Although modern Vietnamese is written in the Roman alphabet, it inclludes many additional accents for marking tones and requires special font and keyboard support separate from languages like Spanish and French. It also has a number of accented vowels to mark tones, so requires about the same level of complexity to support as other East Asian languages.
Note: Charaters specific to Vietnamese are in the Latin Extended B block. Any font supporting this block supports Vietnamese.
Please note which fonts are needed for each platform before viewing instructions to configure your browsers in the Preferences or Tools menu. Most browsers are recommended, but older browsers like Netscape 4.7 may need more adjustments.
These freeware fonts include Vietnamese extensions. Many fonts with extended Latin character sets may also support Vietnamese.
Browsers which fully support Unicode are strongly recommended. Click link in list to view configuration instructions. You will be asked to match a script with a font.
NOTE: The following test Web sites were selected randomly. They are in no way endorsed or critiqued by Penn State.
Test Web Site - www.tti-us.com/uvn/products.htm (Commercial Vietnamese Fonts)
If you have your browser configured correctly, the Web sites above should display Vietnamese letters.
Manually Switch Encoding
If you see some unusual letters instead of the appropriate Turkish letters, you will need to manually switch from Western encoding to one of the Turkish encodings or Unicode under the View menu of your browser.
In order to integrate foreign scripts into your computer, you must set up "keyboard" or input utilities in your operating system. These utilities will allow you to switch between typing English and other languages in word processors and Web tools. This process will also make sure the correct fonts are installed and available on your operating system.
See instructions for Setting up Keyboards for details.
Microsoft provides a variety of free keyboard utlities, but they must be installed from the disk, then activated from the Regional Control Panel.
Student Computing Labs - The utilities are installed in the University Park Student Computing Labs, but students must install the utlities by going to the Start menu then International Language Support » Microsoft » Office Microsoft Office Asian Character Input Support.
Home Computers - Several Asian and Middle Eastern keyboards are available in Windows, but you may have to install it from the Windows System disk because it is a complex script. After that you can activate the keyboards from the Regional Control Panel.
See Windows East Asian Keyboards for detailed instructions with screen captures.
Once the keyboards have been installed, they must be activated in the Regional Control Panel. Read the summary instructions below or go to Windows East Asian Keyboards for detailed instructions with screen captures.
You can also use the Character Map to insert the characters you need.
If you are working with a Unicode aware application such as Microsoft Office 2004, Text Edit (free with OS X ), Dreamweaver or Mozilla Composer you can activate the Macintosh keyboard for Vietnamese.
See Greisser Software Vietnamese Fonts on a Macintosh for details.
For print work, there are a number of freeware and shareware fonts for Vietnamese. You can check the Summer Institute for Linguistics Fonts in Cyberspace for more details.
For the Web, you can use the Unicode numeric codes for Vietnamese.
If you are not familiar with any of the Vietnamese keyboard utilities, you may use the steps below to insert the Dong. Below are the codes for typing a Dong currency sign in different platforms.
|Windows||Within Microsoft Office, you can input Alt+8363. If this code does not work, then use the Character Map (the character is in the Currency block). If neccessary, switch the font to a Korean font or Arial Unicode MS.|
|Macintosh||Activate the Unicode Hex Input keyboard, then input Option+20AB. The font may switch to a Korean font or Lucida Grande.|
|HTML||Use the code ₫ or ₫ to insert a Dong symbol. See details on the Unicode Entity code page. Information about other HTML codes for Vietnamese is listed below.|
These are the codes which allow browsers and screen readers to process data as the appropriate language. All letters in codes are lower case. If you are creating a new page, Unicode is recommended since it will also allow for support of other Asian languages on the same page.
See Using Encoding and Language Codes for more information on the meaning and implementation of these codes.
One option is to use Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression or other Web editor and change the keyboard to the correct script. This will allow you to type content in directly with the appropriate script. However, it is important to verify that the correct encoding is specified in the Web page header.
Another option is to compose the basic text in an international or foreign language text editor or word processor and export the content as an HTML or text file with the appropriate encoding. This file could be opened in another HTML editor such as Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression, and edited for formatting.
For Web tools such as Blogs at Penn State, Facebook, Twitter, del.icio.us, Flicker, and others, users can typically change the keyboard and input text. In most cases, this content will be encoded as Unicode.
Computers process text by assuming a certain encoding or a system of matching electronic data with visual text characters. Whenever you develop a Web site you need to make sure the proper encoding is specified in the header tags; otherwise the browser may default to U.S. settings and not display the text properly.
To declare an encoding, insert or inspect the following meta-tag at the top of your HTML file, then replace "???" with one of the encoding codes listed above. If you are not sure, use utf-8 as the encoding.
Generic Encoding Template
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=??? ">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8 ">
The final close slash must be included after the final quote mark in the encoding header tag if you are using XHTML
Declare Unicode in XHTML
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
If no encoding is declared, then the browser uses the default setting, which in the U.S. is typically Latin-1. In that case many Unicode characters could be displayed incorrectly. Also, older browsers such as Netscape 4.7 may not be able to process the entity codes correctly without the "utf-8" declaration.
Language tags are also suggested so that search engines and screen readers parse the language of a page. These are metadata tags which indicate the language of a page, not devices to trigger translation. Visit the Language Tag page to view information on where to insert it.
See the Viet Unicode Chart for the specific codes. Note that codes are given in hexadecimal format, so require the &#x notation. For instance the Unicode value for a with breve and hook (Ẳ) is 1EB2. Therefore the entity code would be Ẳ.
Be sure the appropriate Encodings and Language Tags are used.
Last Modified: Wednesday, 19-Dec-2012 17:22:58 EST