with (standard/default) with 基準 (standards/JIS/ISO).

The stars in your eyes

Your smile goes so deep,
it makes me happy and I wonder
if I can ever find a star
that matches the brightness of your eyes.
The curve of your lips hides nothing,
everything is there in plain sight.
It is all so simple, yet a beauty beyond compare.
How can I protect that smile of yours?
When I lay the moon and stars at your feet,
will you keep smiling for me?
Or is it better to leave them in the sky above,
so I can catch their reflection in your eyes
as you move ever closer and closer and closer…

Being an author

There are no clouds of boredom in my living sky,
no lack of purpose as time passes by.
I grasp the moment with all my soul,
firm, yet gentle, of my own destiny I take control.
Shaping, like a potter, form from naught,
organically grown, the shape at end matters not
for it is the experience itself, the path I took
that writes the chapters of life in my book.

Like a dove, like an angel

Like a dove, like an angel,
slipping past the fingers trying to contain
choosing the wide expanse
the clear bright sky
what will it bring, will it be better,
will it be worse, can it be worse
with the freedom gained?
How does one endure a prison of glass,
yet a prison all the same
bow one’s head and try to play the part
or defiantly break away from that which is expected
and find your own path?
Is in our nature to heed the wishes of those above
do we let ourselves be bewitched by the charisma
of the ones that spin a wheel before your eyes
yet how gullible we’ve become
that we in the end do obey…

Yes, free thought, you’re like an angel, like a dove…

A Gaian Dawn

I printed this from a website many years ago and I still love it:

I saw the immense beauty of the twinkling stars;
like countless diamonds on an inky cloak
of inaccessible and inscrutable depths.
The sparkling stars dim and gracefully recede.
The morning star preaches about the coming light;
an epoch of uproar and change,
an epoch of progress and enlightenment.
The dark night on a furious retreat from a battle lost.
The divine morning sun rises in a magnificent battle dress
of smouldering red, orange, and yellow.

Now, godspeed traveller…