Preparing Netscape for Kanji


This page describes how you can set up Netscape to display pages with JIS encoded fonts.

Step 1: Fetch Netscape (version 1.1b2 or later)

Netscape Now! This version of Netscape is able to auto-detect and display Kanji fonts provided that certain conditions are met.

Step 2: Download JIS encoded fonts

The exact font format depends on the platform you're on (the computer and window system you are using):

UNIX system running X-windows
You need bdf font sources of kanji fonts, for example from: Electrotechnical Lab at Tsukuba. I would suggest you fetch a minimal set (jiskan16.bdf) to try it out. When you like it you gradually add more font sizes/styles.
For the installation procedure please read the cookbook how to install bdf fonts.
PC system running Windows
You can download kanji fonts from Apropos or (even better) the Japanese multi-language support for IE-3.1 from Microsoft.
I can not be of any help to you with the installation procedure of the fonts since I've never done it on a PC. If someone is successful and willing to describe the procedure I will happily add that information to these pages.

Step 3: Restart Netscape

After you have installed new font resources on your system you have to restart Netscape to make the program aware of the newly available font resources (it checks these during startup time, at least the UNIX version does).

To check whether Netscape saw your Japanese fonts select the menu item "Options/General_Preferences.../Fonts" and see if you can select encoding:
Japanese (jis_x0208-1983)
Usually, you can only select Western (iso-8859-1) since those are the fonts installed on your system by default (this documentation is written from a western perspective).

Once you selected Japanese (jis_x0208-1983) the fonts you installed on your system will become selectable as proportional and/or fixed font. The more fonts you installed the more choices you have at this point.

Step 4: Try it out

Now comes the most exciting question: does it work?". You can load any of the JIS encoded pages from the online Go Dictionary (for example the tournament table) to see if the Japanese characters properly show on your display.


You will notice that although you didn't change the character encoding hints (menu entry "Options/Language_encoding ==>") the kanji on the JIS encoded Go Dictionary pages still display. This is due to the fact that these pages are emitted with an additional charset property of the Content-type property (set to iso-2022-jp). Technical details on this topic are available on request.

On Japanese pages like the home page of the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun (sponsor of the prestigeous Kisei Go Tournament) you need to adjust the Options/Language_encoding manually to Japanese (auto-select) to view the Kanji. This is not because of poor programming skills on their behalf but because the pages are primairily intended for a Japanese audience with Japanese language capable browsers.

Page creation: Jan van der Steen