How To Read And Type Arabic On Your PC

Many modern operating systems come with support for Arabic script. However, often you need to first install or activate this option before you can use the Arabic script on your PC. This article explains how to read and type Arabic on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

Windows XP

In Windows XP you will probably have to install the “file for complex script and right to left languages” from the Windows CD.

1. Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options
2. Select the Languages tab and check the checkbox next to “Install the file for complex script and right to left languages”.
3. Click the OK button and insert your Windows XP CD when prompted. You may need to restart your PC after that.

Congratulations! Now you should be able to read Arabic writing on your PC.

To write in Arabic you need to add Arabic language input.
1. Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options
2. Select the Languages tab and check the checkbox next to “Install the file for complex script and right to left languages”.
3. Go to Details and then click Add. Choose Arabic (Egypt) and Arabic (101).
4. Click OK twice and wait a few moments.

You can now change the input language from English to Arabic by holding down the ALT key and pressing SHIFT.

For the layout of the Arabic keyboard, see below.

Windows Vista and Windows 7

Both of these operating systems should be able to display Arabic script without any updates having to be installed. To write in Arabic on these two operating systems follow the steps below:
1. Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options.
2. Select the “Keyboards and Languages” tab and click on “Change Keyboards”.
3. Choose “Add” and then press the + sign next to “Arabic”. Then click on the + sign next to Arabic (Egypt) and check the checkbox next to Arabic (101).
4. Press “OK” and “Apply”.

You can now change the input language from English to Arabic by holding down the ALT key and pressing SHIFT. For the layout of the Arabic keyboard, see below.

Arabic Keyboard Layout

Here is a picture showing the layout of the Arabic keyboard:

Arabic Keyboard Layout

Arabic Keyboard Layout

Credit for image on top: sinansalman

6 thoughts on “How To Read And Type Arabic On Your PC

  1. This is great information! I am going to begin learning Arabic on my own in January and was beginning to wonder how I could type in Arabic. Thank you!

  2. Great! Thanks for the free resources. I’m sure that these will be useful. I’ve also got my eye on your e-book; The Magic Key to the Arabic Alphabet. Come January, I’m looking to dive into the Arabic language head-first, so I’ve been scoping out a variety of Arabic learning resources.

  3. What a nice blog, I like the articles about the arabic language in general such as chat language etc.

  4. Just picked up a copy of your e-book: The Magic Key to the Arabic Alphabet. I’m excited to get going with the Arabic language in January.

  5. @Ammon:
    Great! I hope you find it helpful in your study of Arabic. If you have any questions when you are starting in January do let me know. Best of success and most of all fun with the Arabic language.

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