Why are some Chinese characters on a PC are unreadable on a Mac?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by hayzen, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. hayzen macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    My co-workers use Chinese Windows on their PC and when they send me a document, my Mac interprets some Chinese characters as garbled. If I copy that garbled text and place it in Chinese Windows, it can be read fine.

    Is there some kind of setting I can change or software I can install on my Mac so I can read all Chinese characters perfectly?
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Its called character-encoding. Windows and the Mac have different character maps. Other than the base 128 ASCII character set, this is an issue even with Latin character sets. If you are trading documents between Windows and PC users of Chinese documents, then you must be very careful to standardize your fonts and character maps. This is not much of a problem for people who know what they are doing. However, it may be a nightmare for those who don't.
  3. nastebu macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008
    I'm curious, what software are you using? This shouldn't happen in Word.
  4. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    The Unicode character encoding standard is supposed to resolve these sorts of issues. If they're using a Windows version prior to XP, which has limited or no support for Unicode, then you're going to have problems unless you manually convert the character encoding. This isn't hard for plain text files - an application like Bare Bones's TextWrangler makes short work of these tasks. For something other than plain text, the option required depends on the application and version used.

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