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Add Chinese and Japanese Characters to Firefox

 5:18 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm using Firefox 1.0. When I visit Asian sites, their text renders as strings of question marks.
I would like to display the actual characters instead, even if I can't read them.

How can I add those character sets to my FF browser? I see a lot of "big-5" (Chinese) in my logs.
Is there any downside (lost speed or whatever) to doing this? -Larry



 8:07 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I know this sounds simple have you tried changing the encoding of the browser for the website, sometimes Auto Detect doesn't work well mainly because the website fails to give the character encoding. For example for Big5

Click on View -> Character Encoding -> More Encodings -> East Asian -> Chinese Traditional (Big5)


 8:13 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Outrun is right. Encoding for jp always works for me and it should for you as well. there are two options. IF one doesnt work, then just switch to the other one and it should work. The two options are the -JP and -JIS for Japanese language.


 8:18 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Outrun:

I tried View -> Character encoding -> Autodetect & Chinese traditional (big-5) and others.

I just did it again while writing this. It changed the font size of this here Message Body box I'm typing into. It also erased the text so I had to type all this over again.

It looks like it affects outgoing characters.
What I want is to see incoming Chinese ideographs, and not just the ones in images, but text as well.

Forget Japanese for now, I just want Chinese to show properly. Are there any Chinese readers out there successfully using Firefox 1.0 on a windows 9x platform? -Larry


 8:34 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

As an experiment, I tried changing to a Cryllic character set while viewing a Japanese site.
At least I saw SOME change, nonsense characters instead of endless question marks.

Now I'm wondering if I have to download special files with the actual character sets.
Does it make sense that Firefox would automatically include those when sent via a USA ISP? - Larry


 8:38 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I downloaded and installed the fonts - because I needed them for Photoshop. When I did that, all my browsers seemed to have access.


 8:40 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tedster: That's what I wanted to hear!
Did you download them from the Mozilla/FF site?
I crawled all over that looking for extensions etc. with no luck at all.
Can you provide a filename, URL, anything to point me in the right direction? -Larry


 9:47 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

With Mozilla, whenever I visited a site with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc, characters, I was automatically prompted to download the apppropriate "Microsoft Global IME" file. After installation everything works as it should.

This is yet another reason why every web page should include the meta Content-Type declaration in the header.


 10:03 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I may have seen that once or twice long ago, but it isn't happening now.
Can you suggest a site in Chinese that might conjure up that prompt?

I just downloaded a 2MB+ file from Hong Kong, unzipped it, and it wanted to know where to put it.
I left it in the windows\temp folder. Needless to say, it didn't do any good there.

I need something that sets itself up automatically. -Larry


 10:37 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think tedster has it. I installed the Asian fonts when I installed the OS (Win200Pro) and everything picked them up automtically.



 11:44 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ok It thought you were on XP or 2000, you have to install the fonts manually for windows 98:

Simplified Chinese Language Pack [microsoft.com]

Traditional Chinese Language Pack [microsoft.com]

Japanese Language Pack [microsoft.com]


 10:25 pm on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Outrun: I have to thank you, Ted and others for your kind help -but-
I think the problem is right here. I'm still running under Windows-95.
The Windows pack link you provided clearly states W-98 as minimum requirement, no mention of 95.

A lot of my problems should go away once I cut loose with some coins and get an up-to-date
machine with Windows to match.

The Hong-Kong (gov't) site said their pack would work with W-95, but only if I already have
the CHINESE version of W-95 installed! I should have read the directions better. - Larry


 10:38 pm on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Find a copy of Windows 98 SE and upgrade to that on your current machine; add another stick of RAM if you have a few dollars spare too.


 10:53 pm on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

larryhatch you can still install Microsofts Global IME for Windows 95 even though you dont need to input these characters. From the website below just choose the language that includes the language pack, for example for chinese simplied select the option "chinese simplified - with langauge pack"

Microsoft Global IME [microsoft.com]


 11:39 pm on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Outrun: It worked perfectly, just the way you said. You are a gentleman and scholar!

Virtually all the question marks are replaced with genuine Chinese ideographs.
I searched up some Chinese sites using likely sounding words.
The SERPS some up in Chinese. The text is usually a mix of Chinese and western characters,
exactly as intended by the publishers!
One site had a line of large ideographs flashing in red! I guess they haven't read this forum yet.

Now if Chinese friends come visit, they are in for a surprise.
Chinese on a Windows-95 box. Amazing.

I hope some more Chinese SPAM comes in, I wanna see if emails render properly too.
Maybe I could reply, cutting and pasting characters at random.
That would be complete word salad of course, but spammers have no right to complain. -Larry


 4:15 am on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Are you saying that the Global IME on Windows 95 affected Firefox's ability to see CJK characters? I don't have any Win95 machines available, but back when the original IME came out it was only able fix IE's ability to see these characters. Later versions of Windows and the Global IME extended this to other programs, but I remember the Win95 version to be quite limited.


 5:16 am on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Bill: I don't know what you mean by CJK characters. I downloaded the Global IME for Windows 95, and selected "chinese simplified - with langauge pack" just as Outrun suggested.

It worked fine. I have a late model W-95 version I think, just before W-98 came out.

Yes it works AOK with my Firefox 1.0 version. It also appears to work with my Mozilla Thunderclunk
email editor, but I'm waiting for somebody to send some SPAM from China before I'm sure of that.

What I DO know, is that I can now cut and paste Chinese ideographs from some website to a new email I start.

What I can NOT do is paste those same characters into a text file in Notepad. That's too bad. -Larry


 5:28 am on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

CJK characters = Chinese/Japanese/Korean characters.



 6:42 am on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

HI Woz: Thanks, I didn't know that.

I googled up some Japanese sites, and it looks like I can get their characters too!
They switch between Chinese style ideographs and at least 2 'kanas' which are more or less phonetic.

One page was a treat, kana(s), Chinese and the obligatory english terms here and there.
Very colorful. I don't know what they were selling, but they made it look nice.

Korean failed entirely here, even playing with the FF character set settings.
All I wanted was Chinese and maybe Japanese. Looks like I have both. - Larry


 7:01 am on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

larryhatch its seems you only downloaded one of the Global Ime's that is "chinese simplified - with language pack", if you want all CJK sites to function properly you should get all of them that is:

"chinese simplified - with language pack"
"chinese traditional- with language pack"
"Japanese - with language pack"
"Korean - with language pack"

All I wanted was Chinese and maybe Japanese. Looks like I have both. - Larry
because some of the characters are simliar or the same the chinese simplified language pack will pick up some of the Japanese characters.


 8:00 am on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

What I can NOT do is paste those same characters into a text file in Notepad.
I'm not sure if this is possible in Win95's version of NotePad, but in Win2K and XP you can change the font and paste different languages quite easily.

 8:21 am on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

I haven't tried changing fonts in notepad/wordpad yet. I will experiment with that now.

Thanks! -Larry


 6:57 pm on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> What I can NOT do is paste those same characters into a text file in Notepad. <<

Later versions of Wordpad are UTF ("Unicode") aware, not sure about Windows 95 offerings. Is there any way you could "upgrade" to Win 98 SE?


 7:28 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just an update here: I finally got some Chinese Spam email!

(Many thanks again to Outrun who clued me in on the fix with my old W-95 system!)

The characters render nicely, as pretty as the ones on a Chinese restaurant menu.
I can't read them of course, but they look like the real deal. - Larry

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