Sunday, September 4, 2011

Odd Chinese Display Issue

If you are seeing something strange where the Simplified Chinese character 门 (men2, U+95E8) should appear, there is nothing wrong with your system or app. It turns out that the Hiragino Japanese fonts supplied with OS X have an unusual version of this (the left character in the graphic below), which I've been told can be found in Japanese handwriting (see example 2 at this page ). Normally Japanese computer text will have the Traditional character 門 (U+9580) instead.

To fix this display issue, so you get the character on the right side of the graphic, make sure that in System Preferences/Language & Text/Language you have Japanese lower on the list than Chinese, or use the Edit button to uncheck the box for Japanese.

One might consider this to be a bug in the font.  Following the Unicode Standard, this version of the character should be invoked by the data sequence U+95E8 U+E0100 (or E0101), where the second element is an ideographic Variation Selector.


Paul D. said...

I tried this fix but it switched the default Japanese font to something I didn't like, so I've undone it for now and will have to put up with the mistaken Chinese character.

Tom Gewecke said...

Thanks, Paul. Presumably you saw a Chinese font being used for Japanese by default. I guess there's no easy fix for those who need to work in both languages, the default will be one or the other unless something specific is set or requested in the text.