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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.

An to clarify, 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

  • For those on a Mac: "The Arabic Macintosh - An informal resource centre" at smi.uib.no/ksv (with Fun Facts about Apple Advanced Technology versus Microsoft OpenType, which might get one into trouble after installing Office on a Mac -- see also superuser.com/questions/66295/arabic-in-powerpoint-on-mac/…) – Arjan Jan 9 '10 at 15:03
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    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
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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: http://www.tug.org/TUGboat/Articles/tb27-2/tb87kew.pdf

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
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    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
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    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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