• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 2 months ago

Configure Firefox for IPA


You use Firefox! You are so awesome!


First things first

You won't be able to use IPA with some features of Firefox until you have an IPA font installed, and most operating systems don't install one by default. So if you don't have an IPA font installed yet, go to Cool free IPA fonts to download and download one. If you need help installing it, go to How to install fonts on your computer.


General how-to and tips

Not everyone uses Mozilla Firefox as their web browser. Dietary broccoli is also a choice that many do not make. If you are trying to email with IPA characters or any other non-Western standard, you will need a browser that is sophisticated enough to recognize and display at least UTF-8 encoded fonts. Firefox has this capability, many university systems already have it imaged to lab computers, and it's free. So if you're tired of bleached out canned corn, and would like to try something with a little more vitamin U+0B12, give Firefox a try.  It will make your Unicode life much easier.


Firefox is produced by the Mozilla organization. You can download versions for Windows, MacOS and Linux from http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/.


Setting Default Fonts in Firefox

So you've seen enough Times New Roman and Arial to drive you dingbatty, and you want to see something a little prettier in your e-mailbox or you want a font that supports phonetic transcriptions or non-English script. Good.


Here's how you can set the font in Firefox:

  1. Make sure you have the fonts you need installed in your operating system How to install fonts

  2. Go to the Tools drop-down menu and click on Options (or on a Mac, go to the Firefox drop-down menu and click on Preferences).





  1. In the Options window there is a grouping labelled Fonts & Colors. Here you can set your default font (the font that Firefox will employ if there are no specific instructions) by clicking on the arrow next to your default option and scrolling to the font you choose.




This will allow many of the web environments you visit to use your default font. However, there are many instances, like e-mail, where your default setting won't be enough. For example, if the “To:” box (where you put the sendee's address) needs a sans serif font, you might need this to include non-standard characters, you might not. Your message box is yet another. So you will need to select several fonts. You do this by clicking on the Advanced button in the same Fonts & Colors grouping above.

  1. You have 4 fonts you can set here. Again click on the arrows next to the font types you wish to change and scroll through to the font you need. (Note that when doing this on a Mac, you might have to scroll down past the first alphabetical list to find the font you installed.) The character encoding will likely default to something like Western (ISO-8859-1). If you are using a font that is encoded for UTF-8 or UTF-16, you will need to set the proper encoding. IPA fonts like Gentium, Doulos, and Junicode are usually compatible with UTF-8 encoding.




  1. Test it out and go get some more coffee.


Viewing web pages

Most installations of Firefox are automatically configured to display IPA correctly. To test yours we have created a Browser test page that contains most of the commonly used IPA characters. So before continuing, go to the Browser test page. Scroll down the page and look at all the characters. If any are missing or if an empty box appears for any of the characters, or if trash appears instead of the character, come back here and read the Troubleshooting section below for instructions on how to fix your Firefox to display the characters correctly.


Troubleshooting view settings

If your Firefox failed to display some or all of the IPA characters on the Browser test page, do the following:

  1. On the top menu click on View > Character Encoding > Auto-Detect, and select "Off."
  2. On the top menu click on View > Character Encoding, and in the lower section select "Unicode UTF-8."


That didn't fix it.  What now?

Failing that, you can always manually override the font choices specified by the Web page, which you might find necessary if a style is indicated that's messing with the page's ability to display IPA.  The result is likely to be a stripped-down, bare-bones view of the page, but any IPA characters you were previously unable to view should show up:

  1. Follow the instructions above for reaching the screen where you set the default fonts.
  2. Uncheck the box labelled "Allow pages to choose their own fonts, instead of my selections above".
  3. Click OK, then close the Preferences window in whatever manner your OS specifies in order to save changes.


Typing in web pages (e.g., a webmail account)

Firefox itself has no built-in "insert character" utility. However, many websites do offer such a feature, e.g., forums, wikis, and the like. If you find such a feature on a web site then it was created by the web site designers, not by Firefox. Look around on the web page to see if the authors of the page created such a feature. If not, then go to the main page for your operating system (use the icons in the sidebar to the right) and read under the General stuff to know ... section near the top of the page. You can still use the methods available in your operating system to type characters into a web page. Note, however, that on some web pages you have to turn on HTML editing to do so.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.