Chinese Tools' Java Set-up

These new versions of my tools have many improvements over the previous versions, including the much asked for ability to run as a stand-alone programs. They also have some new requirements to be run. All require installing the Java plug-in. Some (flashcards, add pinyin, GIF generator) also require a Chinese font. Instructions on how to do these steps for various computer platforms are included below. You only need to do this once to run all of the tools. Be sure to restart your browser after finishing all the steps.

If a window appears asking "Do you want to trust the signed applet distributed by 'Erik Peterson'?", click "yes".

Note: Some people have reported having problems with the applets even after following the steps below. I'm trying to understand what the problems are and if they can fixed. If you encounter a problem, please send me as much detail about your system and the nature of the problem, especially what browser and browser version number you are using and your operating system. Thank you for your patience. Before you write, please make sure you have the Chinese fonts installed and that they are accessible from other programs.

If you are having problems, please do this: In the Control Panel (from settings on the Start menu) there should be an option for "Java Plug-in". Open it and then under "Basic", click "Show Java Console". Restart your browser and then try to load the page you want again. The Java console should appear in a separate window. On some newer installations, when Java starts a little black and white triangle with a red nose is placed in the lower-right corner of the Windows. Click on it to bring up the Java console. See what shows up in the console and then send it to me. I should be able to tell you what the problem is and how to fix it.

The Java that comes with Netscape 6.0 and 7.0 will work for these pages, but you still need to have Chinese fonts and set the access permissions. If you have problems with setting-up, please write me through my contact page.


  1. Java 2 Plug-in: Install the Java 2 Plug-In (part of the Java Runtime Environment) for Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer, available at JavaSoft by clicking on the "Download JRE" link. Restart your browser after installation.
  2. Chinese Font: For the tools that actually display Chinese (flashcards, add pinyin, etc.), you will need a Chinese font on your system. The applets will automatically find a Chinese font if you have one. If you run the applets and the Chinese appears as empty boxes, you need to install a Chinese font on your system.

    In either case, the Cyberbit font works well with the flashcards. After you download it, you will need to uncompress it. A good program for this is is WinZip. After uncompressing the file, install the font by clicking on "Start"->"Settings"->"Control Panel". Select the "Fonts" icon. In the window that appears, select "File" and then "Install New Fonts" from the main menu. Go to the directory with the Cyberbit font, select it, and click OK.

    Other fonts that will work well include:

Linux and other Unixes

  1. Java 2 Plug-in: The Java2 Plug-in for Netscape on Linux is now available. Look for "Download J2SE v 1.4.2_03" and get the JRE. You can also run most of the tools on Linux, including the flashcards using the "appletviewer" program that comes with the JRE instead of Netscape. At the command line, type


    Replace (pagename) appletviewer

    Replace (pagename) with the name of the web page with the tool. This could be flashcards.html, cimage.html, pyconverter.html, etc. Make sure that appletviewer is in your path.

    Or, for the flaschards, instead of running them as an applet, you can run them directly as an application. At the command line type:

    java -jar flashcards.jar

    in the same directory as where you unzipped the file.

    You can download a working version of JDK 2 with the appletviewer from JavaSoft.

  2. Chinese Fonts: So far, the only way I've been able to use Chinese fonts successfully with Java on Linux is to install a True Type font server and then use the same True Types fonts used in Windows (see above). Information on True Type Font servers is available at the Fonts in XFree86 site. I can try to help with questions about this but I'm not an expert on Linux fonts.


  1. Java 2 Plug-in: The Java 2 Plug-in for Macintosh is installed by default on MacOS X, but is not available on MacOS 8 or 9 (MRJ 2.2 is not the same thing as Java2).
  2. Chinese Fonts: If you are running MacOS X (and you have to be to run my tools) you likely already have Chinese fonts installed. If not, see the MacOS X page at the Chinese Mac FAQ. See the Chinese Mac FAQ page on fonts for more sources of Chinese fonts.

Contributions from people familiar with using Java on other OS'es are welcome

Please visit my contact page with questions or comments about setting up Java for these Chinese tools. Please specify your operating system and what browser you are using, and as much detail about what you've already tried as possible.