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Multilingual Browsers & Email Clients

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How to make them multilingual?

There are two things you need to do:

  1. Add multilanguage support to Windows.
  2. Configure your browser and/or email client.  Click here for application-specific instructions.
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Browsers with Mail

oe4.gif  Internet Explorer 6.0 with Outlook Express 6.0

Internet Explorer is the only browser that supports both Microsoft's Embedded OpenType fonts and Bitstream's dynamic fonts.

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Configuring Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer and Outlook Express will be auto-configured after you have added multilanguage support to Windows but you can manually reassociate each language script with an alternative font in Internet Explorer's Tools menu:

  1. Click on Tools.
  2. Click on Internet Options.
  3. Click on the Fonts button.
  4. Reassociate any language script with any available font and click OK.
  5. Click OK again.
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Character Coding

You can change the encoding of a web page by clicking on View : Encoding or by right-clicking on the page and then left-clicking on Encoding.

The encoding of an email message can be changed in Format : Encoding while you are writing it, or in View : Encoding while you are reading it.

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Middle Eastern and Far Eastern Languages

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Vulnerabilities

Internet Explorer and Outlook Express suffer from several vulnerabilities.  Read about them at

You can get critical updates and service packs from

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Web Fonts

Internet Explorer is the only browser that supports both Microsoft's Embedded OpenType fonts and Bitstream's Truedoc fonts.

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mozilla.gif netsc7.gif  Mozilla 1.1 and Netscape 7.0

"Mozilla is an open-source web browser and toolkit, designed for standards compliance, performance and portability."  Netscape 6 or later is the proprietary version of  Mozilla with AOL's add-ons.

Mozilla and Netscape 7 are the only browsers that fully support ISO-8859-16.

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Configuring Mozilla or Netscape

Mozilla or Netscape 7 will be auto-configured for multilanguage support if you have the necessary fonts on your machine but you can manually reassociate encodings with fonts if you like:

  1. Click on Edit.
  2. Click on Preferences.
  3. Pull down the Appearance menu by clicking on the right-pointing triangle to its left.
  4. Click on Fonts.
  5. Select an encoding and select a font for each style.
  6. Click OK.
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Character Coding

You can change the encoding of a web page or email message by clicking on View : Character Coding.

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Middle Eastern and Far Eastern Languages

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Web Fonts

Neither Mozilla, nor Netscape 7 supports Microsoft's Embedded OpenType fonts or Bitstream's Truedoc fonts.

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nscom.gif  Netscape Communicator 4.8

Netscape Communicator's Navigator is the only browser that both supports Bitstream's dynamic fonts and allows you to read chat in Yahoo's Pacific Rim chat rooms.

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Configuring Communicator

You need to manually associate Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Unicode with appropriate fonts in Navigator's Edit : Preferences menu:

  1. Click on Edit.
  2. Click on Preferences.
  3. Pull down the Appearance menu by clicking on the [plus/minus] box to its left.
  4. Click on Fonts.
  5. Select an encoding and select both a variable-width font and a fixed-width font.  (Chinese, Japanese and Korean fonts are neutral to font width:  you can use the same font as both proportional and fixed-width.)
  6. Click OK.
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Character Sets

You can change the encoding of a web page or email message by clicking on View : Character Set.

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Middle Eastern and Far Eastern Languages

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Web Fonts

Communicator supports Bitstream's Truedoc fonts but not Microsoft's Embedded OpenType fonts:

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Bidi Netscape 4.61i

An earlier, members-only version of  Netscape Communicator to browse Arabic and Hebrew web pages.

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opera.gif  Opera 6.05

"The fastest browser on earth!"  Yes, it is if you mean a full-featured, Unicode-compliant browser.  If you are satisfied with text-only browsing and limited multilanguage support then Lynx is faster.

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Configuring Opera

Opera will be auto-configured for multilanguage support if you have the necessary fonts on your machine but you can manually reassociate each writing system with a normal font and a monospace font:

  1. Click on File.
  2. Click on Preferences.
  3. Click on "Fonts and colors."
  4. Click on the "International fonts" button.
  5. Select a writing system.
  6. Select a normal font and a monospace font.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click OK again.
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Character Coding

You can change the encoding of a web page or a received message by clicking on View : Encoding but you can only change the encoding of a new message by changing Opera's default encoding:

  1. Click on File.
  2. Click on Preferences.
  3. Click on Email.
  4. Click on the Properties button.
  5. Select the Outgoing tab.
  6. Select the encoding you want to use under "Default encoding for outgoing messages."
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click OK again.
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Middle Eastern and Far Eastern Languages

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Web Fonts

Opera does not support Microsoft's Embedded OpenType fonts or Bitstream's Truedoc fonts.

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How many languages do they support?

Many.  An application that supports Unicode will support most languages.  Otherwise, the number of supported languages depends on the number of supported codepages or character sets.

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© 2002 Gyula Zsigri [Home] Last updated:  November 14, 2002