Setting up Windows Internet Explorer 3 and 4 for Multilingual and Unicode Support

Alan Wood’s Unicode Resources

Setting up Windows Internet Explorer 3 and 4 for Multilingual and Unicode Support

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Options for enabling Unicode in Internet Explorer 4.01

Fonts (IE 4)

You need to set fonts for each character set that you want to be able to display in Internet Explorer 4. Select Internet Options... on the View menu, select the General tab in the Internet Options dialog box and click the Fonts... button to choose a character set and the proportional and fixed-width fonts to be used with it. You can set different fonts for each character set, so you can have Western pages displayed in Arial but Unicode (Universal Alphabet) pages displayed in Lucida Sans Unicode or Tahoma. You can make the character set whose name is displayed into the default (for pages that do not specify a character set) by clicking the Set as Default button. The character sets listed are those installed on your computer. You can install support for Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters by clicking Help on the menu bar and then selecting Product Updates.

IE 4 screen shot.

Encodings (IE 4)

From Language on the right-click pop-up menu, you can see which character set or code page Internet Explorer 4 has chosen to view the current page, and you can select an alternative such as Universal Alphabet (UTF-8) or a specific language. You can also choose the character set or code page from Fonts on the View menu. An example of real UTF-8 can be found on the Unicode Consortium Web site.

IE 4 screen shot.

Unicode Features (IE 4)

Internet Explorer 4 can display numeric character references, such as those used in the Unicode test pages, independently of the document's character encoding, provided that a font that contains the characters has been set in the Internet Options.

IE 4 can display all of the new character entity references that were introduced with HTML 4.0.

Availability (IE 4)

Internet Explorer 4 is no longer available from Microsoft, but can be downloaded from evolt.org - Browser Archive.


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Options for enabling multilingual support in Internet Explorer 3.02

Fonts (IE 3)

You need to set fonts for each character set that you want to be able to display in Internet Explorer 3. Select Options... on the View menu, click the General tab in the Options dialog box, and click the Font Settings... button to choose a character set and the font to be used with it. You can set different fonts for each character set, so you can have Western pages displayed in Arial but traditional Chinese pages displayed in MingLiU. You can also specify a default language for pages that do not specify a character set. The character sets listed are those installed on your computer.

IE 3 screen shot

Language packs that provide support for viewing Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese and Korean Web pages with US Windows 95 used to be available from Microsoft's Web site, and can probably still be found somewhere on the Web. ’The packs need to be installed after IE 3. The packs are:

ie3lpkcn.exeChinese (simplified)MS Hei and MS Song fonts
ie3lpktw.exeChinese (traditional)MingLiU font
ie3lpkja.exeJapaneseMS Gothic font
ie3lpkko.exeKoreanGulimChe font

Try http://www.mingpaonews.com/ for some real Chinese.

Encodings (IE 3)

The language or code page that Internet Explorer 3 has selected can be seen by placing the mouse pointer on the small flags icon at the bottom right of the IE 3 window.

IE 3 screen shot.

To select a different one, click the flags icon and then click on an item in the pop-up menu.

IE 3 screen shot

Internet Explorer 3 does not allow you to change to a different encoding if a character set has been specified in a META tag in the document.

Unicode Limitations (IE 3)

Internet Explorer 3 predates HTML 4.0. Therefore, it does not recognise numeric character entities above 256, so most of the test pages are not displayed correctly. Also, it does not recognise the many extra character entity references that were introduced with HTML 4.0.

Availability (IE 3)

Internet Explorer 3 is no longer available from Microsoft, but can be downloaded from evolt.org - Browser Archive.



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Copyright © 1999–2003 Alan Wood

Created 3rd February 1999   Last updated 18th November 2003

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