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font-family suitable for Chinese character display

Posted on 2003-11-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
Hi All,

Can anyone tell me the font that I should use in my style sheets to display Chinese (Simplified) characters?  I have them all installed as required and can read them perfectly from other sites.

On Microsoft's (plus many other's) the style sheet contains the following;

     BODY  {font-family: ËÎÌå;}

but what font is ËÎÌå exactly?  Or more to the point, what's the name for it on my system?

I presume I have this font as pages displaying the code appear to render normally?
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Question by:Rouchie
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by:dorward
ID: 9776966
If you have your content type set correctly then the users system should be able to pick a font that includes the characters. Tryuing to select one for them can be risky as different fonts have different versions, and not all include the characters you want.

If you have ËÎÌå on your system then it should be called ËÎÌå

You may or may not have it, the browser could notice that you don't have it and automatically pick a font with the right characters in it.

You should configure your webserver to send the correct character information to make sure browsers can select such a font (assuming they have one with suitable characters installed at all). See also: <http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/chars.html>
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by:Rouchie
ID: 9782930
Nope, definitely don't have ËÎÌå on my system.  

If I don't supply a font name in the style sheet so that the browser automatically chooses a suitable one, is there a danger that where there are still European characters on the page (i.e. a few English words grouped in the page footer or something), the browser will use Times New Roman to render those characters with?
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by:dorward
ID: 9782957
If you don't specify a font, then the user will see the text in whatever font is set for that character set in the users preferences.

I wouldn't consider using Times New Roman a danger if that is what the user has selected (or seen no need to change).
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by:dorward
ID: 10462910
recommendation: Points to me.
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by:seanpowell
ID: 10462951
Thanks for your feedback and collaboration dorward.
Barring any further input, I agree with your recommendation.
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LVL 25

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by:Rouchie
ID: 10467525
dorward, your first answer provided the most help with the link, but the answer wasn't contained within the recommended web page.

The solution to the problem was to use the <CHARSET> HTML header to enable the browser to automatically choose a font that contained all the necessary glyphs.  As a secondary measure, including a font such as Arial Unicode MS in the style sheet (which contains all Simplified Chinese characters) provided the necessary backup mechanism in case of error.

I believe ËÎÌå was Notepad's interpretation of a font that was originally named using Chinese glyphs (i.e. a true Chinese font), but because Notepad wasn't using Arial Unicode MS (or compatible font) to display the HTML, the font name wasn't displayed correctly when I was viewing the code.

Anyway, for anyone else that is suffering this problem in the future, the following two sites provide the bare-bones essentials to what's required, with everything you need to get it working and none of the confusing extras concerning the language backgrounds and byte code variations etc etc etc:

http://www.chinesecomputing.com/internet/web.html
http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/97/48/index1a.html?tw=design

Thanks for your help though.  seanpowell, I'm not sure whether points are awarded when the correct answer isn't provided, but I believe the question shouldn't be deleted as I'm sure plenty of other designers will encounter these issues.  If dorward needs to get the points for it to stay, so be it....   :-)

Cheers Guys.
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by:dorward
ID: 10467567
The charset http header, you mean the charset section of the content type header?

From my site: Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1

Quote from my comment: "have your content type set correctly"
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by:Rouchie
ID: 10467658
Ah yes I missed that when I read back through, sorry.   The sites I gave links for above explain how that charset process works so it's not always necessary for the user to have zillions of fonts installed.  

Points to you then!  :-)
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dorward earned 75 total points
ID: 10467701
thanks :)
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by:siva_siva
ID: 25206561
WHERE Can i Download that  "ËÎÌå"  Font.
Can any one Tell me the path. Whether its free or PAID. I am so tired by searching it.
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