Teaching and Learning with Technology

Computing With Accents and Foreign Scripts

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Install Fonts

Although Windows comes with a wide variety of Web fonts, you may sometimes wish to install additional fonts, especially for working with ancient languages or undersupported minority languages.

Page Content

  1. Classification of Fonts
  2. Some Font Links
  3. Downloading and Installation
  4. Using Unicode Font
  5. Using Print Font

Classification of Fonts

In terms of an operating system, a font can come in several varieties:


  1. Unicode - Complies with Unicode encoding and ideal for Web viewing. If you need to type with this font, you would have to install a separate keyboard utility.
  2. Encoded - Complies with a specific encoding scheme and is also designed for Web viewing. A keyboard utility would also be needed for typing.
  3. Print Font - Encoded as ASCII/Latin 1, but with special characters replacing English letters. The Symbol Greek letter font is a print font. No special keyboard utilities are needed, but they should only be used in Word, P D F or any document meant to be printed.

Note: For some undersupported languages, you may need to install both a Unicode font and a Print font.

Print Quality

  1. TrueType (.ttf) - Most freeware and share fonts are TrueType. These fonts are designed to be printable at any font size.
  2. OpenType (.otf) - A new standard from Adobe which supports Unicode and the high-quality typographical capabilities of Postscript. Open Type is preferred for scripts in which letter forms change depending on its position within a word. However, only TrueType fonts may be available for some scripts, and these fonts are often sufficient for most applications.
  3. Postscript - Higher quality fonts designed for professional desktop publishing. These are usually available only from commercial foundries like Adobe. TrueType fonts are sufficient for most applications.
    Note: Newer OpenType fonts can substitute for Postscript fonts.
  4. Bitmapped - Older fonts designed for monitors. They are usually available in only a fewe fixed font sizes. Some older freeware fonts are bitmapped. They are fonts suitable for viewing Web sites, but may not work well for print. These should be avoided in most cases.

Licensing Terms

To determine the license for a font, you should read the Web page or the "Read Me" file.

  1. Freeware - Fonts which can be used for free. Some licenses restrict free usage to educational or personal use only. Other licenses allow you to distribute font packages to students, but not to sell it for a profit.
  2. Shareware - Low-cost fonts available on the Web. Some allow you to download it for free, but you are obligated to pay a fee if you decide to use it permanently.
  3. Commercial - You must pay a license before you can download the font.

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Some Font Links

The following fonts are available to support additional characters not available in the default system fonts. All fonts are free for commercial use and can be installed on both Windows and Mac OS X except where noted. System 9 does not fully support Unicode fonts.

These sites list sources for different fonts by script. A Google search is also recommended for specific scripts.

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Downloading and Installation

  1. Quit all applications except for your Web browser before downloading a Web file.
  2. Most Web sites package the font in a single .zip file for downloading. Click on the "Download" or the ".zip" link to download the file onto your machine.
  3. Use a unzip utility such as WinZip to extract the font files.
  4. In the fonts folder, read the "ReadMe" file for any licensing or technical information.


Install all .ttf or .otf files. To install fonts you can use one of the options below.
Note: Admin level access is required for for these operations.

  1. Go to the Fonts section of Control Panels.
    Note: Entering "Fonts" into the search field may be the quickest way to access this.
  2. Open the font file and click the Install button on top.
  3. Place files in the folder C:\WINDOWS\Fonts\.
    Note: This folder may be hidden, but can be unhidden following instructions below.

Unhide the Fonts Folder

The fonts folder may be hidden by default. To reveal hidden folders.

  1. Go to the Control Panel.
  2. Select Appearences and Themes then Folder Options.
  3. In the Folder Options window, select the View tab
  4. Check the option for "Show hidden files, folders and drives".

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Using a Unicode or Encoded Font

For Web Viewing

Go to a Web site which uses your script and is encoded as Unicode and make sure the script is visible. If necessary, adjust your browser settings so that the right script is matched with the right font.

Instructions for adjusting browsers

Unicode Test Pages

The following Web sites show Unicode with a number of different scripts. Some pages may take time time to download and process.

Results will vary. Some scripts such as Greek and Cyrillic are well supported, others such as Armenian and phonetic symbols have lesser support, and some such as Runic and Cherokee have little to no support.

For Printing

To insert individual characters into a document, use the CharMap utility. Select the font you installed and scroll down to the individual script block to find the appropriate character.

To type an entire text, you will need to either:

  1. install a print font
  2. purchase a text editor designed for that script
  3. install a third-party keyboard utility for that script.

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Using a Print Font

Once the font is installed, it can be used with Word, WordPerfect, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign or any product where content is designed for print.

If the content needs to be placed on the Web and you only have print font available, try converting the file to P D F.

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 28-Mar-2017 15:23:57 EDT