Asian Font Assistant

This tool displays samples of all the available fonts for a given language. It currently supports Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (simplified and traditional). Leave a comment if you would like support for additional languages.

Download the user defined tool with icon (updated 2011-8-22)

EnSight supports international languages in annotations, but this may not be immediately apparent to most users. This is partly because the default font does not support extended characters. Also, the font names are not recognizable to native speakers because the names have been romanized. This tool addresses both of those problems. It identifies all of the system fonts for a given language, then creates a text annotation for each font. The annotation contains both a sample of the language and the name of the font. So users can quickly see all of the fonts, select the ones they want, and be able to find it in the list of fonts.

Screenshot for simplified Chinese on an English system.


In order for EnSight to support extended characters, the operating system must be configured to use a correct encoding. In Windows 7 this setting is found in Control Panel -> Region and Language -> Advanced (tab) -> Language for non-Unicode programs. Ideally this should be set to the language you want to use, however some languages are compatible with others. If you use a non-extended characters set like English then you will not be able to view any languages that have extended characters.

You should see a GUI window with a language selector. If you encoding is the same as your desired language then select the language and click OK. If you have a different encoding then uncheck the box before clicking OK. Unchecking the box will bring up a second window where you can choose the encoding independently of the font language. For example, use this if you want to view Japanese text on a Chinese system. To do this select Japanese as the language, uncheck the box, then select Chinese encoding.

After you have made your selection, the script will start creating annotations. It will attempt to size and position the annotations appropriate to the number of fonts there are. However, some of the annotations may overlap and there may be some empty space. The script exits after all fonts have been handled. The annotations can be deleted manually, or by re-running the tool and selecting ‘delete all annotations’ as the language.

Screenshot for Japanese on a Japanese system.

EnSight versions: 9.2, 10.0
OS: Windows only

Leave a Reply