Chinese (Mandarin)/Displaying Chinese Characters

Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Note: Until a more complete in-house guide is made for this, see the external tutorials and resources at the bottom of the page.

See the directions under your operating system to quickly get your web browser to display Chinese characters.

Cross Platform

  • Make sure you have a Chinese font available. Find somewhere to look at the font lists, and see if you can see something like Chinese characters. If you have one, make it the default in your browser and check.
  • If you don't have a Chinese font:
  1. Download A font as in #Programs.
  2. Install the font. Use right-click install on Windows, the Font Book in Mac OS, or the method provided by your desktop environment in Linux.
  3. Make it the default selection in your browser. Just choose your favourite.



Windows Vista


Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista displays Chinese characters properly without any configuration.

For program written in non-Unicode, go to Control Panel --> Regional and Language Options --> Administrative tab --> Language for non-Unicode programs, set it to whatever Chinese language you want.

Windows XP


If Chinese character't display properly for you, first check if you need to install East Asian language support files. To do this:

  1. Click Start > Control Panel. Select the Date, Time, Regional and Language Options category, then click Regional and Language Options.
  2. On the Languages tab, select the checkbox labeled Install files for East Asian languages.
  3. Click OK when a dialog box appears informing you of the storage requirements for the language files (230 MB).
  4. Click OK on the Languages tab.
  5. Another dialog box appears requesting a Windows XP installation disk or network share location where the language support files are located. Insert a Windows XP installation CD or browse to the appropriate network location, and click OK. Windows may not always ask for an installation CD. Microsoft Windows installs the necessary files and prompts for you to restart the computer.
  6. Click Yes to restart the computer.

Windows 95, 98 or ME


In order to display Chinese characters properly, you need to download two packages from Microsoft.

If you don't have Office XP:

  1. Go to this Microsoft site.
  2. Select Chinese (Simplified) - with Language Pack in the dropdown box.
  3. Click Go.
  4. Download the file scmondo.exe, open it and follow the instructions.
  5. Do the same for Chinese (Traditional) - with Language Pack and then tcmondo.exe.

If you do have Office XP:

  1. Download this file and this one from Microsoft.
  2. Execute imechs.exe.
  3. Follow the instructions.
  4. Do the same for imecht.exe.

Mac OS


Mac OS (X) should support displaying Chinese characters natively. If it doesn't work, refer to #Cross Platform.


  1. Click the Apple icon on top left corner.
  2. Click System Preferences
  3. Click Language and Text icon
  4. Click Input Sources tab
  5. Tick Chinese Simplified, Pinyin and/or Trackpad Handwriting

(Handwriting feature only available in Snow Leopard or above)

To set up keyboard shortcuts for changing input language

  1. Click the Apple icon on top left corner.
  2. Click System Preferences
  3. Click Keyboard icon
  4. Click Keyboard shortcuts tab
  5. Click Keyboard & Text Input in the column
  6. Check "Select next source in input menu".

(Typical: command + space)



Linux supports Sinitic fonts in a number of formats. in particular LaTeX CJK, and True Type among others.

Just make sure you are using a UTF-8 locale.