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Thursday, January 26, 2006

MS Sans Serif: Not a nice international player

I wanted to translate my app to Polish and I noticed that some of my dialog items were cropped. How come ?

This appTranslator user developed his app in English using Visual C++ 6.0. This version of VC++ uses MS Sans Serif as the default dialog font. The problem is that this font supports the Western European code page only.When one adds an Eastern European language such as Polish, appTranslator realizes that the font will not display correctly in Polish hence replaces the default dialog font by Tahoma.Now Tahoma is a _little_ bit wider than MS Sans Serif, resulting in long source text items being cropped, especially if the controls were really just wide enough to display the text.

Is this a problem ?

Well, not really since as soon as you translate an item, appTranslator resizes it (if it's not wide enough). The problem kind of auto-fixes itself.

Can one avoid this problem ?

Yes. If you remain concerned, there is something else you can do: Microsoft created a enhanced version of MS Sans Serif : Microsoft Sans Serif (sic!). This font is a Unicode font containing a lot more characters and supporting many more charsets, including Eastern European languages, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek,...

As far as Western European characters are concerned, they are exactly the same in both fonts.
Therefore, you can simply replace occurences of MS Sans Serif by Microsoft Sans Serif in your resource scripts. Or you can set this font as the default font for the intended language in appTranslator.

Of course, using 'MS Shell Dlg' is an even better idea.

2 Comments:

At 12:26 PM, The SZ said...

Why gets "MS Shell Dlg 2" resized if you change your dpi settings, but "MS Shell Dlg" not? What is the supposted correct font name in resources to support
* different dpi settings
* different languages

Steffen

 
At 11:17 PM, Serge said...

I have no idea.

You might want to ask on news.microsoft.com/microsoft.public.win32.programmer.international

 

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