Stroke counting

The number of strokes in a kanji is an important thing. When looking one up in the dictionary, you use the stroke count first of the radical, then the total to look it up in the index. Counting the number of strokes is far from easy for me, and sometimes, you fall on cases where the number of strokes seems to change. While looking up the name of some food in my electronic dictionary during my trip, I stumbled on the kanji 煉. My electronic dictionary claims this kanji has 12 strokes, so does the web site mahō, but the unihan database used by UnicodeChecker claims it has 13 strokes and so do the web-site mandarin tools and the character selector of Mac OS X. As this kanji is not a common, I could not find it in my Henshall. But what if I just count the number of strokes? Well it seems it depends on the font:

Ren character (x7149) Hiragino Kaku Baton Pro vs. Hiragino Kaku Baton ProN

The character on the left hand is drawn using Hiragino Kaku Baton Pro and has 12 strokes while the one on the right hand is drawn using Hiragino Kaku Baton ProN and has 13 strokes. So the difference lies in the Pro vs ProN distinction. What does this N mean, I have no idea. Depending on the platform and the browser, the character in the upper right of this post will display with 12 or 13 strokes… So what do you see?

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