How to disable RTL in MS Word
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Jul 18, 2013

Hello everyone

A document in MS Word that I have from a client has some characters in RTL, it seems. This causes the cursor to jump around in unexpected ways. It also means that when I do the translation, I can't be certain whether I have the characters in the correct sequence. In some cases, the keys of my keyboard do the opposite of what I expect (e.g. when I press the < key it types a > character in the document). This applies to individual characters or sets of characters that otherwise look normal.

Is there a way to change all the text to LTR so that the cursor and the bracket keys behave as expected?

I'm using Word 2003.


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:20
Russian to English
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Try this Jul 18, 2013

I've never had that problem, but a quick Google search turned this up for Word 2007:

The website has screenshots, but here are the step-by-step instructions:

1. Add and enable the alternate language under Start / Programs / Microsoft Office / Microsoft Office Tools / 2007 Microsoft Office system Language Settings.

2. Click the round Office button.

3. Click Word Options.

4. Click Customize.

5. In the Choose commands from drop-down menu, select Home Tab instead of Popular Commands.

6. Find and highlight Left-to-Right Direction, then click the Add button to move it to the Customize Quick Access Toolbar section.

7. Add the Right-to-Left Direction command to the QAT as well.

8. Now in the QAT you will see the RTL (4) and LTR (5) buttons, which you can use as required.

Good luck!

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United States
Local time: 08:20
English to Arabic
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You might run a macro for that.. Jul 18, 2013


I am not sure if this applies to your document. But, try running the following Macro for making the text LTR:

You will have to find out where the Macros panel is! (sorry I cannot remember where it is in Word 2003).

Highlight the text you want to change,

Start the Macros panel,

Then, search for the LTRRun macro, to change all the highlighted text to Left to Right. RTLrun does the opposite.

Also, there are 2 more macros for the paragraphs: LTRpar and RTLpar.

Hope this helps.


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Local time: 18:50
English to Farsi (Persian)
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RTL and LTR buttons Jul 19, 2013

Dear Samuel,

I'm not sure about Word 2003, but in Word 2007 and 2010 the exact solution is what James McVay says. I regularly use that successfully.


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How to disable RTL in MS Word

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