Turn on Arabic everywhere if you ever turned it on anywhere?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/03 10:16 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/10/03/5263106.aspx

Meanwhile over in the newsgroups, Hannah posted:

I am commenting on a Word 2003 document (using Windows XP). The original was written in English on a computer in Saudi Arabia. Whenever I type on a comments bubble in the margin, the text scrambles order and claims to be Arabic (although the alphabet does not change).

I have tried making the language of the whole document English, and also specifying the COMMENTS TEXT style as being English. Even If I highlight the text and change the language setting, it reverts as soon as it is unhighlighted.

Please can anyone help? It's sending me crazy!


Several suggestions were made that did not help, until Peter Jamieson stepped up and suggested:

One thing that may help: if you have not enabled Arabic (or any language written in a right-to-left script) in Microsoft Office Language Settings, do so now. You should see a couple of extra buttons in your Formatting toolbar that let you switch individual paragraphs from LTR to RTL layout and vice versa.

And that did the trick!

This dialog (shown here for Office 2003):

is unfortunately a crucial piece of international support in Office; I say unfortunately because it would be much easier for users if the whole platform was enabled and individual applications (even large ones like Office) did not have their own dialogs, too). It definitely makes things harder at times....

The very first thing I do after installing Office is enable all languages. That way I can forget about this "extra" setting later.

But you will notice the interesting problem here. A document written in English with these settings on, transferred to an English machine with them off, when the original machine supports the Arabic script on Office, has a really bad user experience. In this case the setting should be entirely gratuitous -- it means that my Word documents that I create may contain tons of extra information since I turn on all languages!

And it is not like there is UI to rmove this extra information that is labeled as such....


This post brought to you by ٻ (U+067b, a.k.a. ARABIC LETTER BEEH)

# AAA on 3 Oct 2007 5:11 PM:

beeh has one dot not two... that more like a ¨ya¨ but dots need to be side by side not up n down

# Michael S. Kaplan on 3 Oct 2007 5:50 PM:

That is the font on your machine, I have no control over that, sorry! :-)

# Marc Durdin on 4 Oct 2007 3:07 AM:

AAA - I think you may be confusing Beh (U+0628) and Beeh (U+067B).  Beeh is used in Sindhi and does have two vertical dots as shown.

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referenced by

2007/10/04 99 bottles of BEEH on the wall (aka Australian for BEEH)

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