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Enabling Arabic Web Browsing

laptoppurpleNetscape Navigator versions 7.x, Mozilla versions 1.3 and above, and Internet Explorer (IE) versions 5.5 can all support viewing and composing Arabic on the Internet.

Directions on how to Arabicize Internet Explorer (IE) follow:

First check what version of IE you have. You can do this by:

  1. Opening IE (Internet Explorer) and left clicking on the word Help on the top of the page within the toolbar.
  2. Left click on About Internet Explorer.
  3. If the version number is not above 5.5 consider updating your web browser.
  4. If the version is above 5.5 the left click on Tools on the toolbar.
  5. Left click again on Internet Options...
  6. Left click on the General tab on the top of the box that appears.
  7. At the bottom of the box, left click on the Languages button.
  8. Left click on the Add button within the Language Preference box that appears.
  9. Find all the varieties of Arabic listed, select them all by depressing the Ctrl key on your keyboard while left clicking on them simultaneously, and then click on the OK button. They should now appear within the Languages pane.
  10. Left click on the OK button within the Language Preference box.
  11. Finally, left click on the OK button within the Internet Options box.
  12. Finally, restart the computer.
  13. Now test whether you can see the arabic here.

Netscape and Mozilla look and operate very similarly. First check what version of Netscape you have. You can do this by opening Netscape and left clicking on the word Help on the top of the page within the toolbar. Left click on About Netscape. If the version number is not above


Step I. Enabling Windows to read Arabic script

7.0 consider updating your consider updating your web browser. If the version is above 7.0 then left click on Edit on the toolbar. Left click again on Preferences... Double-left click on the word Navigator in the Category pane. Left click on the word Languages. Left click on the Add button within the Languages for Web Pages box that appears. Find all the varieties of Arabic listed, select them all by depressing the Ctrl key on your keyboard while left clicking on them simultaneously, and then click on the OK button. They should now appear within the Languages for Web Pages pane. Left click on the OK button within the Languages for Web Pages pane. Finally, restart the computer. Now try it by surfing to www.aljazeera.net .

Note: Before continuing, have your Microsoft Windows and Office CDs in reach, just in case you need to install extra components not already installed.

For Windows XP Home and Windows XP Pro users, follow these instructions:

  1. Left click on Start.
  2. Left click on Control Panel.
  3. Double-left click on Regional and Language Options.
  4. Left click on the Regional Options tab on the top of the box that appears.
  5. Keep the Standards and Formats as English (United States).
  6. Left click on the Languages tab at the top of the box.
  7. Under Supplemental Language Support, tick the box that says Install Files for Complex Scripts and Right-to-Left Languages (including Thai).
  8. Now click the Apply button located on the bottom right of the box.
  9. Wait while your computer installs the files needed.
  10. Insert the Windows XP CDs if requested to do so.
  11. Click the OK button located on the bottom left of the box to complete the process.
  12. Restart your PC if requested to do so.

For Windows 2000 Professional users follow these instructions:

  1. Left click on Start.
  2. Left click on Settings.
  3. Left click on Control Panel.
  4. Double-left click on Regional Settings.
  5. Left click on the tab labeled General at the top of the screen that appears.
  6. Keep the Your Locale (Location) as English (United States).
  7. On the same screen, under Language Settings for the System, tick the Arabic box.
  8. Now left click on the Apply button located on the bottom right.
  9. If your operating system needs additional files to run this function you will be asked to insert the necessary CDs. If these files have already been installed on your operating system, they will self-install.
  10. You may be requested to restart the computer. Do so.

For users of all other versions of Windows, abide by what follows:

  1. Left click on Start.
  2. Left click on Settings.
  3. Left click on Control Panel.
  4. Double-left click on Keyboard.
  5. Left click on the tab labeled Language at the top of the screen that appears.
  6. To add Arabic, left click on Add and scroll down to find Arabic.
  7. If Arabic does not appear, then you must install this language from the Windows CD or from the Windows Setup function within Add/Remove Programs, depending on how your system was originally configured.

Before giving up, users of all other versions of Windows should attempt the following.

  1. Left click on Start.
  2. Left click on Settings.
  3. Left click on Control Panel.
  4. Double-left click on Add/Remove Programs.
  5. Left click on the tab labeled Windows Setup.
  6. Scroll down the list of options.
  7. Tick the following boxes: Accessibility and Multilanguage Support.
  8. Left click on the Apply button.
  9. If you are asked to insert the Windows CDs, do so.
  10. Restart the computer.
  11. Now go back up to the previous instruction set and try enabling your PC to read Arabic again.

Step II. Enabling Windows to type Arabic script

For Windows XP Home and Windows XP Pro users, follow these instructions:

  1. Left click on Start.
  2. Left click on Control Panel.
  3. Double-left click on Regional and Language Options.
  4. Left click on the Languages tab at the top of the box.
  5. Under Text Services and Input Languages, left click on the Details button.
  6. Left click on the Settings tab at the top of the box that appears.
  7. Under Installed Services left click on the Add button on the right.
  8. An Add Input Language Box should appear.
  9. Add Arabic.
  10. You will see quite a few varieties of Arabic listed. These country specific versions of Arabic do not reflect any dialectical differences that may be enabled on your keyboard. Since no differences exist in the country choice, you may choose whichever country you wish that is labeled as Arabic.
  11. In the same box, directly under Input Language, there is an area for selecting a Keyboard Layout from a drop-down menu.
  12. Scan the menu for an Arabic keyboard. Choose an Arabic keyboard and then left click on the OK button. Note: There are minor differences in the keyboard layouts available from Microsoft. The keyboard you choose will determine which Arabic letters correspond to the English letters on the keyboard in front of you. If you are a beginning user of Arabic, then any of the three available options (Arabic 101, Arabic 102, or Arabic 102 AZERTY) will do. More advanced users probably have a favorite, especially if coming from the Arabic-speaking and Arabic-typing world. Choose an Arabic keyboard and then left click on the OK button.
  13. You should be back at the Text Services and Input Languages box. Keep the Default Input Language English (United States)–US.
  14. Under Preferences left click the Language Bar button. A Language Bar Settings box should appear. Tick the box that says Show the Language Bar on the Desktop and tick the box that says Show Additional Language Bar Icons in the Taskbar. Finally, left click on the OK button.

A box with an EN (short for English) block should appear on the Taskbar on the bottom right hand corner or on the top right of your computer screen. Left clicking on the EN will allow you to switch from one input language to another, in this case from English to Arabic. Right clicking on the EN block and then left clicking on Settings will allow you easy access to enabling additional input languages and keyboard layouts on your PC. Continue to Step III.

For all other Windows users follow these instructions:

  1. Left click on Start.
  2. Left click on Settings.
  3. Left click on Control Panel.
  4. Double-left click on Keyboard.
  5. Left click on the tab labeled Input Locales or labeled Language at the top of the screen that appears.
  6. Left click on the Change button. For those users who do not see a box with a Change button in it, left click on the Add button.
  7. A Text Services box will appear, an Add Input Locale box will appear or an Add Language box will appear.
  8. The Default Input Language should remain English (United States/ United Kingdom).
  9. If there is a box titled Installed Services, left click the Add button and search for Arabic. If such a box does not appear, simply search for Arabic. If Arabic is not among the additional language options, then you will need to do one of two things, or both: 1) install Arabic Language Support from windowsupdate.microsoft.com and office.microsoft.com/productupdates/ , or 2) install a higher version of Microsoft Office and enable the Microsoft Office Language Settings for Arabic. However, if Arabic is among the many options, then you will see quite a few varieties of Arabic listed. These country specific versions of Arabic do not reflect any dialectical differences that may be enabled on your keyboard. Since no differences exist in the country choice, you may choose whichever country you wish that is labeled as Arabic.
  10. In the same box, under Input Language, there is an area for selecting a keyboard type from a drop-down menu. First be sure the box labeled Keyboard Layout is ticked and then scan the menu for an Arabic keyboard. Some versions of Windows take you directly to Keyboard Layout within the Add Input Locale box. If so, do what is intuitive; Scan the menu for an Arabic keyboard. There are minor differences in the keyboard layouts available from Microsoft. The keyboard you choose will determine which Arabic letters correspond to the English letters on the keyboard in front of you. If you are a beginning user of Arabic, then any of the three available options (Arabic 101, Arabic 102, or Arabic 102 AZERTY) will do. More advanced users probably have a favorite, especially if coming from the Arabic-speaking and Arabic-typing world. Choose an Arabic keyboard and then left click on the OK button.
  11. Next, tick the box that says Enable Indicator on Taskbar. Finally, left click on the Apply button. A blue EN (short for English) block should appear on the Taskbar on the bottom right hand corner of your computer screen. Left clicking upon EN will allow you to switch from one input language to another, in this case from English to Arabic. Right clicking on the blue EN block and then left clicking on Properties or Settings will allow you easy access to enabling additional input languages and keyboard layouts on your PC.

Step III. Enabling the On-Screen Arabic Keyboard

Now that Arabic is enabled on your PC, how do you know which Arabic keys correspond to the English keys that are on your English keyboard? You can:

  1. Purchase sticky, transparent keys to place over your existing keyboard keys from a number of on-line companies.
  2. Or you can use Microsoft’s virtual keyboard.
  3. Left click on Start.
  4. Left click on Programs.
  5. Left click on Accessories.
  6. Left click on Accessibility.
  7. Left click on On-Screen Keyboard.
  8. You probably will want to create a shortcut to the On-Screen Keyboard and place it on your desktop or Quick Launch Toolbar. Microsoft Windows 98 SE, Windows 98, Windows 95b and Windows 95a do not have On-Screen Keyboard capabilities. If your Windows version does not belong to this class, then it may be the case that this feature either has been disabled or was never installed from your Windows CDs.

To enable this feature in Windows, begin by:

  1. Left clicking on Start.
  2. Left click on Settings.
  3. Left click on Control Panel.
  4. Double-left click on Add/Remove Programs.
  5. Left click on the tab labeled Windows Setup.
  6. Scroll down the list of options. Tick the following boxes: Accessibility and Multilanguage Support.
  7. Left click on Apply.
  8. If you are asked to insert your Windows CDs, do so.
  9. Restart the computer.
  10. Now go back up to the previous instruction set and try enabling the On-Screen Keyboard again. If this does not work, then contact an IT specialist to help you.

With the On-Screen Keyboard now open, open a new Microsoft Word document. Left click on the EN and left click again on Arabic. Hovering your mouse over the On-Screen Keyboard will change it to an Arabic typeface. Now you know where the Arabic keys are! You can type Arabic directly on a document by left clicking the keys with your mouse! Who said typing in Arabic was difficult?

Those users running Windows XP will want to enable Arabic in a host of other programs in addition to their favorite word-processing program. To do so, begin by:

  1. Left clicking on Start.
  2. Left click on Control Panel.
  3. Double-left click on Regional and Language Options.
  4. Left click on the Languages tab at the top of the box that appears.
  5. Under Text Services and Input Languages, left click on the Details button.
  6. Left click on the Advanced tab at the top of the new box that appears.
  7. Tick the box that says Extend Support of Advanced Text Services to All Programs.
  8. Left click on the Apply button at the bottom of the box.
  9. Restart your computer if asked to do so.

Step IV. Enabling right-to-left typing of Arabic in Microsoft Word

You will be typing in Arabic backwards unless you enable the right-to-left cursor shift on your Microsoft Word toolbar.

  1. First open a new document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Hover your mouse over the word File on the top left of the toolbar. Right click.
  3. Move your mouse to the very bottom of the menu and left click on Customize.
  4. Left click on the Commands tab at the top of the box that appears.
  5. In the left Categories pane, scroll down and left click on the word Format.
  6. In the right Commands pane, scroll down until you find the Keyboard Language icon.
  7. It should look similar to the EN we saw earlier. Left click on the Keyboard Language icon and drag it to the toolbar and deposit it directly under the word File.
  8. Do the same with the Right-to-Left and Left-to-Right icons found directly beneath the Keyboard Language icon.

These toolbar icons will serve as your shortcuts for switching between languages and typing directions as you compose your multilingual documents.

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