KMKB0041: HOWTO: Configure Windows for right-to-left languages such as Arabic, Farsi or Hebrew

Languages such as Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew require right-to-left language support. Without right-to-left support, characters in these languages may appear in the wrong order, not join correctly, or change unexpectedly after a spacebar is pressed. Below are instructions for configuring Windows for right-to-left languages. Note: The procedure is usually unnecessary in Keyman Desktop 7.0.245.0 and later versions.

Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. Go to Control Panel, "Change keyboards or other input methods", under the "Clock, Language and Region" option (in Classic View, select Regional and Language Options, Keyboards and Languages tab)
  2. Click Change Keyboards, click Add
  3. Select your right-to-left language for the Input language*, and the US keyboard layout from the "Keyboard layout/IME" list. Note: the Windows English (USA, International) keyboard is not identical to the Windows US keyboard. We do not recommend associating to the English (USA, International) keyboard.
  4. Click OK, OK, OK
  5. Start Keyman Configuration, and click the Languages tab
  6. For your right-to-left language entry, select the Keyman keyboard and click OK

* If your language does not appear in the list, use either Hebrew or Arabic instead.

Windows XP

  1. Go to Control Panel, Regional and Language Options, Languages tab
  2. Make sure that "Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai)" is ticked: If it isn't ticked, tick it and click OK, follow the prompts to restart Windows, and start this process again.
  3. Click Details button, click Add
  4. Select your right-to-left language for the Input language*, and the US keyboard layout from the "Keyboard layout/IME" list. Note: the Windows English (USA, International) keyboard is not identical to the Windows US keyboard. We do not recommend associating to the English (USA, International) keyboard.
  5. Click OK, OK, OK
  6. Start Keyman Configuration, and click the Languages tab
  7. For your right-to-left language entry, select the Keyman keyboard and click OK

* If your language does not appear in the list, use either Hebrew or Arabic instead.

Windows 2000

  1. Go to Control Panel, Regional Options, General tab
  2. In the "Language settings for the system" box, make sure that your language* is ticked: If it isn't ticked, tick it and click OK, follow the prompts to restart Windows, and start this process again.
  3. Click Input Locales tab, click Add
  4. Select your right-to-left language for the Input language*, and the US keyboard layout from the "Keyboard layout/IME" list. Note: the Windows English (USA, International) keyboard is not identical to the Windows US keyboard. We do not recommend associating to the English (USA, International) keyboard.
  5. Click OK, OK
  6. Start Keyman Configuration, and click the Languages tab
  7. For your right-to-left language entry, select the Keyman keyboard and click OK

* If your language does not appear in the list, use either Hebrew or Arabic instead.

Microsoft Office

If you are using Microsoft Office, the following additional steps are required:

  1. Click Start menu, All Programs, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Tools, Microsoft Office Language Settings
  2. In the list of available languages, select your right to left language and click Add >>. (Note - unlike elsewhere in Windows, in this list Farsi is listed under Persian)
  3. Click OK to save changes. You may need to restart your Office applications

If you are using Keyman 7.0.243.0 or earlier version: You should switch to your right-to-left language by clicking the Windows “EN” language icon and choosing the language from the list – rather than using the Keyman keyboard selector. This procedure is unnecessary with Keyman 7.0.245 and later versions.


Applies to:

  • Keyman Desktop Corporate 7.0
  • Keyman Desktop Light 7.0
  • Keyman Desktop Professional 7.0

KB article KMKB0041 created on 07 Apr 2008, updated on 15 Oct 2010

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