I used an Arabic keyboard with Microsoft Word 2007 on Windows XP for about two years. I finally retired the XP machine this week and got a new machine with Windows 7 Home Premium.
Most of the setup for the new machine was easy. Windows 7 found my network connection and printer automatically. I installed Microsoft Office. The transfer of document files took minutes. At the end of an hour, the setup was complete, and I was ready to enable Word 2007 for Arabic writing.
That’s when I got stuck. How do you install Arabic fonts on this version of Windows?
I searched on Google and checked Microsoft’s online help without much luck. I even downloaded Open Office to try to enable that for writing in Arabic. Finally I managed to get Word 2007 enabled for Arabic writing. Like most things in Windows 7, it’s pretty simple once you know where to go.
- From the Windows menu, click on All Programs.
- Click Control Panel, and then choose Clock, Region and Language.
- In that window, choose Region and Language.
- Click “Change keyboards or other input methods.” This takes you to a screen with four tabs across the top. Choose the Keyboards and Languages tab, and then click the “Change keyboards” button. A new window will open.
- Under the General tab, I had an English keyboard and a Chinese keyboard listed in Installed Services. (You may have a different selection listed on your machine.) Click the Add button on the right, and you will see many countries listed alphabetically. Find the Arab country that you want (I chose Yemen), and click on the “+” to the left of the word Arabic.
- A sub menu will open with two choices, Keyboard and Other. Click on the “+” sign beside Keyboard, and then click the checkbox beside Arabic 101.
- All you need to do now is to click either OK or Apply to get out of each successive screen, and back to the desktop.
When you next open Word 2007, you should see an icon “EN” in the taskbar at the bottom right side of your desktop. Click on this icon, and there is a list of all the available languages. Choose Arabic, and you are set to starting writing in Arabic.
Since Arabic is written from right to left, you must right-justify your document in Word 2007.
I found that my keyboard continued to type English numbers, rather than Arabic. I’ve solved this by going to the Word 2007 Insert menu, and from the Symbol drop-down menu, choosing the Arabic numbers that I need, and inserting them manually.