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How to Avoid Japanese Characters in Your Code!

How to Avoid Japanese Characters in Your Code!

The Problem - Do not mix = with =

If you are working with Japanese in your code, you might have encountered a bug where you are using a "wrong" equal sign or semi-colon.

For example, I had height=100 instead of height=100 in my code which caused a bug.

Surprisingly hard to spot with the naked eye! 😅

Unicode Ranges for Japanese Characters

5 Unicode ranges encompass Japanese characters.
These ranges are:

  • Japanese-style Punctuation ( 3000 - 303f)
  • Hiragana ( 3040 - 309f)
  • Katakana ( 30a0 - 30ff)
  • Full-Width Roman Characters and Half-Width Katakana ( ff00 - ffef)
  • CJK Unified Ideographs Common and Uncommon Kanji ( 4e00 - 9faf)

The Solution - Use the Highlight Bad Chars Extension

The Highlight Bad Chars extension allows you to highlight any Unicode characters you want in the VS Code editor.
Natively, it highlights some bad characters, such as the No-break space () and the Greek question mark (;).

I added the Japanese Unicode ranges to the highlight-bad-chars.additionalUnicodeChars setting to see when I have Japanese characters in my code clearly.

VS Code Settings

⚡ I recommend configuring the Japanese character highlighting setup as VS Code's Workspace settings so that it is only applied to specific projects.

First, install the Highlight Bad Chars extension.

Then, append the following to your VS Code Workspace settings file (.vscode/settings.json).

{
  "highlight-bad-chars.additionalUnicodeChars": [ "\u3000", "\u3001", "\u3002", "\u3003", "\u3004", "\u3005", "\u3006", "\u3007", "\u3008", "\u3009", "\u300a", "\u300b", "\u300c", "\u300d", "\u300e", "\u300f", "\u3010", "\u3011", "\u3012", "\u3013", "\u3014", "\u3015", "\u3016", "\u3017", "\u3018", "\u3019", "\u301a", "\u301b", "\u301c", "\u301d", "\u301e", "\u301f", "\u3020", "\u3021", "\u3022", "\u3023", "\u3024", "\u3025", "\u3026", "\u3027", "\u3028", "\u3029", "\u302a", "\u302b", "\u302c", "\u302d", "\u302e", "\u302f", "\u3030", "\u3031", "\u3032", "\u3033", "\u3034", "\u3035", "\u3036", "\u3037", "\u3038", "\u3039", "\u303a", "\u303b", "\u303c", "\u303d", "\u303e", "\u303f", "\u3040", "\u3041", "\u3042", "\u3043", "\u3044", "\u3045", "\u3046", "\u3047", "\u3048", "\u3049", "\u304a", "\u304b", "\u304c", "\u304d", "\u304e", "\u304f", "\u3050", "\u3051", "\u3052", "\u3053", "\u3054", "\u3055", "\u3056", "\u3057", "\u3058", "\u3059", "\u305a", "\u305b", "\u305c", "\u305d", "\u305e", "\u305f", "\u3060", "\u3061", "\u3062", "\u3063", "\u3064", "\u3065", "\u3066", "\u3067", "\u3068", "\u3069", "\u306a", "\u306b", "\u306c", "\u306d", "\u306e", "\u306f", "\u3070", "\u3071", "\u3072", "\u3073", "\u3074", "\u3075", "\u3076", "\u3077", "\u3078", "\u3079", "\u307a", "\u307b", "\u307c", "\u307d", "\u307e", "\u307f", "\u3080", "\u3081", "\u3082", "\u3083", "\u3084", "\u3085", "\u3086", "\u3087", "\u3088", "\u3089", "\u308a", "\u308b", "\u308c", "\u308d", "\u308e", "\u308f", "\u3090", "\u3091", "\u3092", "\u3093", "\u3094", "\u3095", "\u3096", "\u3097", "\u3098", "\u3099", "\u309a", "\u309b", "\u309c", "\u309d", "\u309e", "\u309f", "\u30a0", "\u30a1", "\u30a2", "\u30a3", "\u30a4", "\u30a5", "\u30a6", "\u30a7", "\u30a8", "\u30a9", "\u30aa", "\u30ab", "\u30ac", "\u30ad", "\u30ae", "\u30af", "\u30b0", "\u30b1", "\u30b2", "\u30b3", "\u30b4", "\u30b5", "\u30b6", "\u30b7", "\u30b8", "\u30b9", "\u30ba", "\u30bb", "\u30bc", "\u30bd", "\u30be", "\u30bf", "\u30c0", "\u30c1", "\u30c2", "\u30c3", "\u30c4", "\u30c5", "\u30c6", "\u30c7", "\u30c8", "\u30c9", "\u30ca", "\u30cb", "\u30cc", "\u30cd", "\u30ce", "\u30cf", "\u30d0", "\u30d1", "\u30d2", "\u30d3", "\u30d4", "\u30d5", "\u30d6", "\u30d7", "\u30d8", "\u30d9", "\u30da", "\u30db", "\u30dc", "\u30dd", "\u30de", "\u30df", "\u30e0", "\u30e1", "\u30e2", "\u30e3", "\u30e4", "\u30e5", "\u30e6", "\u30e7", "\u30e8", "\u30e9", "\u30ea", "\u30eb", "\u30ec", "\u30ed", "\u30ee", "\u30ef", "\u30f0", "\u30f1", "\u30f2", "\u30f3", "\u30f4", "\u30f5", "\u30f6", "\u30f7", "\u30f8", "\u30f9", "\u30fa", "\u30fb", "\u30fc", "\u30fd", "\u30fe", "\u30ff", "\uff00", "\uff01", "\uff02", "\uff03", "\uff04", "\uff05", "\uff06", "\uff07", "\uff08", "\uff09", "\uff0a", "\uff0b", "\uff0c", "\uff0d", "\uff0e", "\uff0f", "\uff10", "\uff11", "\uff12", "\uff13", "\uff14", "\uff15", "\uff16", "\uff17", "\uff18", "\uff19", "\uff1a", "\uff1b", "\uff1c", "\uff1d", "\uff1e", "\uff1f", "\uff20", "\uff21", "\uff22", "\uff23", "\uff24", "\uff25", "\uff26", "\uff27", "\uff28", "\uff29", "\uff2a", "\uff2b", "\uff2c", "\uff2d", "\uff2e", "\uff2f", "\uff30", "\uff31", "\uff32", "\uff33", "\uff34", "\uff35", "\uff36", "\uff37", "\uff38", "\uff39", "\uff3a", "\uff3b", "\uff3c", "\uff3d", "\uff3e", "\uff3f", "\uff40", "\uff41", "\uff42", "\uff43", "\uff44", "\uff45", "\uff46", "\uff47", "\uff48", "\uff49", "\uff4a", "\uff4b", "\uff4c", "\uff4d", "\uff4e", "\uff4f", "\uff50", "\uff51", "\uff52", "\uff53", "\uff54", "\uff55", "\uff56", "\uff57", "\uff58", "\uff59", "\uff5a", "\uff5b", "\uff5c", "\uff5d", "\uff5e", "\uff5f", "\uff60", "\uff61", "\uff62", "\uff63", "\uff64", "\uff65", "\uff66", "\uff67", "\uff68", "\uff69", "\uff6a", "\uff6b", "\uff6c", "\uff6d", "\uff6e", "\uff6f", "\uff70", "\uff71", "\uff72", "\uff73", "\uff74", "\uff75", "\uff76", "\uff77", "\uff78", "\uff79", "\uff7a", "\uff7b", "\uff7c", "\uff7d", "\uff7e", "\uff7f", "\uff80", "\uff81", "\uff82", "\uff83", "\uff84", "\uff85", "\uff86", "\uff87", "\uff88", "\uff89", "\uff8a", "\uff8b", "\uff8c", "\uff8d", "\uff8e", "\uff8f", "\uff90", "\uff91", "\uff92", "\uff93", "\uff94", "\uff95", "\uff96", "\uff97", "\uff98", "\uff99", "\uff9a", "\uff9b", "\uff9c", "\uff9d", "\uff9e", "\uff9f", "\uffa0", "\uffa1", "\uffa2", "\uffa3", "\uffa4", "\uffa5", "\uffa6", "\uffa7", "\uffa8", "\uffa9", "\uffaa", "\uffab", "\uffac", "\uffad", "\uffae", "\uffaf", "\uffb0", "\uffb1", "\uffb2", "\uffb3", "\uffb4", "\uffb5", "\uffb6", "\uffb7", "\uffb8", "\uffb9", "\uffba", "\uffbb", "\uffbc", "\uffbd", "\uffbe", "\uffbf", "\uffc0", "\uffc1", "\uffc2", "\uffc3", "\uffc4", "\uffc5", "\uffc6", "\uffc7", "\uffc8", "\uffc9", "\uffca", "\uffcb", "\uffcc", "\uffcd", "\uffce", "\uffcf", "\uffd0", "\uffd1", "\uffd2", "\uffd3", "\uffd4", "\uffd5", "\uffd6", "\uffd7", "\uffd8", "\uffd9", "\uffda", "\uffdb", "\uffdc", "\uffdd", "\uffde", "\uffdf", "\uffe0", "\uffe1", "\uffe2", "\uffe3", "\uffe4", "\uffe5", "\uffe6", "\uffe7", "\uffe8", "\uffe9", "\uffea", "\uffeb", "\uffec", "\uffed", "\uffee", "\uffef"
  ]
}
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Then all the Japanese characters will be highlighted in your VS Code editor.

Test

Copy the following text to your VS Code editor to verify that the Japanese characters are highlighted.

|   | 、 | 。 | 〃 | 〄 | 々 | 〆 | 〇 | 〈 | 〉 | 《 | 》 | 「 | 」 | 『 | 』 |
| 【 | 】 | 〒 | 〓 | 〔 | 〕 | 〖 | 〗 | 〘 | 〙 | 〚 | 〛 | 〜 | 〝 | 〞 | 〟 |
| 〠 | 〡 | 〢 | 〣 | 〤 | 〥 | 〦 | 〧 | 〨 | 〩 | 〪 | 〫 | 〬 | 〭 | 〮 | 〯 |
| 〰 | 〱 | 〲 | 〳 | 〴 | 〵 | 〶 | 〷 | 〸 | 〹 | 〺 | 〻 | 〼 | 〽 | 〾 | 〿 |
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Hope this prevents you from making the same mistake I did! 😄

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