Furigana vs. Google Docs

I’ve been studying with a delightful tutor for a while, and for the past couple of lessons my homework was writing short essays. The tutor also provided me with a sample essay; writing the essay wasn’t that hard, but I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand the sample essay. Even the very first sentence, which was:


Embarrassed, I tried running it through Google Translate, which couldn’t make heads or tails of it either. It was doubly embarrassing because the essay was completely in hiragana (…this is where I should’ve suspected). In class, I asked the tutor to help me figure it out, and we started reading it together. Confused, my tutor read the first sentence quite differently… a screen share solved the mystery - when opened in Word, that sentence in the essay reads:


That’s right; GMail’s preview, which uses Google Docs to preview Word files, when encountering fuirgana, just annihilates both the kanji and the furigana. Thankfully, once you know this is the problem, you can just use an online pdf converter to get the full text.

Since I use Google Docs as my notebook (works great for sharing my homework with the tutor ahead of time, especially as I’m skipping the whole handwriting topic), it would be nice if it did support furigana. My workaround is to just use kanji directly, and use Yomichan as “on-demand furigana” (works nicely with google docs).

Hopefully this helps someone out. Any other tips for furigana outside of Word and HTML?


That’s crazy. You should report this as a bug to Google. Maybe they’ll fix it.


Yep, reported it.


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