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How to get Russian text to show?

A client has asked me to put up some Russian text



7:38 pm on Nov 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've gotten my keyboard to type it, but ony in text editors like notepad, wordpad, word (I assume, I use openoffice). Dreamweaver doesn't know what to do with it. Attempting to put a .txt file with russian in it and view it in a browser cuases strange things to happen. I get chars but different ones, and a different number of them.

All of the google info I got was about displaying the text properly, presupposing that it got up properly. I need to know how to put it on the server properly.

Could anyone help me by making a short list of steps to take to get Russian to display properly in a client's browser?

Thanks : )


11:05 pm on Nov 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

try using the right charset.
Choose for example windows-1251 and all your weird characters turn into russian ( i just started my first russian site, so i know :) )


12:11 am on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I can't get the files on the server yet! When I try to user russian chars in Dreamweaver, for ex, they turn into

(bunch of? marks). Which may turn in to Russian in a browser, but on my side of things it is un-editable.

How do you type in your russian?


12:40 am on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you use Windows XP (and maybe Win 2000):

You need to add russian keyboard layout. Besides that you need to change another setting to be able to use cyrillic based fonts in all applications.

Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options -> Advanced [tab]

There is a drop down box:

Select a language to match the language version of the non-Unicode programs you want to use:

Select "Russian" and press OK. Restart.

The reason i said maybe for Win 2000 is because I have never used it and I am not sure if it is the same, but I think it should be the same.

If you use Windows 95, 98 or ME:

You need to get an unitility called cyrwin (i beleive, not sure). It will enable support for cyrillic characters.


3:14 am on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Here's a pretty thorough reference on Cyrillic character sets, including Russian:


I caution you to be wary about "windows-only" solutions...there's a lot of other technology out there. One thing you can be relatively sure of - if the target audience reads Russian, then THEIR browsers will have access to the correct fonts, and know what to do with Russian/Cyrillic charsets.

Also for reference, here is a Macromedia DreamWeaver TechNote:
Using English Dreamweaver to develop non-English pages [macromedia.com].


6:04 am on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There were many issues with encoding back in the day. Now it's pretty much resolved by everyone being able to understand Windows encoding.

These are the encoding of Cyrillic text that you can find on different machines:

  • windows-1251 (MS Windows)
  • KOI8-R (*nix - Russian)
  • KOI8-U (*nix - Ukrainian)
  • ISO
  • DOS

Major problems were always cause by Windows vs. KOI8. Since internet was mainly started by *nix users, most of the texts were written in KOI8. When it was picked up by users, who mostly used MS Windows based systems they wrote in 1251 encoding.

There were many solutions.

One of the most famous ones was to have Windows and KOI versions of the site available with a switch on a splash page where a user can select which encoding to view the text in.

Second solution came in later, when browsers were able to switch encoding. Then creators included meta tags specifying which encoding the site is in. Or sent encoding specific HTTP headers.

Content-type: text/html; charset=KOI8-R

There was also a Russian version of apache that used different ports for different encodings and it would convert pages on the fly.


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