Jul 302012
 

New Chinese fonts in Mountain Lion (simplified)

New Chinese fonts in Mountain Lion (simplified)

I admit to being a bit of a font and typography geek, so I was very excited to hear that eight new fonts were being introduced to OS X for the Mac with 10.8. Only one of these, Yuppy (SC & TC), is installed by default. To get the others, just launch the Font Book app (a standard part of the system which can be found in the Applications folder). In the list of “All Fonts” look for

  • Baoli SC
  • Langtinghei SC & TC
  • Libian SC
  • Wawati SC & TC
  • Weibi SC & TC
  • Xingkai SC
  • Yuanti SC

Each will be labeled “Off.” With a font selected, simply go to the menubar under “Edit” and choose “Enable …” The font will be downloaded and installed. For those that have separate traditional and simplified families, you can choose which to install.

Installing optional Chinese fonts in Mountain Lion

Installing optional Chinese fonts in Mountain Lion

I was glad to see that a few of the fonts have various weights, which are handy for distinguishing headings or emphasis. In addition to the ones shown in the image below, Baoli and Libian may be similar enough to be used as heavy and light variants. In the samplers above and below, all the font samples are at the same point size so that you can see the relative size differences between them.

Chinese fonts with multiple weights in Mountain Lion

Chinese fonts with multiple weights in Mountain Lion

A couple of the new fonts are casual, even comic, in style, which brings some much needed variety to the offerings and will probably be used extensively in student projects. Wawati reminded me a bit of a font used in a children’s book series about a boy named 马鸣加, which is why I used the title of the first book in the samplers.

Funky font in Ma Ming Jia book series

Funky font in Ma Ming Jia book series

Yuanti reminded me a lot of the font used in the edition of 西游记 Journey to the West that I used as part of the iOS Chinese OCR showdown. So I tried to recreate the first page of the text as closely as possible. Below are the photo of the original used for the OCR tests and a screenshot of a Pages document that I created using Yuanti light (and Songti for the chapter title). I include this comparison for Stuart, who commented on the OCR post that he was looking for a font like this.

Photo of the first page of a Xi You Ji adaptation

Photo of the first page of a Xi You Ji adaptation

Recreating the book with the Yuanti font

Recreating the book with the Yuanti font

These comparisons with books published in China show that you can do some pretty nice work in Chinese with just the Mac system fonts. I very much hope that Apple brings at least one of these to iOS.

These fonts have roman alphabet counterparts; in the images, each font name is in the font itself so you can see that the styles are a good match. We’ll take a closer look at the roman alphabet counterparts in a separate post.

OS X (Mountain Lion) is available from the Mac App Store. OS X Mountain Lion - Apple

  3 Responses to “OS 10.8 new and improved features: fonts”

  1. I am attempting to use Chinese fonts in Final Cut Pro, and while they turn up in the menu, they don’t appear as Chinese.

    They are activated in Font Book, but I still can’t use them.

    • Hi, Brian,

      I don’t use Final Cut Pro myself, but according to this Apple support page, support for simplified Chinese was only added in version 10.0.4 (you didn’t specify what version you have). If you have at least that, then perhaps make sure that you are not trying to use traditional Chinese characters (I haven’t found any mention of support for traditional Chinese in Final Cut Pro).

      If you still can’t use simplified Chinese in Final Cut Pro 10.0.4 or higher, then I would recommend asking on the Apple support forums.

      • It needs to come from actual chinese symbols to actually work, if you just press some alphabet keys your not going to get the symbols..

        Does anyone know how I can download the Yuppy SC font..I have it installed in my font book but dont know how to download it to send to a client…

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>