Description of the Arial Unicode MS font in Word 2002


The Arial Unicode MS (ARIALUNI.TTF) font allows the display of characters in most languages. This font contains glyphs for all code points within the Unicode Standard, version 2.1.

NOTE: A glyph is a graphical representation of a character.

More Information

  1. What is Unicode?

    Unicode: A numeric character-encoding system that is defined by the Unicode Consortium and used by Microsoft Windows and some other computer systems.

    Unicode is a 16-bit encoding that encompasses many characters that are used in general text interchange throughout the world. Each Unicode index refers unambiguously to a given character. Unicode allows a larger range of characters to be addressed than is possible by using a single-byte character encoding. All Unicode values are double-byte, which simplifies the way that a Unicode-based system reads a string of text. In comparison, a double-byte system must determine which values in a string are single-byte character codes and which are double-byte character codes.

    Unicode provides a unique number for every character, regardless of which platform, program, or language is being used. For each character that is defined in Unicode, you find an assigned code point: a hexadecimal number (range 0x0000 to 0xFFFF) that is used to represent that character in computer data.

    You may not find the character in what you think is the obvious place. Although the characters in Unicode are grouped into blocks, this is only a rough grouping, because characters can be categorized many different ways. In particular, punctuation and symbols are applicable across a very wide range of usages and scripts (writing systems).

    The fundamental idea behind Unicode is to be language-independent, which helps conserve space in the character map. No single character is assumed to identify a language in itself. Just as the character "a" can be a French, German, or English "a", even if they have different meanings, a particular Han ideograph may map to a character that is used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

    For more information about the Unicode Standard 2.1, please browse to the following Web site:
  2. Why is the file size of the Arial Unicode MS font so large?

    The file size of the Arial Unicode MS font is 22 MB because it is a complete Unicode font. It contains all the characters in Arial plus full fonts for Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and Hebrew, plus all of the different symbol characters and character ranges.

    Unicode is divided into numeric ranges of similar characters. (A numeric range is a range of numerical values that are available for encoding characters.) For example, all of the Cyrillic characters are located in the same numeric range. The following ranges are included in the Arial Unicode MS font.

    NOTE: To see the specific characters that are contained in any of the ranges, follow these steps:
    1. On the Insert menu in Microsoft Word, click Symbol.
    2. On the Symbols tab in the Symbol dialog box, change the Subset box to the range that you want.
    The Arial Unicode MS font supports characters that are defined in many different code pages. A code page is a coded character set in which each character is assigned a numeric code. Code pages are usually defined to support specific languages or groups of languages that share common writing systems. For example, code page 1253 provides the character codes that are required in the Greek writing system. Characters from the following code pages are included in the Arial Unicode MS font.

  3. When should I use the Arial Unicode MS font?

    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.
  4. How do I install the Arial Unicode MS font? The Arial Unicode MS font is installed as part of the Microsoft Office Setup and is part of the International Support features. To install the Arial Unicode MS font, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.NOTE: In Microsoft Windows XP, click Start and then click Control Panel.

    2. In Control Panel, click Add/Remove Programs.
    3. Do one of the following.
      • In Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), or Microsoft Windows NT 4.0:

        On the Install/Uninstall tab, click Microsoft Office XP (or Microsoft Word 2002), and then click Add/Remove. -or-

      • In Microsoft Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows XP:

        Click Change or Remove Programs, click Microsoft Office XP (or Microsoft Word 2002), and then click Change.
    4. In the Features to install window, click Next.
    5. Click to expand Office Shared Features.
    6. Click to expand International Support.
    7. Click the icon next to Universal Font, and then click Run all from My computer on the shortcut menu.
    8. Click Update to complete the installation of the Universal Font (Arial Unicode MS) to your computer.

Article ID: 287247 - Last Review: Jul 27, 2006 - Revision: 1