07/12/2012 NOTE: the material shown below is obsolete and refers to the "old" SEAsite and its unique fonts.  We are collecting material about the Unicode fonts now used and will be adding instructions and guidance soon.


Getting Started with SEAsite

Current 01/17/08

To get full use of SEAsite, you will need to get and install some free software onto your machine.  You can do this from this page.

Note on computer types supported:  SEAsite development is primarily for Windows (which make up about 90% of our hits). Other platforms should largely work ok as well, but there may be some difficulties with some parts of SEAsite content.   Mac fonts for Thai, Burmese and Vietnamese are now available, but have not been fully tested yet (see below).  Mac fonts for DB Thai text and IPA are not yet available - however, there may be public domain versions of DB Thai for the Mac since it is fairly widely used.



SEAsite was developed starting in 1997.  At that time computers and the Internet had limited and non-standard support for non-latin alphabets such as Thai and Burmese.  We developed our own fonts for SEAsite Web pages. These are the fonts you can download using links (below) on this page. Our fonts, too, are non-standard in some respects and are not intended for others to use to create their own documents in these languages.  We do not prohibit this kind of use, but we cannot answer questions about how to use them and we highly recommend that those who want to create and share documents in other languages make use of Unicode fonts for this purpose.

Some SEAsite materials already use Unicode - most of the Vietnamese materials have a Unicode version and some Thai materials are also in Unicode.  If you have a modern computer and operating system (for Windows, XP or later) you should be able to view these SEAsite Unicode-based materials automatically.

If we can obtain funding, we do have a plan to convert other non-Latin alphabet materials to Unicode in the future.

Instructions:  If you intend to study Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese, Lao, or Khmer you need to have a font (or two) for that language installed on your machine.  SEAsite provides these fonts - other fonts for the same language will not work.  Follow the "simple" directions below. 


Note: Turn off Virus Protection when you download these fonts.  In some cases, Virus Protection may prevent the correct installation of new fonts.

Win 95: To download a font, simply click on the link at the end of this section for the font you want. You will see a dialog that allows you to check "Save to disk" to download and save the SEAsite font in your \windows\fonts folder.

Win 98, XP: Right-click on the link.  You will see a pop-up menu saying Save Target.  Click on this save it into your \windows\fonts folder.  When you do so, it will be automatically installed. 

Win2000, ME etc. The procedure should be similar; the folder into which the fonts should be stored may be \WinNT\Fonts. However, it may be necessary to tell the system that the font is loaded.  Two procedures seem to work

Windows NT: (Hints thanks to Chris Pirazzi) In windows NT, the directory where the fonts directory resides is not usually called \windows. Unfortunately,
there is no standard name; the user specifies it when they install NT on the machine. A way to definitively get the right directory name is this:
- Go to "Start...Settings...Control Panel"
- Double-click on "System"
- Click on the "Environment" tab
- Under "System Variables," look for the "windir" variable.
- The value of this variable is the name of the folder in which you will find the correct fonts\ folder.
- Put the file (e.g. thaittf.ttf) in the fonts\ folder.
It is not enough to save the file thaittf.ttf to the ..\fonts folder. You have to actually bring up a Windows Explorer and browse to the ..\fonts folder. Once you have done this, the new font registers in the system and is accessible by web browsers, etc.

After you have downloaded the font, try to view a page using the font in a browser.  For some browsers, the L2 materials will then automatically display in Web pages that use the font.  For other browsers, you may have to tell the browser to use document-specified fonts.  Unfortunately, the way you do this varies from one browser version to another, and one version of Windows to another, so we cannot give precise instructions here.

To check that the font is properly installed - try to use Wordpad to create a new document and choose your newly downloaded font.  It should be in the font list.  If it's not,

Download problems? Some browsers try to display a font (as junk and square boxes) rather than offering to download them.   If your browser does this, try to find out how to tell it to offer the "save to disk" (or some such) option for files of type .ttf.  If you can't do that, you can try the following:

Note again that some virus protection systems appear to prevent proper installation. If you are using a virus protection program and all seems to go normally, but the font does not display in a browser, then turn off the virus protection, download and save the font again, and try the browser.

Installation/Browser problems?   Read through all the information on this page, consult with local experts (if you have access to any) or email me henry@cs.niu.edu and I'll see if I can help.

Download Fonts

Note: Turn off Virus protection when you download these fonts.  In some cases, it apparently prevents the correct installation of new fonts.

New 8/20/03 Mac Fonts for Lao, Khmer, and Burmese

These have been well tested by the person who created them, but we don't have Mac computers or expertise.  According to the font creator,

"They all nicely download and automatically expand with Stuffit Expander into suitcase files on the desktop.  From there, you should drag them into the System, Fonts folder to install them."

I am using the http: transfer protocol, which was the way the font creator tried and tested them. 



Lao New Light
Lao Phonemic


SEAsite Thai (Windows): For most SEAsite pages showing Thai script.
Download SEAsite Thai Font for Windows.
SEAsite Thai
Download SEAsite Mac Thai Font

Note: The two fonts below will only work with older browsers: Version 3 or 4.  We hope to have new versions of the dictionary by late in 2003.

SEAsite Thai Dictionary Font (Windows): for the big Thai dictionary pages.
Download SEAsite Thai Dictionary Font for Windows.

SEAsite Thai Dictionary Font (Macintosh):
Download SEAsite Mac Thai Dictionary Font

SEAsite IPA:  (Windows): Some Thai, Khmer, and Lao pages indicate pronunciation using IPA symbols.  To display these correctly,
Download the SEAsite IPA Font for Windows.

SEAsite IPA: (Macintosh)
Download the SEAsite Mac IPA Font

SEAsite Lao Font (Windows): All of these are used in various Lao Web pages.
Download the SEAsite Lao Font for Windows
Download the Lao Phonemic Font for Windows
Download the SEASite IPA Font for Windows

Macintosh: see box above

SEAsite Khmer Font (Windows):
Download Khmer Font #1 for Windows
Download Khmer Font #2 for Windows

Note that some pages in the Khmer Web use the IPA font (see above).

Macintosh: see box above.

SEAsite Burmese (Windows): 
Note: both Font #1 and Font #2 are required for proper display of the Burmese script on all browsers.   Sorry!

Download SEASite Burmese Font #1 for Windows
Download SEAsite Burmese Font #2 for Windows

Macintosh: see box above.

SEAsite Vietnamese

Unicode Version of Vietnamese Lessons

Almost all the Vietnamese lesson materials are now available  in Unicode and will work fine with Unicode-compliant computers (Windows 2000, XP, Vista (and Win98 if you have installed a Unicode font).  Macs should be fine, too, if you have a Unicode font with Vietnamese in it. 

Just choose the Unicode versions of the lessons.

The stuff below for the VNI Times Vietnamese font should be ignored unless you have a compelling reason to try to use it.


Using the VNI Times Font Version of Vietnamese Lessons

IMPORTANT Note about the VNI TimesVietnamese font: The Vietnamese font does not display correctly in newer browsers.  This is because the browsers have changed the way they render font characters above 127 in any font - they use official HTML characters in place of the character in the font.  This happened several years after we first created the Vietnamese pages, and there is no way we can fix this. Older versions of some browsers (e.g. Netscape (the 4.x versions)) and IE (Version 3 for sure) work ok with the VNI Times font, but you must manually set your browser to use the Vietnamese font.  Your browser will not automatically display correct Vietnamese unless you do this.  See below.

SEAsite Vietnamese (Windows 3.1/9x/NT): 
Download the VNI Times Font (courtesy of VNI Software).

Seasite Vietnamese (Macintosh): Download the VNI Times Font

Here is a note from a Mac user about using VNI Times on a Mac.  Thank you to Ron Rissel:

I have a Macintosh G3 computer running OS 9.1. My web browser is Netscape 4.75. And here is the secret to getting it to work with my computer:

1. First of all download and install the VNI-Times font for the Mac into your System/Fonts folder.

2. In Netscape Communicator 4.75, select Edit --> Preferences. Select Fonts.

In the "Variable Width Font" box, select VNI-Times.

3. In Netscape Communicator 4.75, select View --> Character Set --> Western (MacRoman).

This last step is critical! No other selection will work with VNI-Times!

Further Hints for Using the VNI Times Vietnamese Font in Browsers

In many browsers SEAsite Vietnamese text will (still) not display correctly unless you explicitly tell the browser to use the VNI font

In Netscape 4, go to Edit/Preferences/Fonts and choose "VNI-Times"  in the "Variable Width Fonts" item.

You might try clicking on "Use Document-Specified Fonts, including Dynamic Fonts" first, but it seems not to work on many computers.

In Internet Explorer 3, go to View/Options and click on Font Settings button, and set "Proportional Font " to "VNI-Times"



Bugis (Makassar) Font

Although SEAsite does not have any language materials on the Buginese language (or Makassar, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi), we do have a Windows True Type font for the language, developed by Andi Malarangeng and Jim Henry a few years ago at Northern Illinois University. 

Bugis (Makassar) Font

Real Audio

To hear much of the audio content in SEAsite, you will need the RealAudio RealPlayer which is free and can be downloaded from the site shown below.

free_player.gif (1359 bytes)  Go to the Real Audio site to download the RealPlayer.  Look for the "Free RealPlayer" - unless you want to pay for additional features.

The current version (as of 01/2008) is Version 11.

Regular Audio

Regular Audio (known as .wav files) will normally play automatically in most browsers if you have a sound card on your computer.  However, the program used to play them will vary from one computer to another, depending on the way it has been configured.   For more information about this, and for some options on how to change the way that regular audio files are create, follow this link.

MP3 Audio

Some SEAsite lessons use mp3 files.  These should play automatically on your computer using whatever audio player application your computer is configured to use.


For Windows (all versions after 3.1), both Netscape 3.0 (and up) and Internet Explorer (3.0 and up) are recommended. Newer versions generally work well with some exceptions (e.g. fonts problems mentioned above) but you really have no choice.  Just use what you have.  If you have problems, email us and we will try to help: henry@cs.niu.edu

Some SEAsite content consists of interactive exercises programmed in the Java programming language.  Other computer types and operating systems (Windows 3.1, Macintosh, Linux, etc.) also have browsers that support Java.  The versions available, installation methods, and features supported vary with time.

These can be downloaded from the respective vendors' sites.  You may want to upgrade to the latest version.  Details may change from time to time, so no specific directions are given here.

Back to SEAsite Homepage

Last modified: 07/12/12