I'm trying to figure out a way of creating a Japanese character practice sheet. The type that I'm looking to create looks a little like the Genkou Youshi that this question was looking to cover. Except that a Japanese character is inserted into the topmost 4-5 boxes of a row, where the instances of the character after the first are printed in a progressively lighter shade until they have faded away completely.

Here's an example of what I'm looking to create:

enter image description here

Is this possible to do? If so, where should I start? I'm a bit of a beginner to TeX, but am willing to learn.

I'm currently using:

  • TexMaker 3.5
  • TexLive 2011
  • Windows 7 (But I can move over the Debian if needed)
  • This answer from the previously mentioned question.
  • The Japanese character set contains a LOT of Chinese characters, too. – Jamie Taylor May 20 '13 at 11:13

Here you go. My code is a mild extension of this answer by Paul Gaborit.


    \foreach \colname in \colnames{
      \foreach \rowopacity in \rowopacities{
        \draw ({(\thecol-1)*\inc pt},{\therow*\size})
        rectangle ++ (\size,\size);
        \node[text=black!\rowopacity] at ({(\thecol-1)*\inc+\size*0.5 pt},{\therow*\size+\size*0.5}) {\colname};

Comments on the code

  • The list 100,66,33,0,0,0,0,0,0,0 gives the opacity of each row -- 0 is transparent, and 100 is completely black. The length of that list gives the number of rows, hence the 0 fillers at the end.

  • The list a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k gives the character you want in each column.

  • The 8mm is the height and width of each cell, and the 2mm is the size of the gap between columns

  • The notation black!40 gives a colour that is 40% black and 60% white.

  • Each letter is centred horizontally and vertically in its cell, which is why the g looks a bit high and the d looks a bit low. If you don't like this, change {\colname} on line 20 to {\strut\colname}.


enter image description here

  • Wow! This is exactly what I'm looking for, thanks. Wish me luck in deciphering/understanding the code – Jamie Taylor May 20 '13 at 11:16
  • 1
    Good luck! (I added a few explanatory comments.) – John Wickerson May 20 '13 at 12:39

I found a suitable basis in How to color the font of a single row in a table?


\begin{tabu}{ |l|l| l| l| l| } \hline
\rowfont{\color{gray!90}}    0   & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 \\  \hline
\rowfont{\color{gray!80}}        1   & A & B & C & D \\ \hline
\rowfont{\color{gray!70}}        2   & A & B & C & D \\ \hline
\rowfont{\color{gray!60}}        3   & A & B & C & D \\ \hline
\rowfont{\color{gray!50}}        4   & A & B & C & D \\ \hline
\rowfont{\color{gray!40}}        5   & A & B & C & D \\ \hline
\rowfont{\color{gray!30}}        6   & A & B & C & D \\ \hline
\rowfont{\color{gray!20}}        7   & A & B & C & D \\ \hline
\rowfont{\color{gray!10}}        8   & A & B & C & D \\ \hline


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