Vertical writing application for the internet age: does it exist?

Hey everyone,

I’m currently taking a stab at creative writing in Japanese, and I’m wondering whether anyone has some tips or insights into how to align your writing vertically in an application that allows for easy sharing over the web?

Ideally I would like to simply set up a Google Doc or a Notion page to layout the text vertically, but I haven’t seen any successful attempts at this so far.

Do you know of any applications that allows for both writing in a vertical style and sharing easily?

To be clear, I’m not considering “saving to a file and uploading the file somewhere” an “easy” solution, even though it might be the most obvious answer.

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There was one I tried a few years ago. I’m trying to see if I can find it. I don’t remember the name, and I don’t know if it still exists. I’ll look through my old notes and see if I saved a link

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It’s easy with MS Word which I use all the time (don’t know if you have it). Just use Layout → Text Direction.

image for how it looks

I think though in LibreOffice (free text editor) it works virtually the same!

Hope this helps.

Edit: And, I think .docx files can be shared easily and can be opened by almost everyone or alternatively you can export it as a pdf in both of those, as well.

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I can’t find it. The note must have been caught in a purge. It was a web based vertical writing app with a nice interface, and sharing via secret links. I can’t find it via google search, so It may be gone. It has been quite a while

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FWIW, browsers these days support vertical text quite well, you just don’t see it used on the web very often (presumably because it was unsupported for so long). I recently converted a Japanese ePUB to HTML for easier reading with Yomichan, and I was able to trivially set some CSS to make the text flow top-to-bottom, left-to-write. So, if you want to share over the web, shouldn’t be an issue.

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For all of the issues I have with formatting in HTML/CSS (looking at you, ruby text), verticle writing is surprisingly easy. I almost want more excuses to use it because of how easy it is to do.

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I was actually gonna ask about this. Thanks for reading my mind!

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Save to OneDrive, then open online in web browser doesn’t appear to work. (I don’t have 365 yet, so I can’t test that.)

Dropbox and Microsoft Word should an option. Not sure about OneDrive.

It can be done via UserScript + Google Doc publishing to web.

// ==UserScript==
// @name         Google Doc Published vertical text
// @namespace    https://docs.google.com
// @version      0.1
// @description  try to take over the world!
// @author       You
// @match        https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQvdWeTq9vqg-oMJ2trRTPH67bUZp740otaVtZ45XgdT9oP7e0d4_uS1R8uHTngwA/pub
// @icon         https://www.google.com/s2/favicons?sz=64&domain=docs.google.com
// @grant        none
// ==/UserScript==

(function () {
  "use strict";

  document.head.appendChild(css(`
  .doc-content {
    display: flex;
    flex-direction: row-reverse;
    justify-content: flex-end;
    height: calc(100vh - 100px);
    width: 100%;
    column-gap: 0.5em;
  }
  .doc-content p {
    width: 100%;
    text-align: left;
  }
  .doc-content * {
    writing-mode: vertical-rl;
  }
  `))

  function css(txt) {
    const style = document.createElement("style");
    style.appendChild(document.createTextNode(txt));
    return style;
  }
})();

The publishing button is here. Then, edit @match with the generated URL.

I don’t know that any of these would be better than Microsoft Word if you already have that, but here’s a list of free text editors that support vertical writing on various platforms:

You might also find this blog post on setting up Wordpress for a vertical novel useful:

(specifically, check out the “文章を縦書きで表示できるようにする” section)

Side note: NOT what you were looking for, but this website that converts your typed (horizontal) text onto traditional Japanese “essay” paper is super cute

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