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Introduction

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

Solutions
-   -
Types of fonts
-   Inserting single characters
-   Inserting diacritics:
á, à, â, ä, ...
-   Keyboard layouts
-   Input methods
-   Multilingual browsing
      If you want to view web pages in a script not supported by your system's locale, supplementary language support files (including fonts) need to be installed on your system. They are usually provided on your Windows installation CD. If this does not work as wished, check our Font downloads page for information about software required for viewing specific languages.

You may also need to use a language-specific browser, or setup your browser appropriately.


 Contents
 

Popular browsers
Language-specific browsers
Server-side solutions
Tools for the visually impaired

 
- - -
   
                 
                 
   

Popular browsers

      If odd characters appear on your screen, try the following...

Opera - (free) is without doubt the thinnest, fastest, and most customizable browser. A minor disadvantage are occasional problems with dynamic webpages.
In Opera,
- Choose View menu > Encoding to set it for the current page, and
- Press Alt+P > Languages to set defaults.
   

Microsoft Internet Explorer (free): Choose "Menu View | Encoding", and set the codepage to the one that matches the current document. You may need to download and install Language Packs by Microsoft. The most recent versions incorporate a better support of right-to-left languages (Hebrew, Arabic).

Netscape Browser (free): Choose "Menu Options | Document Encoding", and set the matching codepage. Development discontinued from February 2008! Sindbad - (free) is an Arabic add-on for Netscape Communicator.

Firefox by Mozilla - (free) is an open-source browser building on the original Netscape source code.

Lynx - (free) is a smart text-only browser that also works on terminals. It is able to transliterate certain languages into the Roman alphabet (e.g. Russian). To see how the output of Lynx looks like, check out some of the online emulators of Lynx: LynxView - or Lynx-me -.

Elinks - (free) Another text-only browser that supports tables.

Tango Browser - ($59.95) is a real multilingual browser: it does not only support various languages, but its interface can switch between 19 languages, and it allows filling in forms in "any" language. Development discontinued (!), but it is still available from world language - Resources (search by Products).
   
                 
                 
   

Language-
specific
browsers

      NJStar Asian Explorer - (free) is a Chinese / Japanese / Korean web browser.    
                 
                 
   

Server-side
solutions

      Today, there are two types of solutions allowing to use any font encoding a web designer figures out: (1) temporary loading of server-side fonts by way of Javascript within the HTML code, and (2) downloading BitStream® Webfonts automatically when a webpage is opened.

Web designers from certain Asian countries whose languages are not supported by common browsers make use of these possibilities.
   
                 
                 
   

Tools for
the visually
impaired

      (For general information, visit the W3 Web Accessibility Initiative page.)

Visually impaired and blind people may use (a) disability-specific web browsers, (b) common browsers in combination with voice-output screenreaders, (c) braille displays (touch screen) or (d) magnification tools.


The following are browsers for the visually impaired:

BrailleSurf - (free) is available in English, French, and Spanish. [link is broken]
MultiWeb - (free) is a browser available in English.
Simply Web 2000 - (free) is an Internet Explorer-based talking interface.
WebSound - (free) is an Internet Explorer-based talking interface.
Syntext - (demo) is a reader that includes a special display for the visually impaired and a talking interface (requires Microsoft Speech).


Apart from commercial solutions (JAWS etc.), you can try the following screenreaders:

Logox Webspeech - reads web pages aloud.
Help Reader - (free) is a non-profit screen-reader.
MultiWeb - (free) supports speech output, screen magnification, and scanning for switch devices.
Simply Web 2000 - (free) is a talking plug-in for MS Internet Explorer with a simple interface.
WebSpeech
- (free) is a plug-in for MS Internet Explorer that reads webpages aloud in German.
Aloud4ie - (free) is a plug-in for MS Internet Explorer for French and other languages.
INCI Reader - (demo) reads e-books aloud. In Spanish.


vOICe - is an innovative tool. It allows blind people to "hear" the images they see. It can be used in conjunction with popular screenreaders. It generates a shape-based sound for parts of the image, so the blind user can figure out what the image is like.
   
                 
                 
   
     
   
    Updated: 2016 January 1
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