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Writing systems
-   Western alphabets
-   Non-Western alphabets
-   Phonetic and offbeat
-   Varying glyphs
-   CJK
-   Miscellaneous

-   -
Types of fonts
-   Inserting single characters
-   Inserting diacritics:
á, à, â, ä, ...
-   Keyboard layouts
-   Input methods
-   Multilingual browsing
      For most non-Western alphabets, installing an appropriate keyboard layout will suffice to start typing. Remember you can make the current keyboard layout visible by way of the On-screen Keyboard (Start menu | Programs | Accessories | Accessibility). This will help you to get familiar with the foreign layout. (This facility is available in recent versions of Windows.)

But please note that in recent versions of Windows, using a non-Western keyboard layout will mean you will not be able to use the old
one-byte fonts specific to that language, but only Unicode fonts. If you want to stick to a non-Western legacy font, you will need a keyboard remapping utility. (Sticking to old fonts makes sense in case you need non-standard characters, for example.)

For languages not listed below, please see the miscellaneous font downloads page.


Cyrillic (Russian etc.)
Greek (Modern)
Greek (Old)


- - -


      The Cherokee system of writing is a 85-character syllabary invented by Sequoyah (1760?-1843), who did not know how to write before -- a unique case in history.

We do not know of any facilities for this language developed for Windows systems.

Cyrillic (Russian etc.)


Russian is written in the Cyrillic alphabet, variants of which are used for many other Slavic and Asian languages, ranging from Serbian to Mongolian.

Types of Cyrillic fonts

You can use
Unicode fonts. A Unicode font covering most (if not all) Cyrillic alphabets is Lucida Sans Unicode, which ships with Windows XP.

You can also use a language-specific
one-byte font. There are two codepages for Cyrillic one-byte fonts:

  • The Windows 1251 codepage is compatible with Unicode fonts.
  • The KOI8-R codepage is in use on Russian Unix-based systems.

At The Cyrillic Character Soup - you can see charts of Cyrillic codepages for different languages. Andrey A.Chernov's KOI8-R page - includes links to codepages for Ukranian, etc.

Cyrillic fonts you can download

In case you do not want to or cannot use the Unicode fonts supplied with Windows, try:

Andrew M. Drozd's Russification Page -:-|
http://jeff.cs.mcgill.ca/~luc/cyrillic.html - Many links to Cyrillic fonts.
AATSEEL Cyrillic fonts and keyboard drivers - Galore.
TroikaStudios -
University of Alabama -
University of North Carolina -
Language Laboratory, University of Oregon -Yamada Language Lab offers a large catalog of Cyrillic KOI8 fonts in a variety of attractive styles. Yamada specializes in Mac fonts but has a few fonts for the PC, too.
Dr. Berlin's Foreign Font Archive - Dr. Berlin maintains a large and well-organized archive of True Type fonts for virtually all languages. He has an especially large collection of Cyrillic fonts for the PC.

Cyrillic fonts containing accented characters (!)

Accented characters are in use in Russian dictionaries, but they are also useful for students of Russian as a foreign language.


  Lucida Sans Unicode ***** is shipped with Windows XP.
A Unicode font that covers most (if not all) Cyrillic alphabets. A drawback is that some of the
diacritical marks extending below the base line are not displayed properly. The non-spacing characters contained in this font are displayed non-spacing in common editors.
Instructions of use: The "Combining diacritical marks" subset includes the characters you need. To view them, open the Windows Character Map, choose "Group by: Unicode subset" and choose the appropriate subset.
You can let the diacritical marks be ignored by the answer check procedure (in VTrain, go to Train menu | Answer check options).

One-byte fonts containing accented characters:

Walter Henke's School font
- (freeware) is a one-byte font including Russian accented characters as well as the letters of the German alphabet.
Academic Russian Starter Kit - (shareware) includes a font (Timesse) containing accented Russian characters.
Titus Cyberbit Basic - (freeware for noncomm. use) is a Unicode font including Russian accented characters.

Reading and typing in Russian on your PC

In order to read Russian on your computer, you will need to install matching fonts of several standards [KOI8-R, Win1251], and to set some options in certain programs (web browsers, etc.)

In order to
type Russian, you will have to install a suitable keyboard layout in order to write and read Cyrillic letters.
The Russian
CP1251 keyboard layout is supported by Windows NT by default (in Windows 95, you have to install Multi-language Support).
For those who want to type in
KOI8-R fonts under Windows 95/NT, Mikhail Tchikalov - provides a freeware that can replace any existing Windows keyboard layout of your choice with a Russian KOI8-R layout. (You can choose between the Russian standard layout and a "phonetic" i.e. QWERTY-like layout, for your convenience.)
Paul Gorodyansky - is the author of a similar solution, but his can replace only either the Icelandic or the Brazilian Portuguese keyboard layout with a KOI8-R "phonetic" layout.

However, ANSI-bound applications (e.g. Notepad) will still not be able to display Russian characters properly in Western Windows versions. We recommend you the shareware notepad replacement
Aditor - (older versions were freeware).

Codepage conversion

To convert text files between all
Russian codepages (KOI-8R, Win1251, etc.), and even transliterate into the Roman alphabet, try:

Translit to Cyrillic 1.0.18 -(Freeware) (ISO/Alternative/Koi8/Windows1251)
Cyrillic Recoder 2.0 - (Freeware). For recursive (in subfolders) code conversion.
Recoder 0.98 - (Freeware) (ISO/Alternative/Koi8/Windows1251) For massive conversion (not recursive, but short folder list).

More links

Russify Everything - ***** [Info for several OSs]
Fremdsprachige Textverarbeitung in Windows - *****Step-by-step information [in German]
Paul Gorodyansky's Russification Page - Well explained.
Friends and Partners' Cyrillic resources - Info about installing fonts, Internet software, codepage converters.
Stuart J. Byczynski's page - (ok) [Note: Mr. Byczynski claims to be Audrey Hepburn's neglected son.]



      Standard fonts suitable for Esperanto (Latin3, i.e. Turkish codepage):

· Esperanto.be -
· Esperanto fonts and keyboard layout file - (eve-ttf.zip) Unknown author.

Greek (Modern)

      For fonts, see Mike Colley's font collection -.

For codepage conversions, see
Greek Conversions 2.0 -, which converts Gk<->Lat alphabet. (166k)

Greek (Old)

      The Old Greek writing system is polytonic. It contains accents and breathing marks and is supported by Unicode. A Unicode font supporting polytonic Greek is Lucida Sans Unicode, which ships with Windows XP.

Windows XP now comes with a keyboard layout for polytonic Greek. The following software was devised as a Windows add-on for typing in in this type of script:

MultiKey Supports Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew. You can switch to and from right-to-left mode by using a shortcut. Learn more about this program from our page Keyboard Remappers: MultiKey.


      You can write in this language by way of diacritical marks in Unicode fonts such as Lucida Sans Unicode, which ships with Windows XP.    


      Romanian is supported by popular Unicode fonts only in part. The characters sS-comma and t-comma were added to Unicode only recently, and workarounds (s-cedilla and t-cedilla) widely used.

The Romanian Keyboard layout shipped with Windows XP uses s-cedilla and t-comma.


      Unicode fonts such as Arial and Times New Roman include Vietnamese characters.

One-byte fonts

Note: there are many different codepages in use (VISCII, VPS, etc.). VISCII stems from a standardization effort by the Vietnamese Standard Working Group.
VIQR is also in use. It is a 7-bit (ASCII) transliteration into the English alphabet, where certain punctuation signs are used in place of diacritics.

More info:

Vietnamese Standard Working Group - Information about the standardization of Vietnamese characters on all computer platforms, having defined VISCII.
VietNet - Font and software information, browser configuration info, having defined VIQR.
TriChlor Homepage - Nonprofit group that promotes the development of free Vietnamese VISCII-compliant software and fonts for Dos, Windows, Unix, X-Windows, and Macintosh.


SEASite (Northern IL Univ.) -
VPS information - Downloadable VPS fonts PC, Mac and Unix at MIT's FTP site.
Viet Magazine: VPS Fonts - Downloading and installation instructions.
Vietnamese Fonts on the WWW - Information about installing Vietnamese VISCII fonts and editing Vietnamese HTML Pages. Links to other sites.

Keyboard remappers:

VietVu 3.0 -Freeware. Remapper: input method by VIQR or a user-defined transliteration. Conversion between Viet codepages. Includes autotext facility.

WinVnKey 1.2 - by trichlor @ haydn.stanford.edu
Includes 7 basic VISCII fonts.

VietKey 4.09d - Freeware. A resident keyboard mapper for Vietnamese, which eases the input of Vietnamese characters. Whole help file in Vietnamese. Supports VNI, VQR, TVCN3. Includes autotext and check spelling.


VietText 1.02 - Freeware. Vietnamese Text Editor/Converter. It supports 40+ charsets, including the most popular ones: VIQR, TCVN, VISCII, and VNI.
Other features:
  Compile (combine) text and the necessary font for viewing to a small (250K) stand-alone executable for later easy and quick distribution.
Unlimited file size and clipboard actions.
Clipboard exchange functions with conversion.
Direct conversion (within the clipboard).
RTF im(-/ex)port filter.
Print facility.
Self-documented menu (no need for helpfile).
    Updated: 2016 January 19
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