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Chris Pratley Lead Program Manager Microsoft Office


Overview Office Unicode strategy Implementation Benefits of Unicode to Office users Demo of Word2000

Office Unicode Strategy: 

Office Unicode Strategy Office97 driving factors Customers operate world-wide (US only 40%) Need to handle multiple code pages in Europe Office97 goals Enable loss-less file exchange world-wide Solve code page problems in Europe Development efficiency for Asian and Euro versions Unified source code base – but still different executables Unified development process Delta between language versions shrinks from 18 to 2 months Lay foundation for future

Office2000 Unicode Strategy: 

Office2000 Unicode Strategy Office2000 goals Reduce Total Cost of Ownership for large corporations Single version to deploy and administer globally Configurable interface to handle local needs Language of User Interface can be changed Additional language features can be enabled as needed Emulate any localized version “Français”, “日本語”, “한글”, “עברית“,”عربي”, etc. Streamline development process further Core “US” team ships global product Integrate bi-directional version team (Arabic, Hebrew) Focus on needs of bilingual and multilingual users

The Word Family Tree: 

The Word Family Tree


Implementation Core applications are Unicode internally Word, Excel, PowerPoint (Office97) Access (new in Office2000) Databases are now Unicode Remaining apps and applets Inter-operate with Unicode apps Will move to Unicode in next release


Implementation Difficulties encountered with Unicode Character code unification Many punctuation were unified that are very different (especially full-width / half-width) Interoperation with code-page based systems If the code page is not known, converting data to Unicode is hard - lots of bugs here Things that had worked “by accident” were broken Educating test team about Unicode vs. MBCS


Implementation Multi-font support groups characters “ASCII” (0-127 range in ISO-8859-1) “Asian” (all full-width “double byte”, plus half-width katakana) “Complex Script” (composing scripts such as Bi-di, Thai, Indic) “Other” (all other “single byte” characters) Do not apply fonts to characters not supported by the font Otherwise applying MS Pゴシック to “Montréal” would become “Montr⁞al” Likewise applying Arial to “日本語” would become “” Unified characters are hinted where necessary Asian full-width “•••” never becomes European proportional “…” Full-width Cyrillic and Greek never become proportional

Office Users Benefit: 

Office Users Benefit Single binary world-wide Shared world-wide file formats Multilingual word/data processing Unicode HTML Unicode e-mail (HTML, RTF, plain)

Single Binary: 

Single Binary Easier to deploy, administer One set-up image to install world-wide One set of service packs for all machines All features available in all “versions” Still have local version packages Multilingual users can use “foreign” features User Interface language is configurable Your language follows you when you travel Major cost savings for customers Less testing of corporate solutions Lower internal tech support costs

Single File Format: 

Single File Format Multinational corporations use Office Need to exchange documents company-wide Office unified file formats via Unicode Word95 had 7 different file formats Word97 had 1 file format but no editing, layout for languages covered by other versions Word2000 adds editing, layout, and full-roundtrip

Multilingual Word/Data Processing: 

Multilingual Word/Data Processing English Office2000: input/display/edit/layout of European languages any similar left-right scripts if fonts/NLS available Asian languages Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) Japanese Korean Bi-directional languages (requires enabled system) Arabic (incl. Farsi, Urdu) Hebrew Thai/Vietnamese/Indic require local version

Multilingual Word Processing: 

Multilingual Word Processing Most documents are monolingual Most users are bilingual Local language English Optimize UI for using one, two or three languages Over 100 supported – rare usage Detect over 20 languages as they are typed Automatically install and use the correct proofing tools

Multilingual Word Processing: 

Multilingual Word Processing Proofing tool interfaces are Unicode Spelling, Grammar, Hyphenation, Thesaurus Tools for over 30 languages available Most European languages Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Hebrew Additional tools Traditional/Simplified Chinese conversion Hangul/Hanja conversion Japanese character usage consistency checker Dictionaries & integration with Microsoft BookShelf

Multilingual Data Processing: 

Multilingual Data Processing Access databases are Unicode Hook up to SQL7.0 Unicode databases Excel workbooks are Unicode Hook up to Unicode databases using OLE-DB Create Pivot lists and manipulate Unicode data PowerPoint creates multilingual multimedia Use VBA to generate learning tools, multilingual kiosk demos

Unicode HTML: 

Unicode HTML HTML is a companion file format Roundtrip all formatting Save to web servers Roundtrip Unicode data in any encoding UTF-8 and UTF-16 are supported too HTML is tagged with encoding URLs are UTF-8 Plain text I/O in any encoding (Word)

Unicode e-mail: 

Unicode e-mail Office2000 provides fully multilingual email HTML mail uses internet standards All Unicode content preserved Plugs into Outlook, Outlook Express, Exchange Use Word to compose replies and new messages Send in plain text, RTF, or HTML All applications can mail documents as HTML

Future Directions: 

Future Directions Work with Windows2000 towards a worldwide platform Unicode 3.0 languages too Fold in Thai, Vietnamese, Indic language support Extend Unicode support to more applications Outlook FrontPage PhotoDraw Visual Basic Editor and Forms Publisher Works Work with tools group (Visual Studio) to make globalization technology available to developers

Microsoft Word2000 on Windows2000: 

Microsoft Word2000 on Windows2000 Demo


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