Re: Generic Unicode font handling

From: Yung-Fong Tang (
Date: Wed Nov 17 1999 - 14:19:36 EST

Suzanne Topping wrote:

> Hello again helpful readers;
> Michael brings up some interesting points about fonts in the note below, and
> I now have a related question.
> I am helping set up a localization project for Win 95, 98, and NT software
> which will be going into 20 languages (mostly European but also Simplified
> Chinese, Greek, and Russian.) The .rc files currently specify the "generic"
> system font MS Sans Serif. My understanding is that this is a Unicode font
> which in theory can display all character sets, however, I'm feeling
> skeptical as usual.

As I understand "MS Sans Serif" only mean a font which can display the text in
ACP. What that mean is if you use "MS Sans Serif", it can display Japanese on
Japnese NT, Chinese on Chinese NT, and Greek in Greek NT. Howerver, it won't
display Chinese in Greek NT, nor Japanese on Korean NT. It only mean a geneic
font name for the ACP so you don't need to change it to different font name for
every localization. Also, you should be careful it probably have some different
behavior between NT and 95/98. I remember I saw some not about that in MSDN.
Search "MS Sans Serif" on MSDN should give you more info.


> Can anyone comment on what problems we are likely to encounter if no font
> changes are made? I'm assuming that many languages will be fine, but that a
> few (such as the ones listed above) might have some problems. Ugliness as
> Michael describes, if nothing else. Will the problems that occur in the NT
> version be different than those in the other versions, given the level of
> Unicode support it provides?
> (Perhaps this sounds like a silly question; you are probably thinking "just
> go ahead and change the darn font!" Unfortunately for this project, it is
> not yet clear how well internationalized the components are, therefore, font
> changes could be a major or a minor issue. I'm still trying to find out
> where the fonts are defined, and until I know how easily changed they are, I
> want to consider this as a risk.)
> As usual, your tolerance of my ignorance is appreciated.
> Suzanne Topping
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Michael Kaplan <>
> To: <>; <>;
> <>; <>
> Sent: Friday, November 12, 1999 8:16 AM
> Subject: [nelocsig] Re: Quick Response Needed! (String table follow up)
> >> if you have Asian languages, do the Japanese first (kana tends to expand
> Japanese
> >> more than the other Asian languages).
> Exception to this being when the font size is anything other than 9 pt. For
> whatever reasons, the
> fonts used for Japanese/Korean/Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese are
> consisdered (by customers)
> to be incredibly ugly at specific sizes. They are all accepted at 9 pt, none
> are considered
> acceptable at 8 pt. Larger sizes vary depending on the language and the font
> chosen. If there is a
> case where a Japanese localizer will choose MS Song 10 pt (for example), a
> Korean localizer may well
> choose GulimChe 11 pt (these examples are totally contrived). So in cases
> where the item being
> localized may be of variable size, going with the "biggest" may well depend
> on some of the
> localization choices.
> I have found that the market has a very strong bias against products that
> tend to choose "ugly" in
> favor of uniformity. Their bad feelings about this will often outweigh the
> good feelings that have
> about the localized product.

Totally agree .

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