Installing or accessing Arial Unicode font in Windows XP
Thread poster: Sanjiv Sadan (X)

Sanjiv Sadan (X)
Local time: 03:46
English to Hindi
+ ...
Jan 31, 2006

I know that there are great professionals and technical experts on who can solve each and every problem.

I am facing a problem with regard to Arial Unicode font. I have got Windows XP. I'd be grateful if you could advise me in this respect:

1. Whether Arial Unicode is a default font of Windows XP?

2. Which is the language of Arial Unicode?

3. If it is a default font, why it is not being shown in my fonts folder after installation of Windows XP?

4. Am I required to insert the CD of Windows XP again and carry out some other process to get and activate the Arial Unicode.

5. If this font is not installed in my system, how I am able to read the text sent to me by e-mail.

6. Is it possible for me to copy the Arial Unicode from the computer of my friends in a CD and then paste and install in my system?

7. An agency wants me to do a job in Arial Unicode, which I don't possess despite having installed the Windows XP. Instead, I have got a default Hindi unicode font known as Mangal. Whether I can convert the text into Arial Unicode?

Thanks so much for reading it. I thank you in anticipation.



[Edited at 2006-01-31 15:37]

[Edited at 2006-01-31 15:54]


Sonja Tomaskovic (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:16
English to German
+ ...
Arial Unicode Jan 31, 2006

4. Am I required to insert the CD of Windows XP again and carry out some other process to get and activate the Arial Unicode.

I can't answer all your questions, however, I do remember that I installed an application some months ago that too required me to have Arial Unicode.

I am using the German localization of Win XP, and I also thought that this is a default font that should be on my system. But I had to learn that this was not the case. Arial is default, but not Arial Unicode.

To change this, I had to either install it from the original WinXP installation CD or from a Windows Office/Word CD.


Kind regards,



tlmurray (X)
Local time: 18:16
Info about Arial Unicode Jan 31, 2006

Arial Unicode is not a default XP font, but it is installed by a number of products: Access 2000, Excel 2000, FrontPage 2000, Office 2000 Premium, Office Professional Edition 2003, Outlook 2000, PowerPoint 2000, Publisher 2000, Word 2000.

Its design, really, to be a fallback font -- if your system comes across Unicode it can't deal with, then as a last resort, it will try Arial Unicode.

It's also problematic. One reason is that it can crash printers because some drivers try to sent the whole file to the printer, and the font itself is 23 megs!

Second, it is a double-byte font, and Microsoft apps won't let it be replaced with a single-byte font. For example, say you have something in Arial Unicode, and you want to use ... I dunno, say good old Times. You can't use the Font Compatibility function to do it.

Indeed, this text is from the Microsoft article q287247 (which also addresses lots of your other questions):

The Arial Unicode MS font is intended for use when you open a document that is formatted with a different language, and you do not have the specific language font(s) installed on your computer system. If you work primarily with documents that were created in different languages, you should install the specific fonts and proofing tools for those languages.

Because of its considerable size and the typographic compromises that are required to make such a font, the Arial Unicode MS font should only be used when you cannot use multiple fonts that are tuned for different writing systems.

NOTE: It is recommended that you do not set the Arial Unicode MS font as the default font in Word.

I have been asked to use it. For those few times, it turns out that the customer was just too darned cheap to buy a "real" font of any quality.

[Edited at 2006-01-31 18:14]


Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:46
English to Hindi
+ ...
Arial Unicode /Mangal Jan 31, 2006

My seems you just got onto what is Unicode...thats why the crisis. Well, Mangal is a unicode font ans it is the same as Arial Unicode. If you type in Mangal and if your client opens the file [without Mangal but with Arial unicode on his system], your client would only see arial unicode on the file. Also, you can check your fonts folder in control panel, and you might have arial unicode there.



Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:16
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Maybe this link can help Jan 31, 2006

Here's an explanation:



tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 00:16
+ ...
What is Arial Unicode? Jan 31, 2006

Here are the replies to your questions, as numbered by you:
1. Yes, in Windows XP, Arial is a Unicode-enabled OpenType font. [edit: Sorry, it seems I was wrong and it is actually installed with recent versions of MS Office, not with Windows itself. Great find, Gerard!]
2. Unicode contains, by definition, a multitude of character sets (i.e. several tens of thousands of different characters). Arial as supplied with Windows XP contains the most frequently used of those character sets. I'm not sure if the characters you need are included in this version, but the following page claims that Arial Unicode MS supports Hindi and has a font sample, too:
3. Because its font name is simply "Arial", although it is sometimes referred to as Arial Unicode or Arial Unicode MS. The fact that it is a Unicode enabled font only shows through the availability of the extended Unicode characters AND, in the Windows Fonts list (in the Control Panel), the icon next to the file name shows an "O" instead of "TT".
4. No.
5. Have you tried this yet? What was the result? I thought the target language was the problem?
6. Yes, but that would probably be illegal and seems to be unnecessary, anyway.
7. If your client is certain that Arial Unicode supports the characters you need, why don't you just write a sample line in an empty Word document using Arial, and send that to your client? If he says it's okay, you can go ahead and do the rest. If not, you can still ask the client to install the Hindi fonts that came with his (and your) Microsoft Windows or Office discs.

See this page for more information on language and character set support in Windows XP:


[edited my statement about the availability of this font in Windows XP]

[Edited at 2006-01-31 18:45]


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Installing or accessing Arial Unicode font in Windows XP

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