Using AppLocale to extract files named in Japanese

EDITOR'S NOTE: With the demise of, I have taken it upon myself to copy this page from that site before it goes off-line for good! My apologies to and, especially to Eric Adcock. If I have stepped on your toes, please advise me and I will make amends.-- Reggie Dentmore, 

A common problem with MikuMikuDance downloads is preserving the names of files named in Japanese.

If you try to open a ZIP file with files or folders named in Japanese, you might see gibberish instead:

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This problem occurs when a ZIP file uses Shift-JIS instead of Unicode for Japanese characters in its file names.

This can break a model! If an image file has a gibberish name, and that image is used in a model, the model might display with missing images or colors.

One solution to this problem is to switch your computer's "Regional And Language Options" to Japanese. Unfortunately, this requires a restart of Windows, and it can also break other programs.

Another solution is to rename the image files, and then, to edit the model itself (in PMD Editor) and change the file names inside the model. But it can be difficult to match up the renamed files.

I worked around this problem by using AppLocale with a third-party ZIP program. This is difficult to set up, but you only have to set it up once, and it has worked well for me.

Step 1: Install a ZIP program (if needed)

You can use any ZIP program with these instructions. If you do not have a ZIP program, I recommend 7-Zip. It is free and open-source, and it's a useful program in general.

Download 7-Zip from this page:
Download 7-Zip for Windows

Step 2: Install AppLocale (if needed)

Download AppLocale from this page:
Microsoft AppLocale Utility

AppLocale was made for Windows XP. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you will have to install it as administrator:
Installing Microsoft AppLocale in Windows Vista
Installing Microsoft AppLocale in Windows 7

Step 3: Create a batch file or shortcut

If you are using another ZIP program, change the second part of the command to your ZIP program EXE file.

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And after you extract the files, they should still have names in Japanese:

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