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Modern Slavic languages in Windows 95/98/NT

1. In Windows 95, install Microsoft's free Multilanguage support for Windows 95 and 98 (there are English instructions how to do this at Microsoft's  and at (this is not necessary in Windows NT)

2. In "Control Panel", open "Keyboard", select "Language" (NT: "Input Locale") and "Add" the languages you need. Select key combination to switch the languages. Now, in every application you can switch keyboard layouts. In some applications, the appropriate font will be automatically selected if switching keyboard layout. In others, you manually have to select the appropriate font.

3. Windows' multilanguage support uses UNICODE fonts that support multiple codepages and languages.
: In order to use these fonts in some old style programs (like Winword 6.0 and 7.0) you have to add the following lines for each font (in example: Arial) to file win.ini (which is in your Windows folder) to section [FontSubstitutes]:

Arial Cyr,204=Arial,204
Arial CE,238=Arial,238
Arial Greek,161=Arial,161
Arial Tur,162=Arial,162
Arial Baltic,186=Arial,186

In order to do this, start "Notepad" from Programs/Accessories, open the file win.ini in your Windows folder, search section [FontSubstitutes]and add the lines described above.
For the fonts "Times New Roman", "Arial" and "Courier New" this automatically will be done when installing multilanguage support.
In newer programs that support UNICODE (like Word 97) this is not necessairy.

4. Following UNICODE fonts are available on the Net:

!! This table of free UNICODE fonts now has moved to special page: unifonts.htm  !!

Necessary entrys to win.ini for the fonts mentioned in the table are listed in the file schrift.txt from where you can copy them and paste to win.ini.

5. In order to learn more about your fonts (supported codepages and languages, license, font description, designer and vendor) download and install Microsoft's free Font Properties Extension. (If you already have it make sure that it is the latest version because there were added new features in october 1997).

6.  Multilanguage support is provided only with native keyboard layouts for each language. If you want to use your private keyboard layout (e. g. phonetic layout for Russian) there is a really great tool for customizing keyboard layouts: Janko's Keyboard Generator. Unfortunately, this is for Windows 95 and 98 only, there isn't a version for NT yet.

7. Windows's native multilanguage support uses codepage 1251 for Cyrillic and 1250 for Central European languages, but on the Internet encodings KOI8-R for Russian and ISO 8859-2 for Central European languages are used. Therefore, many sites on russification give complicated instructions how to force Windows to use KOI8-R resp. ISO 8859-2 suggest to install special fonts and keyboard drivers. But this may cause you serious problems and is not necessary at all:  modern browsers, mail clients or HTML editors like Netscape Communicator 4 and newer, MS Internet Explorer 3 and newer or MS Frontpage are able to read and write messages and web pages in all needed encodings by using only Windows's native fonts and keyboard drivers.

8. To convert texts from one encoding into another use WinConv für Windows 95 or Convert or Ilya Sandlers Cyrillic Converter

(c) Christoph Singer 1998. Last update 17.04.99