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I realized that typing documents in Arabic script on Microsoft Word is a tedious process. Selecting, formatting, aligning (among other things) Arabic text is a really inefficient process (especially if there is a mix of Arabic and Latin script). Could anyone share his experience with me and suggest me a some solutions which will make typing in Arabic a smoother process? (I was thinking of using latex, what do you think?) Thank you.

clarification: I'm not talking about using an Arabic keyboard, but about how the usual manipulation of text gets much harder with a right-to-left script

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For those on a Mac: "The Arabic Macintosh - An informal resource centre" at (with Fun Facts about Apple Advanced Technology versus Microsoft OpenType, which might get one into trouble after installing Office on a Mac -- see also…) – Arjan Jan 9 '10 at 15:03
What part do you find tedious specifically ? I gather it is no more tedious then it is typing latin for arabs. In any case, (although some will certanly disagree), if typing in word is presenting you problems, I don't think latex will be any less painful (more even, if you're just learning it). – Rook Jan 9 '10 at 15:06

XeTeX and XeLaTeX. This post has info on using it for Arabic. There is a lot of discussion on the XeTeX mailing list. Finally, there is a video entitled Arabic typography: Past, present, and TeX.

Another useful references:

Arabic XeTeX on the Mac:

TeXShop on Mac OS X

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Thanks for the tip. But it seems that using Latex or any other variant needs some time to get used to. – user24191 Jan 10 '10 at 8:15
Any TeX variant is incredibly powerful and will give you total control over your formatting. There is an associated learning curve. :/ – Shinrai Aug 19 '10 at 18:51
LaTeX is difficult to learn, no doubt, but it knocks MS Word into a paper cup for ease of use once you've climbed the learning curve. It's a lot faster too, for scientific equations and so on. If you're doing a lot of writing, e.g. scientific papers for a PhD or Masters, or writing a textbook, it's an excellent tool. – CJBrew Aug 31 '10 at 13:43

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