My 7-year-old computer died on me a few days ago. *sob* Ah well, not to worry, now I have a new super speedy one and am learning how to use Windows 7. I realise just how much I've got out of the habit of keeping up with tech stuff.
Anyway here's the thing, I now find that when I use the Chinese Pod website, the Chinese font displayed onscreen looks pretty ugly, not pleasant to read I think, (see below.)
I'm assuming this is because the English version of Windows 7 I have installed does not have the same Chinese fonts as the all Chinese version of XP I used to run. Is that right?
Anyway what's the solution, does anyone know where to download or otherwise acquire the right font(s), or am I barking up the wrong tree?
SF_RachelJuly 29, 2012, 12:49 AM
It's possible your whole system doesn't have the fonts as you've guessed, but first have you just checked the display settings in your browser? I know I was unhappy with the way Chinese Characters displayed on the web until I monkeyed with the browser settings and got away from the defaults.
In Firefox it's under Tools / Options then the "Content" tab. Can't speak for other browsers.
It seems the most common Chinese fonts are in my Windows font folder after all, so pray teach a monkey how to monkey! I normally use Firefox so I'm curious what changes you made to the browser settings, I've just tried adding Chinese as a display language but I don't notice any difference.
SF_Rachel is right. The font display options are located in your browser settings. For firefox:
tools -> options -> content -> fonts and colors (advanced) -> fonts for: simplified/traditional Chinese -> select your preferred font
Google Chrome also has preferred font options under:
advanced settings -> web content -> customize fonts
I have not checked safari and explorer regarding this, but I'm sure they have some similar options available.
Tal, sorry for taking a long time to reply, didn't have Internet yesterday.
Honesty first -- I have no idea what I'm talking about! This is just something that I played around with until I got results I can live with, but I'm not certain I know what worked and what didn't. Hence the "monkeyed around" language. :-)
If you're using Firefox same as me, I can tell you a little about what areas I fiddled with.
1. First just go to Tools in the top menu bar of Firefox, then select "options." A window pops open and there's a strip of options or tabs at the top. Make sure you're on the "content" tab. Around the middle of the window, there should be a section for "fonts and colors." If you click on the "default font" drop down menu, all the fonts available to your system come up and you can choose one you like. Click OK to make the window go away.
This may be enough (it seems to fix my ChinesePod page display -- but it doesn't work on all webpages). If you find that this doesn't do enough to fix your fonts, you'll have to get into the advanced options like Justin said above. Again, Tools > Options (Content Tab). Now select the button that says "Advanced" next to the font dropdown that you selected before. This will open another new window. At the top of the window there's a drop down menu labeled "Fonts for" and you'll want to select Chinese (simplified or traditional, whatever you like here). Now you'll be able to select specific fonts for any webpage text that's specifically encoded as Chinese in a variety of context. I don't know what it all means, so I just selected my favorite Chinese font for every single option.
I can't say this is the best way to slay the font dragon -- I still don't love my display, though a lot of that has to do with text size. (To get my Chinese text big enough for me to clearly distinguish, I have to set the font size pretty big, which tends to really mess up pages with a mix of Chinese and Western text.
Thanks Justin, and thanks Rachel, you had my hopes up for a minute or two there, but so far however I 'monkey' with the settings you mention, I cannot get nice-looking fonts on CPod. (By this I mean the Chinese text which appears on dialog, vocab, and expansion tabs.) The ugly font I posted an image of above always comes back.
The changes I make definitely have some effect, because if I choose Simsun (and uncheck "Allow pages to choose their own fonts...", then all the non-Chinese text on CPod changes to the Simsun Latin font, but not the Chinese text which just looks same as before. *sigh*
Maybe I sahould have just chosen a Chinese installation of Windows 7 after all. Anyway thanks guys.
Hi Tal. Did you try Rachel's FIRST suggestion? I'd also tried messing around (I think that's the technical term) with the advanced settings and changing the fonts under Chinese and like you had no effect at all. This time I changed the default on the main "content" tab（without going into the to the advanced settings) to 宋体 and all is well.
Hope you get the problem solved. I know how frustrating it is. The alternative would be to use a different browser. This seems to be a firefox problem rather than an issue with which language of windows you're using.
Hi toianw! In fact yes, that's the first thing I did! On the main content tab I have selected Simsun, (which is I believe the default Chinese font's English name.) Result is no change or improvement.
I am using the very latest version of Firefox on Windows 7 btw. You'd think that would mean improvements all round wouldn't you, lol. In theory the language of the windows installation really shouldn't matter I guess, but I can tell you that on my old Chinese XP installation with outdated version of Firefox, the display was absolutely fine. Of course the performance was slow and endlessly annoying. The new Windows 7 (English) installation the speed is great, but the display is awful. No way to get satisfaction it seems!
Hi Tal - Unfortunately I don't have a font called Simsun on my computer so I can't check at my end what happens when I select that. Do you have any fonts with Chinese names (in characters) available from the drop-down menu? The Chinese fonts I have available on my computer are all at the very bottom of the scroll down menu - I didn't have to install anything extra, but that's gotta be worth a try if you can't find any existing fonts with Chinese names. Your screenshots are exactly the same as the problem I've just solved so fingers crossed, that will work.
Also, have you tried a different browser to confirm this is a firefox issue?
Anyway, good luck. I wish I could help more.
I'm using an English version of Windows of course too (mine is Vista) but I'm increasingly convinced it must be something configurable in the browser that just hasn't been set up for multi-language use yet. I would be surprised if it's the OS.
I've put some screenshots showing details of my Firefox setup on Google Drive (aka Google Docs) and you can view it here. Hope it helps.
Hi toianw! I'm pretty sure Simsun is the same as your 宋体, it's just the English name for it. There are no fonts with all Chinese names on the drop down menu in Firefox.
Hmm... trying a different browser is a good idea. That's what I'll do next.
Sorry, that occurred to me but I can never remember who's in China and who's not. If you like, you could DM me with your email address and I will send you the same info in an MS Word doc tomorrow (toddling off for sleep now).
On the note of font choices, I tend to think of SimSun (sometimes N SimSun) as a sort of lowest-common-denominator font. On the good side, it works; on the bad side, for some characters in certain weights it looks so gnarly that I wonder if something is wrong with my display. Variations of HeiTi and FangSong are both usually included with Windows and I think are usually better. I like KaiTi, which is also included in various forms but some people avoid since it's got a more hand-written look and can be harder to read.
Hey it does work. I was not having any success either until I realized you have to re-launch Firefox after making the changes. I sent you Rachels screen shots as a pdf. If you change the first screen under content the advanced settings change themselves it seems.
Thank you Rachel.
actually I now can toggle between fonts instantly too, but the first time I had to re-start the browser. It must have been the addition of Chinese as a web option or something more fundamental that required the re-start, thereby enabling the font changes. Poor Tal is still without satisfaction however and I am at a loss to figure that one out, so computers do remain fickle beasts at best.
呵呵，RJ is right. I have most carefully applied the advised steps, and I know that something has happened when I see all the non-Chinese characters used on CPod change size and shape, but the Chinese ones stubbornly refuse to change and remain as ugly as above. It's deeply puzzling. Never mind.
The good news is that in Internet Explorer I have no problem, I googled how to set the font and Simsun shows up nice and clear. Perhaps I'll just go back to using IE (for the first time in many years,) for CPod at least! *sigh*
KethJuly 29, 2012, 05:33 AM
I also am interested in Chinese Fonts. I have Windows XP. If I type “ne” I get 疒 . If I then highlight it and go to format>Asian Layout>Phonetic Guide it gives me the Pinyin 疒(bìng)。
However if I go to this web site
http://www.words-chinese.com/pinyin-converter/ If you type "ne" you get 疒 with nè above it. So I think they must use different font than that installed in Windows XP.
Another peculiarity. 不 is normally a 4th tone in Chinese , however it can be a 2ndtone sometimes. In Word it defaults to 2nd tone. In the Phonetic Guide it says it uses RUBY Text. Now I can delete the bu2 in its box but it wont allow me to type /paste anything else in there. Is there anyway of changing Ruby Text to some other Unicode? Or is there a way of changing the Pinyin so that you can control what tone it shows by inputting something else?
Thanks in anticipation of an answer.