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Friday, December 21, 2007

How to Display Chinese on Windows Mobile?

It's kinda weird as to why Microsoft does not enable displaying of 2nd language e.g. Traditional/Simplified Chinese other than English on a English Windows Mobile OS. They have done it easily on all Server/Desktop Windows and it shouldn't be too difficult to activate it on a Windows Mobile.

To unlock and allow Chinese display on Windows Mobile, you can perform the below steps. Please note that the below is tested on Windows Mobile 6.0. However, I believe it will work on Windows Mobile 5.0 as well.

1. Download PHM Registry Editor

Windows Mobile does not come together readily with a Registry Editor. Do not ask me the reason as to why the decision was made like this/that because I don't know why. Nevertheless, there is a freeware downloadable from the Internet that provides us with a GUI to "mess" with the registry. Download and install PHM Registry Editor now. Perform a soft reset after installation.

2. Transfer font files from Desktop PC to Pocket PC

Copy both simsun.ttc and TAHOMA.TTF from your Desktop PC's C:\Windows\Fonts\ directory to Pocket PC's \Windows\Fonts\ directory. If for whatever reason the 2 abovementioned font files are absent, do a search in the Internet and download them. Physical copying of font files from one OS to another will not pose any problems but I am not sure if there are any licensing issues.

3. Tweak Windows Mobile Registry

The standard advice goes again, "Be careful when you mess with the registry". You will need PHM Registry Editor to assist you in changing the registry.

  1. Add [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\FontPath] key if it does not exist.
  2. Add/Modify string value "FontPath"="\Windows\Fonts" to (i) key. Steps (i) and (ii) tell Windows Mobile the alternative font directory you are using other than the ones burnt onto the ROM.
  3. Go to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\GDI\SYSFNT] and verify string value "Nm"="Tahoma". Add/Modify where necessary.
  4. Go to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\FontLink\SystemLink] and verify string value "Tahoma"="\Windows\Fonts\simsun.ttc,NSimSun". Add/Modify where necessary. Steps (iii) and (iv) link the system font with the Chinese font simsun.ttc.
  5. Go to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\FontLink\SkipTable] and verify string value "Tahoma"="005c,00a5,007e,0391-03c9,2026,2116,221a,25a0-25ff". Add/Modify where necessary. Since some system fonts have Unicode definitions that you do not want to use, this test will add a skip table to force the use of the linked font.
  6. Do a soft reset and you are done.

Hope it helps.


  1. I tried above steps. It did not work on my Mogul 6800 with WM6.0.

    I wonder if "Nm"="Tahoma" should entered as Nm in "Value name" box and Tahoma in "Value data" box.

  2. >> Nm"="Tahoma".

    Nm <- is the name of the string
    Tahoma <- is the value of the string


  3. Any WM 5.0 users? Is the above workable for WM 5.0? I do have a friend who told me it does not work on her WM 5.0. I tested on WM 6.0 and it works.



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