Arabic Text.jsx


Arabic Text.jsx

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Arabic Text.jsx

Ive just had a quick chat to a colleague and he says that CS5 Pro cannot format Arabic because it is based on Unicode and not ISO 8859-6 (what Arabic is written on) (a guess on my part). But, he says, if I can get the Unicode text into CS5 Pro, it might be OK because the layout and styling should be done using the Unicode text. Is this the case?

This is an indesign file that has been opened up in the preview window. You will see it is layered into the document so you could select all of it if you wanted. In indesign 2008 (CS3/CS4) the syle is switched to Arabic, so instead of the file coming in with the Arabic layout, the Arabic script is switched on for the whole file. To avoid this file needing to be rewritten and the layout to be altered, we used our script to get the text running.

Although the file I uploaded is Arabian, you need to ensure that your Arabic script is on. You can do this by turning on your indesign language and selecting your language as “arabic”. They have to be switched on in order for our script to work.

One of the major differences in the way text is handled in Arabic vs European languages is the importance of the orientation of the text. If you have designed something, and the value in the letter case for rtl: right-to-left and ltr: left-to-right is present in the text string, the text will not be properly formatted.

Well, I have to say Im very pleased with the script Ive found and am now using. I havent had to use it for any substantial amount of Hebrew or Arabic yet, but it has worked beautifully so far. And there is a free version of it available for download. Now Im not going to say that this script didnt take a little time to figure out or that it isnt a little quirky at times. I know that the first time you run it youll have to line up all the objects to get them to work. But once you figure out what you are doing youll find this little gem to be a priceless treasure. (I havent used a word processor for a long time either.) So if you come across this posting, download the script right away.

A very nice feature of INDD is that it can convert ANY WORD that you have into an Arabic Document. But it doesn’t automatically do it. To do so, you must select the text you want to convert, then Right click, select Convert to Arabic. However, you can’t then simply just paste the result into an indd file (without manually doing it). Instead you must manually select each letter you want to copy, paste the result, then manually select each letter you want to paste (the ones you copied from Arabic). Now I understand that indd files are not meant to be copied and pasted, but this is the only way to do so in my case. I believe that this is my number one issue with InDesign.
So far, this is how I’ve gotten around it. I’ve started making a new file for each letter, and pasting it as I make my Arabic layout. This means I must have one file for A, one for B, one for C, etc. I also have to have them in the right order, because I’m moving letters in and out of the file as I’m going along. I also have to do it by hand, because (as with all languages), the order of the characters and groups can change depending on whether its a word or sentence, or its capitalized or not, or whatever else. For example, if you type in your name, it will be capitalized, which is why you need to be able to swap the order by selecting the first letter in your name, then selecting the last letter, then pressing the v key to move backwards the number of letters to go from the last letter to the first. You can also go from the right to the left, or vice versa.
5. Pressing the v key, the letters will be swapped. If I press the up arrow, the first letter of the word will be replaced with the last letter of the previous word. If I press the down arrow, the last letter of the word will be replaced with the first letter of the next word. Now I have a file of each letter of the Arabic alphabet, in the order I need to go from left to right.


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