Installing Chinese and Zhuyin Fonts for Mac

Today, I install my Chinese fonts for the 3rd time on a third computer, and figure it it time to document the Chinese fonts on my Mac.

Mac comes preinstalled with Chinese fonts.  So there is no reason to install more fonts unless you

  • Need zhuyin + traditional character fonts
  • Need pinyin + simplified character fonts
  • Need pinyin + zhuyin + simplified character fonts
  • Need hand writing (鋼筆體)fonts

If you want to find your own fonts, google 字體.

A Word on fonts

There are various styles of Chinese calligraphy writing.  The one that is considered “standard” is the 標楷體 (kai).  This font is great because you can tell where the stroke starts, since it’s written kind of in calligraphy style.  It’s also closer to hand writing font than 明體 (ming), which are the default fonts used in Mac.  For example, compare these two fonts, with 標楷, you can see how to start stroke 2 and where it ends.  With 明體, the bottom 一 stroke is slightly above, and not how you hand write.

Kai vs Ming style fonts

Kai vs Ming style fonts


Does it really matter?

Yes actually, if you believe that children unconsciously absorb from their environment.  For example, Astroboy insists on writing his 7 with that extra vertical line in front, because it was how he was used to seeing his 7, before I started making my own material.

There are a few major traditional font companies out there.  Some of them make simplified fonts.  Some have fonts which have simplified+pinyin, traditional+zhuyin, etc.  For example, here’s how I would search for 華康 fonts in Google. “華康 簡體字型 下載”, Click on Google Images.  I usually follow the images to promising websites.

Macs already come with 標楷體 (Kai font).  But you will find it useful because it will sometimes not have a specific character in that font.  I’ve always had luck when that happens by trying the 華康 font instead.

How to Install

Here are the fonts I install on every new Mac.  Sorry, I no longer have experience with Windows.  What you do is:

  1. Download them
  2. Unzip if necessary
  3. Right click -> Open With -> Font Book
  4. Click on Install for each font
  5. Accept any strange errors that occur unless it’s catastrophic

I find that in Word or Excel, the fonts show up in English.  In programs like Illustrator and Photoshop, they show up in Chinese.

Some Fonts You May Find Useful

I was originally going to upload each individual font file and link to them.   But too many fonts and I’m too lazy. I’ve only gathered the variations of Kai style font (標楷體) and handwriting fonts.   There are also other fonts used in textbooks, like a rectangle with zhuyin next to it for fill-in.  Those aren’t included here.  So:


Here’s a sample of what they look like:



Detailed list of fonts included:

Font Type Chinese Name English Name
traditioanl 王漢宗鋼筆行楷 HanWanGB06
Handwriting font 華康鋼筆體 DFPGangBiW2-W5, DFGangBiW2-B5
Handwriting-like font 華康雅風體 DFPYaW3-B3, DFYaW3-B5
traditional 華康標楷體 DFPBiaoKaiShu-B5, DFBiaoKaiShu-B5
traditional + zhuyin 王漢宗中楷體注音 HanWangKaiMediumChuIn
traditional + zhuyin variations 王漢宗中楷體破音1-3 HanWangKaiMediumPoIn3
zhuyin   narrow 華康標楷窄注音 DFPBiaoKaiW5-ZhuyInN
zhuyin   variations narrow 華康標楷窄破音字 DFPBiaoKaiW5-PoIn5N
zhuyin   wide 華康標楷寬注音 DFPBiaoKaiW5_ZhuInW
zhuyin   variations wide 華康標楷寬破音1-5 DFPBiaoKaiW5-PoIn5W
traditional + zhuyin 華康標楷注音 DFPBiaoKaiW5-Zhuyin
traditional + zhuyin variations 華康標楷破音 DFPBiaoKaiW5-PoIn[1-5]
traditional + pinyin 華康標楷W5長通用上1L DFPBiaoKaiW5-TPinIn[1-3]NLU
traditiona + pinyin + zhuyin 華康標楷W5雙音1TZL DFPBiaoKaiW5-TZIn[1-3]L
Kai Font outline + stroke order 華康標楷筆順外框體 DFBiaoKaiBSE-W5, DFPBiaoKaiShuBSE-W5
Kai Font tracing + stroke 華康標楷筆順體 DFBiaoKaiShuBS-W5, DFPBiaoKaiSHuBS-W5
Kai Font outline 王漢宗標楷空心 HanWangWCL05



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