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imron

Introducing Hanzi Grids - A tool for creating printable worksheets for handwriting practice

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imron

Just made a new update that fixes a problem if you were getting a "missing parameters"error when saving PDF files from Chrome's internal PDF viewer, and also made all changes to the grid persistent across logins (not just sessions) with settings saved each time you Generate a PDF file.

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imron

I've just made a new update to the site, which adds a number of features, including:

*2 handwriting fonts

*Automatic Traditional/Simplified conversions

*A Chinese language version (currently simplified only)

*Paid access for certain features

The two handwriting fonts that I've licensed are 方正硬笔楷书_GBK and 方正硬笔行书_GBK from Founder Type that were mentioned in the other thread. Each of these fonts contains over 10,000 characters and support both Traditional and Simplified (though they don't contain rarer characters). You can download sample PDFs containing these fonts here: http://www.hanzigrids.com/examples

The latest update also provides automatic conversions between Simplified and Traditional characters via the Google Translate API, so you can now produce worksheets in one character set and convert it to the other at the press of a button.

I've also had the site translated to Chinese (currently simplified characters only), and so you can choose to view the site in either English or Chinese, and/or swap between these languages at any time.

Finally, to help cover font licensing and other costs, a small payment is now required to use certain features of the site. Basic access to the site will remain free, however only paid users will be able to:

*Change font

*Change background guides

*Change headers

*Perform automatic Simplified/Traditional conversion

*Generate PDFs containing more than 1 page.

Access to these features requires a one-off payment of AUD $10. For details, and to see the approximate cost of this amount in other currencies, please visit: http://www.hanzigrids.com/purchase

I've also implemented a referral program, so that if you recommend enough other users to the site who then go on to purchase a subscription, you can get a full refund of your purchase price.

Let me know if you have any comments.

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Pendragon

Looks good, however I get an error when I try to use the 硬笔 fonts: "The font '方正硬笔楷书_GBK' could not be detected on your computer. A fallback font will be used for display, but this will not affect Generated PDF files, which will embed the correct font."

So I can use the fonts, but it would be nice if I can get them displayed in my browser as well. Should I install some files for this?

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imron

If you have these fonts installed on your computer they will be displayed correctly in your browser. However as part of the licensing terms, I'm not allowed to directly distribute the fonts themselves to others, I'm only licensed to embed them in files for download and for general use on the site itself.

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imron

You could have submitted a wish list before as well if you wanted to :D

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Pendragon

Oh ok, well no problem, it's still fully functional. I'm off to the library to print some 行书 grids, looking forward to show off my new skillz soon 8)

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hbuchtel

Besides helping with writing, I've found I can use the website to help with reading handwritten content as well - I copy a passage from something I'm familiar with and have the website produce a PDF using the 硬笔行书 font (which looks handwritten), and read through it several times, pausing over the characters that are not immediately recognizable.

Being able to copy in my own content has taken care of the biggest problem I've encountered while trying to improve my ability to read handwritten material, which is rarely being able to find both a handwritten and a printed (宋体 or the like) version of the same text. Finding one or the other is very easy, but when trying to read a long handwritten passage there will always be a few characters that are impossible to decipher . . . not a problem if one has access to the printed version as well!

(To make a PDF like this you have to 1. select 'continuous text' and 2. slide the 'Visible Characters' all the way to the right)

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Koxinga

imron, did you consider allowing users to upload their own fonts? That would remove the need for licensing on your part.

Another way that could work is letting users upload images containing characters they want to put inside the grids.

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tooironic

Subscribed yesterday. Been using the tool for a few days and really enjoying it. I like it because it focuses on doing one thing - printing out hanzi grids! - and does it fast and efficiently. I also like how much customisation you've built into it. Great work. I've recommended the tool on my Twitter account (@carlfordham). Cheers!

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imron

@hbuchtel, great minds think alike :D In addition to the settings you mentioned above, if you set the grid colour to white, the guide style to none and the grid size to the smallest value, you'll have a fairly decent approximation of a regular document.

@Kèluódìyàrén, I'm not sure allowing users to upload fonts would absolve me of responsibility. If I was going to allow that, I'd probably want to see proof from individual users that they were licensed to use the font in that manner for each font they uploaded (many font licences for personal use for example do not allow uploading to a server).

@tooironic. Thanks for helping spread the word, and glad you find it useful :)

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hbuchtel
@hbuchtel, great minds think alike :D In addition to the settings you mentioned above, if you set the grid colour to white, the guide style to none and the grid size to the smallest value, you'll have a fairly decent approximation of a regular document.

What . . . how did I miss that post? Or maybe I didn't ... probably read it early in the morning or something, then it just disappeared into my subconscious...

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Ruben von Zwack

I was just browsing through the pages of this topic to for a whole different reason, but this caught my attention:

I'm also planning on adding a "word" mode that will take each line of input as a word, and repeat that across a single line.

 

... and the sweet promise that we might at some point in the future save our documents online. Do tell, are you still planning to implement these?

 

But I originally wanted to ask this:

 

How does everyone input the Hanzi?

I go via the website pinyinput.com, type away, change that to Simplified (I know I can do this in hanzigrids, but I do it at this stage to double-check I got the right character), copy all, go to hanzigrids, paste... that's quite a few buttons to click. I'm not complaining, those are great toolsl! But do any of you use a shorthand?

 

Another thing, I use Firefox and when I create the PDF it doesn't open a new window, so when I am done with the PDF, I need to press "back". A few times I forgot and accidentally closed the whole Hanzigrids website. Not a big deal because when I re-opened it, my pages were still saved, but still.

 

 

PS - that essay on page 1, in defense of practicing how to fit characters into small bo... handwriting, cracks me up!

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imron
Do tell, are you still planning to implement these?

Yes, but the problem at the moment is finding the time.  Currently other things have a higher priority.

 

I go via the website pinyinput.com, type away, change that to Simplified

Is there a reason you don't use a Chinese IME and just type the characters directly yourself?

 

Another thing, I use Firefox and when I create the PDF it doesn't open a new window, so when I am done with the PDF, I need to press "back".

I'll look in to it, but see above about time, so no immediate promises.

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Ruben von Zwack

Is there a reason you don't use a Chinese IME and just type the characters directly yourself?

 

Chinese IME? (wanders off to google what that is...) :oops:

 

About the window, and the other things - No hurry! I just wanted to let you know that there still is popular demand :wink:

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imron

IME = Input Method Editor.  It's a way to type Chinese directly on your computer, usually based on pinyin, but others (e.g. Wubi and Cangjie) are based on breaking down individual characters by their component shapes.

 

The Google Pinyin IME is quite decent if you're on Windows.  On a Mac QIM is good.

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Ruben von Zwack

Thanks! Don't tell anybody I asked! :oops:  :mrgreen:

 

I don't know why but my flat mate is from Hong Kong and when she types Cantonese on her Netbook, she types (Cangjie) via the pinyinput website too. So I just assumed that was the way to go, unless you change your whole system to Chinese. When I see her tomorrow I'll ask her if there's a reason she types online.

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sparrow

Imron,

 

This is a great resource, but I cannot get it to work.

 

I kept getting an error message about parameters. Perhaps, when creating a new sheet, the parameters should already be filled out with miscellaneous characters and be ready for print, so that the specifics only need to be edited.

 

Here's a screenshot of my input parameters.

Here's a screenshot of the error I encountered.

 

Edit: I received this error using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer 10. (Thanks to Ruben von Zwack for reminding me to mention this.)

 

 

After getting frustrated, I ended up making my own sheets using Google Spreadsheet. This is a link of my spreadsheet. Anyone can copy this and use it.

 

I would pay $10 to use your service because of the pen handwriting fonts, but I'm concerned that the website will not even work for the difficulties I mentioned above. Here are some additional suggestions:

  1. Allow users to specific size of characters in terms of inches/centimeters.
  2. Allow users to print "partial pages", so that I can print 10 characters today on a page, then 10 characters tomorrow on the same page, starting from where yesterday left off.

Suggestion #2 is important as well because I usually don't know a page-worth of characters I want to practice writing. I usually only know 10 or so per day that I would want to add.

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Ruben von Zwack

He may be able to help you better if you mention which browser you are using.

 

You did see you can adjust the character size, did you?
 

You say you only practise about 10 characters a day, so do I, but I still need more than a page. I make them quite big and leave room for annotations, and add characters with similar pronunciation or opposite meanings, or anything else around that character that I may find useful, so I always end up with several pages.

post-51349-0-10104000-1386202997_thumb.jpg

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