Teaching and Learning with Technology

Computing With Accents and Foreign Scripts

Skip Menu

Working with RTL Languages in Word for Windows
Office 2007 and Earlier

Here are instructions for configuring Word to allow easier input of RTL languages such as Arabic, Hebrew and others.

This Page

  1. Word 2007
  2. Word 2003 and Earlier

 

Word 2007

In addition to activating a keyboard for Arabic or Hebrew, you may want to activate and use the Right-to-Left (RTL) and Left-to-Right (LTR) paragraph buttons in Microsoft Word.

To place the RTL and LTR buttons to Quick Access Toolbar

  1. Activate a keyboard for Arabic or other language using the script.
  2. Open Word 2007, then click the circular Office logo at upper left to open a new menu.
    Office Logo at upper left
  3. Click Word Options button at the bottom of the menu.
    Office Menu with Word Options button at bottom
  4. In the Word Options window click Customize on left. A list of commands will open.
    Word Options, Customize Panel
  5. In the list of available Word commands, switch the left Chooose commands from menu from Popular Commands to Home Tab.
  6. Find and highlight Right-to-Left Direction, then click the Add button. The command will move to the right Customize Quick Access column. Repeat this for the Left-to-Right Direction commands.
  7. Click OK to close the Word options window. The options will appear on the top tool bar as mirror paragraph marks.


    RTL icon ( RTL button)
    LTR icon ( LTR button)

To use the RTL and LTR buttons

  1. Open Microsoft Word and switch keyboards to Arabic or Hebrew. You may have to minimize or shrink your window in order to view the Language Bar on your desktop.
  2. The cursor will change so that text is typed from right to left. Press the RTL button (RTL icon) in the toolbar to move the cursor all the way to the right side of the page.
  3. To switch back to English, switch back to the English keyboard and press the LTR button (LTR icon).

    NOTE: You may be restricted to certain fonts such as "Times New Roman", "Arial" or "Tahoma".

Generate "Curly" Hindi/Arabic Numbers

Note: The curly style of number (e.g. १,२,३) are actually called "Hindi numbers", while "Arabic" numbers refer to the straight Western style numbers of "1,2,3" (vs. older Roman numbers like "I,II,III").

  1. Activate a keyboard for Arabic or other language using the script.
  2. Open Word 2007, then click the circular Office icon in the upper left. Click the Word Options button at the bottom of the menu. (see steps #1-3 in the section above for detailed instrctions).
  3. In the Word Options window, click Advanced at the left.
  4. Scroll to the Show document content section then look for the Numeral menu.
    Note: If the Numeral option is not visible, make sure you have activated an Arabic keyboard.
  5. Choose Context in the Numerals menu then close the window
    Note: Do not choose "Hindi" as your option unless you want this style in all documents (including English).
    Screen capture of Numeral options for displaying curly numbers
  6. In the Word document, when you switch to an Arabic keyboard, numbers will be in the Hindi style.

Top of Page

Word 2003/2000

In addition to activating a keyboard for Arabic or Hebrew, you may want to activate and use the Right-to-Left (RTL) and Left-to-Right (LTR) paragraph buttons in Microsoft Word.

To place the RTL and LTR buttons on a toolbar

  1. Open a recent version of Microsoft Word for Windows.
  2. Under the Tools menu, select Customize to open a pop-up window.
  3. Click on the Toolbars tab, then click on the New button to create a blank toolbar window. In the second New Toolbar pop-up window, fill in a descriptive Toolbar name such as "RTL", then click OK to close this window. A blank gray window should be open.
  4. In the first Customize pop-up window (Tools » Customize), click on the Commands tab.
  5. In the Categories menu to the left, scroll down and select All Commands.
  6. In the Commands menu to the right, scroll down and highlight Rtl Para (the button for Right-to-left paragraphs). Move this to the blank toolbar window.
  7. Scroll up to Ltr Para (the button for left-to-right paragraphs), highlight and move to the blank toolbar window.
  8. When you are finished click the Close button to close the Customize window.
  9. A new toolbar with the RTL (right-to-left) and LTR (left-to-right) paragraph buttons will be open. The RTL button is a paragraph symbol followed by a blue triangle; the LTR button is a paragraph symbol with the blue triangle before it.

    RTL icon ( RTL button)
    LTR icon ( LTR button)

To use the RTL and LTR buttons

  1. Open Microsoft Word and switch keyboards to Arabic or Hebrew. You may have to minimize or shrink your window in order to view the Language Bar on your desktop.
  2. The cursor will change so that text is typed from right to left. Press the RTL button (RTL icon) in the toolbar to move the cursor all the way to the right side of the page.
  3. To switch back to English, switch back to the English keyboard and press the LTR button (LTR icon).

    NOTE: You may be restricted to certain fonts such as "Times New Roman", "Arial" or "Tahoma".

Generate "Curly" Hindi/Arabic Numbers

Note: The curly style of number (e.g. १,२,३) are actually called "Hindi numbers", while "Arabic" numbers refer to the straight Western style numbers of "1,2,3" (vs. older Roman numbers like "I,II,III").

Instructions for Word 2003 and earlier are posted at http://www.uga.edu/islam/arabic_windows.html under step 8C.

Top of Page

Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Jun-2013 12:41:20 EDT