Viewfile Cannot Render Unicode Characters in PowerPoint Files

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  1. Some UTF-8 characters, eg. Japanese are rendered as boxes when using the viewfile macro.
  2. You may see that this affects certain fonts, eg. MS-Mincho, Arial, etc.


The JVM relies on the available fonts installed in your operating system. If you don't have the required fonts, you will see your utf-8 characters rendered as boxes in viewfile macro. For example, if you have Arial font and not MS-Mincho, you may discover the UTF-8 characters can be rendered when using Arial as a font and not the other.


  1. Make sure that your operating system has the required fonts eg. ARIALUNI.ttf to render the UTF-8 characters.
  2. If using Windows, you may need to purchase the font from a third party and install the required font in C:\Windows\Fonts.
tip/resting Created with Sketch.

You can use this powerpoint file: TESTFONTS.ppt, submitted to the courtesy of Zac Craven, to check if you have the following fonts installed: MS Mincho, MS Gothic, Arial Unicode MS, Adobe Fangsong STD, Simsun, Gulim

Using the Powerpoint file, you should see East Asian Fonts rendered like this screenshot.


East Asian Fonts from Wikipedia

Last modified on Feb 26, 2016

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