Little Boxes, Little Boxes
December 27, 2007 8:52 AM   Subscribe

How can I get Japanese characters to show up on webpages, rather than those less-than-helpful little boxes?

To go with last week's question about learning languages, I'd like to be able to to look at Japanese websites and actually see a kana or two. Instead I get silly little boxes. Can someone let me know the easy way to install the Language Pack (or fonts)? I'm running XP and IE7 (for shame, I know.)
posted by santojulieta to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This is how I did it in XP last year when I couldn't take the little boxes anymore either:

start/control panel/date, time, language and regional options/add other languages/ then click on 'install files for East Asian languages' then click apply/OK.
posted by iconomy at 9:01 AM on December 27, 2007

You will probably need the XP CD to install the fonts.

Go to your Control Panel (Start -> Settings -> Control Panel), choose "Regional and Language Options", click on the "Languages" tab, and put a checkmark in "Install files for East Asian languages". This will install the appropriate fonts for Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

When viewing a webpage with Japanese characters, IE should auto-detect the encoding and display the page properly. If not, you can try manually setting the encoding through the "View" menu, under "Encoding". You could try the various japanese encodings and perhaps the Unicode UTF-8 one as well.
posted by splice at 9:02 AM on December 27, 2007

How crazy, I just re-installed my Japanese fonts on my laptop.

Here's what I did. See if it works for you.

1) If you have XP, then you might already have Japanese-language capabilities installed. Go to Control Panel.
2) Click "Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options."
3) Click "Add other languages."
4) Check the "Install files for East Asian languages" box.
5) Hit "Apply." Windows will fuss at you about the language stuff taking up space. Agree.
6) It will tell you to restart. Do so, and Japanese fonts (should) appear on websites after start-up!

I hope this helps. :)
posted by ElectricBlue at 9:05 AM on December 27, 2007

if pages still appear whacked out after the fonts are installed, the View -> Encoding menu in IE7 is your friend, since there are several different encodings for Japanese that don't always get auto selected. Just poke around until one works.

If you're serious about looking at Japanese websites, though, you should d/l firefox and get the rikaichan extension. It's phenomenal.
posted by kickback at 9:18 AM on December 27, 2007

Response by poster: Aaah. What a relief! Thanks!
posted by santojulieta at 9:19 AM on December 27, 2007

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