How to Get Japanese Fonts on Microsoft Word

By Marie Cartwright

You might think that writing a document in Japanese characters is as easy as installing a new font, but it's a bit trickier than that. Japanese is written in a non-Latin alphabet, meaning that both Microsoft Word and your installation of Windows need to be configured to support it. At this time, Windows 7 Ultimate is the only recent version of Windows that supports multiple languages. You also need either a Japanese keyboard or a bilingual keyboard that can be used both for English and Japanese.

Things You'll Need

  • Compatible keyboard

Step 1

Open the "Start" menu. Type "Microsoft Update" into the Search field. Press "Enter" to launch Microsoft Update (this listing may appear as "Check for Updates"). Click the link for available optional updates. Find the updates for Windows 7 Language Packs. Select the Japanese Language Pack (this update is available free). Click "OK." Click "Install Updates." Wait for the file to finish installing.

Step 2

Open the Control Panel. Select "Clock, Language and Region." Click "Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods." Click the "Change Keyboards" button to open the Text Services and Input Languages window. Select "Japanese" from the drop-down menu. Click "OK." The Language Bar appears in the bottom-right corner of your screen, next to the taskbar. The Language Bar is represented by a small square with two letters in it. Click on the Language Bar and select "JP." Unplug your Latin alphabet keyboard and replace it with your Japanese keyboard (this is not necessary if you are using a bilingual keyboard).

Step 3

Launch Microsoft Word. If your version of Microsoft Office came preinstalled with Japanese language support, you can now use the program to write in Japanese. If not, you need to purchase and install a Microsoft Office language pack. To check your installation of Microsoft Word for installed language packs, open the "File" tab. Click "Options." Click "Language." If Japanese is listed under the Set the Office Language Preferences box, you are good to go. If not, visit the Microsoft Office website to download and install a language pack.