Entering Arabic into Word
Thread poster: mujie96

Arabic to English
Sep 27, 2004

I'm translating a web page into Arabic for a friend who uses Frontpage. I have WindowsXP Pro, in English, an English keyboard, and Microsoft Office 2000. What programs or add-ons can I use to create the document in Arabic? I have no knowledge of Arabic software other than SATTS so if I'm overlooking something obvious,please tell me.


United States
Local time: 21:53
English to Arabic
+ ...
Arabic Bidirectional Support insde MS Windows and MS Office Suite Sep 27, 2004

Greetings.. ahalan wa sahalan...

Re your post on < proz.com > about into-Arabic typing.

1. Forget SATTS (diabolical invention from Fort Meade and Goodfellow).

2. Arabic bidirectional support is included in the basic CD of your MS Windows 2000 or XP (Win XP is much superior and more reliable for multilingual support), so you do NOT need to buy extra software (watch out for some of the online snake oil hustlers).

Here's the basic drill:

Start => Control panel => Regional and Language Settings => Languages => add language (you should see a box where to click about installing Asian / Oriental and right-to-left languages) => dropdown list of languages appears => Arabic (select [ Arabic, Saudi ], as the other dialects listed do not have as complete support) **AND** select & add Arabic keyboard settings.

You should then get a prompt to insert the 2K / XP CD; do that, and let 'er rip until the installation is completed, and you then have to reboot your PC.

Your new desktop should now show a small language option box, which usually appears in the lower rt-hand or lower left-hand corner of yr desktop, with EN = English. Click on EN, and AR = Arabic, Saudi should then show; select that, and you're in bilingual business (no pun intended). Language box shodl also apepar when you open MS Word and most MS applications in MS Office suite

MS FrontPage should work OK in Arabic re right-to-left drivers, or you may have to go to the MS website and scout around until you find the RTL drivers for MS FrontPage. (I use MS FrontPage XP very rarely...)

But wait, there's more....

3. You'll also need the layout diagram for Arabic keyboard characters.

o Rather than flail around on searching the MS website, do a web search (< www.dogpile.com > is a handy meta-search engine) for "Arabic keyboard" ==> navigate to the type of keyboard you need [ 101-key or 104-key, 3la kaifak ].

o Print that diagram, then make a larger copy ( magnified X 125% - 150% should work fine) so you'll avoid eyestrain.

o Practice typing until you get accumstomed to the proper keystrokes.

o FWIW, Arabic English keyboards (character are printed on keys) wth PS-2 connectors go for $30 - $50 (depending on desired bells-n-whistles) here in southern CA.

Hope this helps. Khair, in sha' Allah.

Anything else you need re info & tips on Arabic support inside MS applications (I have been an Arabic beta tester for MS since 1996), feel free to ask... tafaddaloo...

San Pedro, CA
(DLIFLC graduate min zamaan...)


Timothy Gregory  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:53
Arabic to English
Arabic keyboard layout Sep 27, 2004

For someone who has never typed in Arabic before, it would probably be easiest to use the 'On Screen Keyboard' found under Start->Programs->Accessories->Accessability or by Start->Run->OSK.exe.

Takes some getting used to, but as Steve said, true Arabic characters are much more sensible than SATTS.




Marc Adler
Japanese to English
Entering right-to-left text in Word Dec 2, 2004


there are buttons for setting the direction of the entered text in Microsoft Word, which can be added to the menu bar at the top. First open the following box:

Tools > User Settings > Commands (tab) > Format*

*I'm using Japanese Word 2000, so these are translations from the Japanese - "format" is the fifth on the list, under File, Edit, Display, and Insert.

Scroll down the list on the right side of the box until you see "left-to-right" and "right-to-left." You can just drag and drop those buttons into the menu bar at the top. For good measure, you can also select the language selector button, which is right above them. (This has the advantage of letting you create a Word macro to switch between languages and assign it to something easy like alt + A and alt + B.)

Hope that helps,
Marc Adler


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