Setup Windows XP East Asian Languages Support

This article was first published on on 2004/4/19

Like Windows 2000, Windows XP/ Vista/ 7 supports East Asian languages, but it is not enabled by default. In this example, we will be setting up for Chinese.

1. Have your Windows XP setup CD ready and enable East Asian Languages support. You can find Regional and Language Options in Control Panel.

Tick the option to install language support. Allow to reboot when asked.

Note the option installs files for Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The user cannot choose which language to install – xp installs all 4 at once.

2. After the reboot, click the Details button.

3. On the next screen, you will see a screen listing the keyboard services installed. Here is an example.

At this point you may wish to add additional input methods (known as Input Method Editor, IME).

a) Click the Add button, shown above.

b) Select your input language and input method. There are several built-in methods available for Chinese input.

c) Click OK to close.

d) Repeat for each IME you wish to add.

4. Click OK to exit.

5. Go to Advanced tab and change to Chinese. This example has selected Chinese (Hong Kong), but you can also use Chinese (Taiwan) or Chinese (PRC) or Japanese – it all depends on which of the 4 Asian language you wish Windows to display by default when viewing unicode text in all programs, e.g., ICQ.

Restart Windows when prompted. Congratulations, your Windows can now read and write Chinese


Handwriting pad


Microsoft has included a handwriting pad in its East Asian Language support, similar to that bundled with Office XP. While this doesn’t apply to all languages and its operation is somewhat slow, it is a blessing to those who don’t know how to type Chinese. In this example, we will show you how to use it.

The handwriting pad for Chinese input is installed in Microsoft New Phonetic IME 2002a service.

Change your Language Bar input to Chinese and then to the Phonetic IME input. Click on the Menu icon at the right hand side (circled).

The Phonetic IME menu will popup. Select IME pad, and the IME pad will be displayed (background).

There is a bug in the IME pad. Whenever the pad is enabled, the handwriting area will contain wiggles that look like an unfinished Chinese character. Click the Clear button before commencing handwriting.

Notice the + sign in the middle. This splits the handwriting area into 4 upper and lower quadrants – to help the placement of complex Chinese characters during writing. Here is an example.


Adding East Asian languages support on Windows Vista and Windows 7 is similar.

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