Rich's Pinyin Fonts for Mac and Windows

Important Note: I no longer provide support for these fonts. They haven't been tested on any version of Mac OS later than 9.2.2, or on any version of Windows later than Windows 95.

Pinyin is a phonetic representation of Mandarin Chinese using Roman characters. Chinese symbols represent syllables rather than letters, and each syllable can be pronounced in several intonations, giving different meanings (as I understand it). In Pinyin, Roman characters with special diacritical marks above them, indicating a specific intonation, are used to display Chinese. However, the typical Macintosh font doesn't contain all the necessary marks, and the accent marks that are available are hard to find on the keyboard.



I created this group of TrueType fonts, based loosely on Helvetica, Times and Garamond, because I couldn't find fonts on the Internet that were useful. Apple's Chinese Language Kit doesn't seem to have any way to display these characters (at least not easily, and I can't find that feature if it's there).

Info for Mac users:

Most foreign accented characters on the Mac are accessed by first typing a key combination, which seemingly does nothing (these are called dead-keys), followed by another key. An example would be hitting 'option-n' and then the letter 'n' to get 'ñ'. When you install the Pinyin fonts into the Fonts folder of your System Folder, install the included Pinyin keyboard layout in your System file, too. Select the layout in the Keyboard Control Panel, or in the Keyboard Menu in the menu bar, for those of you who have that activated.

What this keyboard layout does is organize these new characters a little better on the keyboard. Type a certain dead-key combination, like option-a, and select the correct character with the number keys. For example, typing option-a, then 2, would give you á. option-e, then 4, would give you è, etc. Pressing the spacebar after hitting the dead-key combination just gives you the plain letter. Check this stuff out in the Key Caps desk accessory that comes with Mac OS (under the Apple Menu).

option-a, then 1-4
option-e, then 1-5
option-i, then 1-4
option-o, then 1-4
option-u, then 1-9

For those rare occasions when you need an uppercase vowel with the accent over it, type the dead-key, then shift-1, or whatever.

New in this version: I did an italic version of the serif font. I couldn't figure out how to generate the font so that it just goes italic when you choose italic from your word processor's menu, so it's its own selection in the menu. It's a little extra work, but you wanted a dedicated italic, didn't you? I'll fix it later, just choose it from the font menu for now.

Info for Windows users:

Sorry, this font set is no longer available for Windows users. Times have changed, Windows has changed, and I can't keep up support for it.

Rich's Pinyin Fonts 1.8 1997.12.25 200k
Download for Mac only

Pinyin Keyboard Layout PDF 1997.12.25 50k
Download for Mac only

The keyboard layout diagram (which requires Adobe Acrobat) is only for use with Mac OS 9 or earlier. The keyboard layout is not currently compatible with Mac OS X.

Thanks to Tim Richardson for motivating me to make these fonts. Enjoy!

Rich's PinYin Fonts for Mac OS and Windows
Copyright ©1996-2002 Rich D.
Macintosh System 7.1 through Mac OS 9.2.2 is recommended.