ie8, doctype, utf-8 and chinese / japanese / korean

extremely frustrated trying to figure out how to make these characters render properly in ie8. i have boiled down the problem to this basic example.
has a doctype - characters do not render
has no doctype - characters render

obviously, this is a problem and i want the doctype in as well as the characters rendering properly. someone please help!

p.s. feel free to experiment… you can “edit code” using the button in the top right of that website

I don’t have a copy of M$ IE8 on this machine but in M$ IE6 it [CJK] seems render fine when saved as UTF-8 with no BOM for both files. Also I saw no difference with Fx.

Perhaps you didn’t save the files as UTF-8 and just used the: <meta http-equiv=“Content-Type” content=“text/html; charset=utf-8” /> for the browser to guess the encoding.

I am assuming you have the correct Language packs installed and the original files are off-line and not being sent with Server HTTP headers?

if both page work in ie6 and ffx, i don’t think saving issue where i am accidentally saving one page wrong. those pages weren’t creating by any “saving” on my end anyway… they were identical copy pastes into a pastebin… only the second one i removed the doctype after paste.

to my limited understanding, language packs shouldn’t enter into this either. using the same browser and the same code (less the doctype) both pages render the characters differently.

i am stumped fully.

Quirks Mode(s) is about the only other suggestion. There is one aspect of using DOCTYPEs that is critically important for character encoding declarations. In Internet Explorer nothing must precede the DOCTYPE declaration in a file. If any character appears before it, the document will be served in quirks mode.

Albeit I could see “no difference”. Thus it’s either that ‘browser version’ or your configuration. I cannot really see how quirks modes would effect it to such a degree regarding rendering of fonts.

Although CJK rendering can have strange rules associated with it. In [URL=“”]CJK environments where there are several different multi-byte encodings in use, auto-detection is also often employed.

okay but forgive me because i don’t follow your bottom line point.

for the record i’ve tested in a couple different ie8’s to the same result. not sure if any were windows 7. either way since my testers don’t use IE, i’m reasonably certain their settings are default.

ultimately i just want to know what i can do here to get the characters to render with the doctype in ie8. that’s the goal.

update: win7 ie8 - everything renders correct

it seems to be isolated to xp + win8 (as far as i can tell)

No problem, like I said it was most likely that browser version or configuration. Unless anyone else can recreate that rendering issue that’s what it is leaning towards.

According to IE it’s a bug:

See the IE8 outreach Team answer.

In IE8 Standards mode, Some language characters are not working