Create Multilingual Web Sites with Windows Unicode Fonts | WebReference

Create Multilingual Web Sites with Windows Unicode Fonts

By Rob Gravelle


In my "Increase Site Traffic by Including Multi-language Content in Your Web Pages" article, I introduced several excellent Unicode-capable HTML editors. They featured a "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) interface, which is a fancy way of saying that content displayed during editing appears very similar to the desired out.

To input text in languages other than your keyboard default on the Windows platforms, you'll need to do some tweaking of your keyboard preferences. In this article, I will demonstrate how to do this using XP as a reference. I chose XP for two reasons:

  1. Many users prefer it to Vista.
  2. Windows 7 just came out, so XP remains the most popular Windows OS in use right now by a wide margin (here are the stats).

Microsoft-supplied Unicode Keyboards

The following keyboards are available by default from Microsoft and can be selected from the "Text Services and Input Languages" dialog:

  • Most Western European (Spanish, French, German, Italian...)
  • Most Central European (Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak...)
  • Most Baltic Languages (Lithuanian, Estonian, Finnish...)
  • Modern Greek Cyrillic (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bulgarian...)

Figure 1. Text Services and Input Languages Dialog

The following keyboards are available from Microsoft, but must be loaded from the system disk:

  • East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai)
  • Hebrew Arabic, Farsi (Persian), Urdu
  • Other Middle Eastern: Syriac, Georgian, Armenian, Syriac Indian
  • Scripts: Hindi,Sanskrit, Tamil, Gujarati, Divehi

Some keyboards are available only with Service Release Pack 2 (SP 2), including under-supported South Asian scripts such as Bengali, Malayalam and Oriya.

The U.S. International Keyboard

The United States-International keyboard allows you to type international and special characters by using combinations of keys. The following table illustrates characters that you can create by using the combination of the right ALT key + another key, as well as by using the right ALT key + the SHIFT key + another key:

Key on United States keyboard Character Made with Right ALT+Key SHIFT+Right ALT+Key
1 i ¹
2 ² N/A
3 ³ N/A
4 ¤ £
5 € N/A
6 1/4 N/A
7 1/2 N/A
8 3/4 N/A
9 ' N/A
0 ' N/A
- ¥ N/A
= × ÷
Q ä Ä
W å Å
E é É
R (r) N/A
T þ Þ
Y ü Ü
U ú Ú
I í Í
O ó Ó
P ö Ö
[ << N/A
] >> N/A
\ Not Sign ¦
A á Á
S ß §
D ð Ð
L ø Ø
; Pilcrow Sign °
' ´ ¨
Z æ Æ
C (c) ¢
N ñ Ñ
M µ N/A
, ç Ç
/ ¿ N/A