How to Type in Arabic Using an English Keyboard

Type Arabic symbols in Window's based computer programs using the included support for Arabic language fonts included with the operating system. Windows also includes keyboard layouts that enable the computer to recognise keystrokes as Arabic characters rather than English. Arabic can be typed in Microsoft Office programs, on the Internet and in other programs installed that support the Windows Arabic language pack. MAC users do not have built in Arabic language support and must download the Arabic Language Kit to enable use of the language.

Enable Arabic language support in Windows by clicking "Start," then "Control Panel." Click "Regional and Language Options."

Place a check mark in the box beside "Install the file for complex script and right to left languages" under the languages tab if using Windows XP. For Windows NT or 2000, select the "Input Locales" tab then "Properties," and click "Arabic.inf" file. Once done, click "OK."

Insert the Microsoft Windows installation CD if prompted to do so. Versions of Windows that came installed on recovery drives will not need the CD. Click "Allow" if the "User Account Control" box pops up on the computer. Wait for the installation to complete.

Restart the computer when prompted. After the computer restarts the Arabic language and keyboard layouts will be enabled on the computer, and Arabic fonts will be available in the Windows-based programs.

Open Microsoft Word or other application that supports the Arabic language. Not all programs installed on the computer will allow use of the characters.

Change the page layout settings to right justify the cursor. The cursor will then display on the right hand side of the page and allow typing from left to right.

Click "Start" then "Control Panel" then "Regional and Language Options."

Click the applicable Arabic language in the drop down box under the "Advanced" tab. There may be more than one language. "Arabic (Egypt)" is the most commonly used.

Click the "Languages" tab then "Details." Add the Arabic keyboard to use. Click "OK." The Arabic keyboard is now enabled for typing.

Click "Language Bar" under the "Details" tab. Place a check mark in the box next to "Show the Language bar on the desktop." This will enable switching back and forth between the Arabic and English keyboard layouts. Begin typing.


Internet browsers and other installed programs might require the download of additional add-ons to allow typing Arabic. Keyboard layouts are available online to help you understand which key corresponds to which symbol in the script.

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About the Author

Based in southern Virginia, Kristy Robinson has been writing for various websites since 2008. Her work focuses on tutorials and self-help articles. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from American InterContinental University.