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Russify MS Windows

These instructions are good for:

  • MS Windows NT 4.0.
  • MS Windows 98.
  • MS Windows 95.
  • MS Windows 3.11, MS Windows 3.1.

KOI8-R vs CP1251 on Windows Turf

Our recommedation is to use native CP1251 fonts and keyboard on MS Windows platforms. This is because Microsoft CP1251 fonts are nicer than free KOI8-R fonts and because CP1251 keyboard is integrated with the system, while KOI8-R keyboard is not.

This does not mean, however, that you need to stop using KOI8-R as external Internet standard. KOI8-R is the standard that you should use, and the way to handle this is to use applications that convert internal CP1251 characters into external KOI8-R characters when sending stuff out and, vice versa, convert KOI8-R to CP1251 when reading stuff in.

Two most important Internet applications -- Netscape Communicator (Navigator version 4.0) and Microsoft Internet Explorer (starting at ver. 3.0) -- already do it. This is all that matters.

However, if you use MS Windows 3.1 and/or older applicatons that do not perform on-the-fly conversion, you still need to install KOI8-R fonts and keyboard to be able to work with cyrillic stuff on the Net.

Before you start

Summary. I assume that you have a fresh installation of a Windows system.

Before you start, I recommend to uninstall all other russification packages on your system. I do not really know how to uninstall all the russification packages in existence today. You have to ask the vendor of the package you want to uninstall.

Table Of Contents

Please note that Russification is substantially different for these 3 systems, so pay attention to what technique is used for what system.

There are 3 things that you need to do to russify your MS Windows system:

  1. Install Cyrillic Fonts
    You need them to display Cyrillic characters.
  2. Install Cyrillic Keyboard Switcher.
    You need it to be able to type in Cyrillic.
  3. Russify Your Applications
    That is, make them use cyrillic fonts and allow 8-bit characters thru.
  4. Cyrillic Converters
    Programs that convert texts from one cyrillic encoding to another.

Copyright © 1996-2003 by Vadim Maslov.   Updated July 28, 2001.