Glossary

ACP The active code page. Windows NT uses this code page to convert to/from Unicode automatically whenever an application calls one of the A entry points.
Character The simplest element used to represent written languages. Note that the appearance of a character is not constant; the glyph used to display a character depends on the font used as well as the context of surrounding text. See glyph.
Character encoding A one-to-one mapping from a set of characters into a set of numbers, used to represent text in software.
Complex script Scripts that require special processing to display, print, and edit.
Font A collection of glyphs for displaying text in a particular typeface.
Formatted text Text displayed with multiple attributes, such as typeface, slant, weight, and color, and special effects such as shading, underlining, and blinking.
Globalization Designing and implementing software so that it can support all targeted locales and user interface languages without modification to the software source itself. This processing includes enabling for all target languages, and adding NLS support for target locales.
Glyph A graphical representation of a character.
IME Input method editor, used to enter text with large character sets, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
Internationalization See globalization.
Input locale An ordered pair consisting of an input language (LangID) and a method of inputting characters in the language. The method can be a keyboard layout, an IME, or other device provided by a vendor, such as a speech recognition engine.
LangID A 16-bit value that identifies a language. A LangID consists of a primary language, such as Arabic, and a sublanguage, such as Arabic for Saudi Arabia.
Language enabling 1. Adding support to software for document content in a particular language. In this sense, to enable an application for Japanese means to modify the software so that the user can enter, display, edit, and print text containing Japanese. 2. Modifying software so that it can be localized to a particular language. In this sense, enabling for Japanese means to modify software so that it can display Japanese text correctly in menus, dialog boxes, and other user interface elements. Note that in either sense, an enabled product may still have the user interface in English, that is, it may not be localized. Contrast localization.
LCID A 32-bit value that identifies a locale. An LCID consist of a LangID and a sort key ID.
Locale A generic term indicating a set of attributes related to language and other regional/ethnic preferences. Examples include currency symbol, date and time format, calendar type, number formats, default character encoding, and keyboard layouts. Microsoft uses this term in combination with others to specify a subclass of these preferences. See input locale, system locale, and user locale.
Localization to a language Translating the user interface elements from the original language, usually English, to the target language. Contrast enabling.
Logical order The ordering of characters in text corresponding to that when writing by hand, or keying in text using a keyboard. Contrast visual order.
National Language Support (NLS) The set of system functions in 32-bit Windows that contains national language support.
Plain text A string of text to be displayed with one value for each text attribute: one typeface, one slant, and one weight. Contrast formatted text.
Reading order The overall direction of a sequence of text. Whereas words in a given script always flow in the direction associated with that script (left-to-right for Latin, right-to-left for Hebrew), the flow sentence itself depends on the reading order. For example, a mixture of Arabic and English text may be regarded as French embedded in an overall Arabic sentence, implying right-to-left reading order, or as Arabic embedded in French, implying left-to-right reading order.
Rich text See formatted text.
Script A collection of characters for displaying written text, all of which have a common characteristic that justifies their consideration as a distinct set. One script may be used for several different languages (for example, Latin script, which covers all of Western Europe), and some written languages require multiple scripts (for example, Japanese requires at least three scripts: the hiragana and katakana syllabaries, and the Kanji ideographs imported from China). Note that this sense of the word has nothing to do with programming scripts such as Perl or VBScript.
Slant The obliqueness or tilt of the glyphs in a font. The most common slants are regular and italic.
System locale The locale emulated by the system, as seen by applications. For example, if the system locale for U.S. Windows NT 5.0 is set to Hebrew, then ANSI applications will see it as Hebrew localized Windows NT 5.0, although the user interface of the system will still be in English. The system locale is systemwide, in that it applies to all users. Changing the system locale requires a reboot.
Typeface Name given to a particular style of text. In contrast, a font is an implementation of a typeface.
User locale The user default preferences for calendar type, date format, currency, and number format. User locale is a per-user setting, and does not require a reboot or logoff/logon.
Visual order The ordering used to display glyphs on a screen, printed page, or other medium. Usually used with bidirectional text, because reordering is required to go from logical order to visual order. Contrast logical order.
Weight The thickness or darkness of glyphs in a font. The most common weights are regular and bold.
Writing system The collection of scripts and orthography required to represent a given human language in visual media.