If you don't like the way it looks, try something plainer...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/09/14 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/09/14/10210525.aspx

William asked (via the Contact link):

Hi Michael,

I just read your post about font substitution, which is why I know you're likely to have the answer to my question!

I am running Windows XP (English), but I work for a Japanese company so I get a lot of emails in Japanese.

The problem is that "MS Pゴシック" (MS P Gothic) is set as the default font for Outlook on everyone's PC, even if they are non-Japanese and even if they are running the English version of the OS. This appears to be the policy of my company's Help Desk.

Since I can't change their policy, and I certainly can't go around secretly to everyone's machine and change their default font, I started looking at Font Substitution as a possible way to silently replace their horrible MS P Gothic font with a nicer one. (Note that I'm only trying to replace the Latin character set, which looks horrible. The Japanese character set in MS P Gothic looks just fine.)

Is there any way to do this? I tried adding a font substitution entry in the registry as follows, but it didn't work.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes]
"MS Pゴシック,0"="Tahoma"

What would you suggest?

Many thanks in advance for your help!


Unfortunately, there is no good answer here for such a global change, beyond really encouraging people to move to Meiryo or Meiryo UI (which is difficult if they're using XP).

There is a real lack of a global system to subvert the meaning of the fonts used when you view email, other than perhaps the settings in Outlook.

Note that these settings can be in different parts of the Outlook user interface in different versions, so you may need to search a bit to figure out where the settings are in your version....

Basically, there are two big changes:

First, make sure you view all email as plain text:

This will largely take the particular font out of the equation entirely.

Then, to be sure you get the font you want, make sure to explicitly set the font for plain text mails:

This should spare you a lot of the Latin text that uses a font you don't want.

Now of course when you replay to email the cat may be out of the bag, and people will see you've dumped their formatting. I only mention this so you won't be blindsided by it later.... :-)

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