RE: Manipulation of System Fonts on Windows 7

From: Peter Constable <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 05:18:51 +0000

Changing the primary fonts used throughout the Windows 7 shell is not a supported scenario.

If you were to install a Chinese language pack (available to you if you have an Ultimate or Enterprise license), then either Microsoft YaHei (for Simplified) or Microsoft JhengHei (for Traditional) would be used for most UI. But, of course, the UI would be in Chinese.

Now, if you have the UI displayed in (say) English, then it is not the primary fonts that matter for CJK but rather what is used as fallback fonts. If you change the system locale setting (the "Language for non-Unicode programs" -- on the Administrative tab in the Regional and Language Options control panel) to one of the Chinese options, then the order in which fonts will be used in much of the shell will change. So, by default for an English system, the primary UI font is Segoe UI, and Meiryo UI will be the first font that gets tried if a UI string has CJK; but if you change the system locale to (say) Chinese (Simplified, China), then Microsoft YaHei will be the first font used for CJK.

Note that changing system locale will impact what you see in much of the shell and in certain text controls used in apps (e.g. the main doc window in Notepad), but it won't affect text in all scenarios -- e.g. on an (unstyled) web page or in Wordpad.

If you have a font that supports Shavian, there is something you can try to get it used as a fallback font, though this is not a scenario that was tested in Win7: if you're comfortable making changes in the Windows Registry, then go to this key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\LanguagePack\SurrogateFallback

And add a string entry with the name "Plane 1" and a value which is the name of your font (the font family name, not the file name). (There used to be a KB article about this mechanism, but I haven't seen it in a long while. Given the nature of changes made in certain parts of the text stack in Win7, I won't guarantee it would still work.)


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Charlie Ruland
Sent: July 22, 2012 1:34 PM
To: Unicode Discussion
Subject: Manipulation of System Fonts on Windows 7

I would like to manipulate system fonts on a Windows 7 computer. More precisely, I wish to do the following:

1. Change the font for CJK Unified Ideographs (and CJK punctuation, radicals etc.; maybe the CJK Ideographs Extensions as well?) from the current Japanese-looking one to one in simplified Chinese style, though of course the new system font should also contain traditional characters.

2. Assign a system font for Shavian. Currently boxes/squares are displayed.

What I need is: 1. advice on which fonts to choose and 2. a brief tutorial how to safely change fonts system-wide.

Although I am aware that this request is somewhat off-topic I am sure that some people here will be able to give me the hints I am looking for.

Thanks in advance,

Received on Thu Jul 26 2012 - 00:24:54 CDT

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