Windows XP/Changing Fonts to Display Other Languages

If you have an English version of Windows XP and are having problems working with non western fonts this article is for you.

Problem: You want to read and write for example in an Eastern European language but the non-western letters are displaying on the screen incorrectly.

Why this happens is because Windows picks a default language page code for non-unicode programs. Your default is probably some version of English.

The program you're using is a little dumb, it wasn't written to be used in environments outside of its locale, it's not checking to see if it's using the right font version. So you need to change the default page code for non-unicode applications.

  1. Go to control panel and select regional settings.
  2. Select the advanced tab.

It has a drop down box which probably says English, this needs to change to your desired language. In my case this was Polish.

If it's not an option, you might need to change the input method to Polish too; on a Polish keyboard you can change this back to default to an English layout. Once this has been changed, applied and okayed you probably need to restart Windows.

Try your program and hopefully this time your desired languages letters should be shown instead of the random symbols found in the western version of the font.

For writing in the desired language use the language bar to swap between keyboard layouts. Substitute your desired language for Polish in this article.