Reading Chinese Characters

Popular web browsers for Windows, XP and Mac OSX automatically detect character encoding. No user intervention is required. Other versions of popular operating systems require Unicode fonts and software installation.

Pre-Windows XP

Internet Explorer 5.5 +

  1. From the browser menu, select View : Encoding : More : Unicode (UTF-8).
  2. If your machine does not have the font, Internet Explorer will automatically download the font from Microsoft.
  3. To reset your character encoding, select View : Encoding : More : Western European from the browser menu.

Netscape 4.7 +

  1. Download CyberCJK.ZIP and unzip the file to the Windows : Fonts directory.
  2. From the browser menu, select Edit : Preferences. Under "Appearance," choose "Fonts." Under "Encoding," choose "Unicode."
  3. For both the "Variable Width Font" and the "Fixed Width Font," choose "Arial Unicode MS" and click OK.
  4. From the browser menu, select View : Character Set : Unicode (UTF-8).
  5. To reset your character encoding, select View : Character Set : Western European from the browser menu.

Macintosh OS 9 (All Browsers)

  1. Insert a Mac OS 9 System install CD
  2. Open Software Installers : Language Kits
  3. DoubleClick the Install Language Kits file
  4. Select Traditional and Simplified Chinese language kits
  5. Once installed, restart the computer

Chinese Characters Input

Windows 2000 +

To input Chinese characters, you need a Chinese Text Editor, such as Microsoft's "Input Method Editor" (IME). Global IME for Office XP is also available. Windows Me, Windows 98, Windows 95, and Windows N 4.0, requires a download of the Chinese Language Pack for Global IME from Microsoft.

Word Global IME Setup, pinyin input system

  1. From the Start menu select settings : control panel : regional options : general
  2. Check Simplified and Traditional Chinese forlanguage settings for the syste
  3. Select input locale
  4. Select add
  5. Select China (P.R.C.)
  6. Select Keyboard layout/IME
  7. Select Chinese (Simplified) MS Pinyin
  8. Select ok and reply "yes" at the prompt to restart

Extension "A" Characters

  1. Install Office XP
  2. Install MS Office Proofing Tools
  3. Open a new Word document
  4. The new Chinese language input bar should appear at the top of the page.
  5. In the language toolbar click onE (English) and change to Chinese/PRC.
  6. If IME pad is not visible in the language toolbar generated by Proofing tools, go to the options menu and select IME pad.
  7. Once IME pad is loaded, set the font to TT SimSun Founder Extended from the font menu.
  8. Open the IME Pad and Select the fifth icon on the left toolbar (Character List). Set the input system on the top left toolbar to Unicode.
  9. On the top right menu of the IME Pad, set the font to Simsun (Founder Extended)
  10. Set the middle menu to CJK Compatibility (warning: the first few rows of characters will be empty boxes, scroll down and Locate your character (according to radical)
  11. Double click to enter your text.
  12. Select MSPinyin IME in the top toolbar of your Word document to return to standard pinyin entry.
Installing and using Chinese IME on Windows XP


  1. On the main menu bar, click Start, then Control Panel.
  2. Open the Regional and Language Options option.
  3. Click on the tab marked Languages and check the box marked Install Files for East Asian Languages. Click OK.
  4. You will be prompted to insert the Windows XP installation CD. You may have to restart your computer when installation is complete.

Selecting languages

  1. Repeat steps 1 and 2 above to get back to the Regional and Language Options control panel, then click the Language tab.
    • Click Details.
    • Click Add to add Chinese as an input language.
    • Select Chinese (Taiwan) from the scroll-down menu and Microsoft New Phonetic IME 2002a for the Keyboard layout/IME.

    Chinese (Taiwan) and Microsoft New Phonetic IME 2002a should now appear in the Installed Services field at the bottom half of the screen.

  2. To use Pinyin to input traditional characters,
    • Select “Microsoft New Phonetic IME 2002a” and click the Properties button.
    • Click on the Keyboard Mapping tab and select Hanyu Pinyin.
    • Click OK to apply the changes.


To use your new IME, open a text program such as MSWord and select "CH-Chinese" from the language bar at the bottom of the screen (it should originally be EN as default). Begin typing in Pinyin as normal.

Macintosh OSX

Use the built-in character input system. Check the Help menu for setup and usage guidelines.


Due to the complexity of Chinese character viewing and input on legacy operating systems and browsers you may need to contact your system administrator or help desk consultant for assistance.

Online Information Sources Unicode fonts http://www.alanwood.net/unicode/












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