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Arabic and English text gets rearranged - please help!

New Here ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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Hello!
I will try to keep it short and clear. I installed the ME InDesign. I need to copy paste an Arabic text from Word into the InDesign file. This text contains both arabic and roman script, sometimes in the same sentence.

for example:

 

Screenshot 2021-12-10 at 18.44.56.pngthis is the text in the Word file

 

Screenshot 2021-12-10 at 18.45.51.pngthis is the InDesign text that I copy pasted

 

Clearly the order gets mixed up. Now, I have read through every single article possible that is related to this topic, and I have tried all the answers posted there - meaning I do have the following turned on: align right, RTL paragraph direction, character direction: default, digits: arabic, typeface adobe: arabic, character style/language: arabic

 

I want to note that when I am copying a completely arabic paragraph, it gets pasted perfectly!

Moreover, when I am selecting the mixed script sentence in Word, by dragging the cursos over the sentence to select, if I slow it down, I can see it being selected sporadically until it all gets blue - by that I mean this:

 

Screenshot 2021-12-10 at 18.58.34.pngScreenshot 2021-12-10 at 18.58.47.pngI start selecting RTL - I select the "7)" first but then it  skips as shown in the 2nd image


Someone please help me fix this, it is incredibly annoying... even if I copy past word by word, number by number it somehow switches directions, starts typing from another point, etc... like its going crazy

Thank you in advance!

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Community Expert ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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Mixed paragraphs with RTL and LTR text are problematic.  Only one language direction can be allowed to have a line break. You cannot have line breaks with both languages. Asign to one language a no break property. So these texts must be so short to fit in a line. If that is not possible, breakt it up into several paragraphs.

 

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New Here ,
Dec 12, 2021 Dec 12, 2021

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Oh I see... well, thank you for answering!

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Community Expert ,
Dec 12, 2021 Dec 12, 2021

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I don't know if this will help in addition to Willi's reply, but here are some scripts that let you change direction for just 1-2 characters at time. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dzvkg4iv1vsg6tq/AAC_FlxT4qr55lwNrA0QKd5da?dl=0

Let me know if you have trouble retrieving the files. 

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 12, 2021 Dec 12, 2021

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Sorry, meant to add how to install scripts: https://redokun.com/resources/install-an-indesign-script

And I was wondering, would there be any different result overall if you Place the file (File > Place) vs. Copy/Paste from Word? Copy/Paste is, in general, not the best approach. Though it may be necessary in some cases. 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 19, 2021 Dec 19, 2021

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The experience you described is what we have been suffering with it for decades to the extent it became a normal issue for us. Microsoft had localized (Arabized) their Office applications differently to how Adobe did it, add to this Windows OS, and Mac both have again different methods of dealing with Right to Left Languages. That's why we try to minimize the differences in a workflow by trying to work on specific platform Win/Mac and keep the workflow from a single developer such as InCopy for writers and authors, along with InDesign for the rest of designers and page layout staff.

I'm not saying at all that you and us should consider these issues as normal, but I'm saying that we adapted to such behaviours and have developed some workarounds of our own.

 

In your example you're dealing with short text. If you know Arabic, I advice you of typing the sentence all over in InDesign. Otherwise, the best way to get Arabic from MS. Word is by placing it not copy/paste.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 19, 2021 Dec 19, 2021

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Everyone posting in your thread is right, but Zaid is right-est, I think:

 

the best way to get Arabic from MS. Word is by placing it not copy/paste.

 

That's a command in the File menu, without which you will be using all kinds of crazy workarounds. My own preferred crazy workarounds is to place the Word document, and then use RTL and LTR markers and overrides to force the text to render the way I think it ought to render. There are markers and overrides in Type -> Insert Special ME Character -> Unicode Markers. Sometimes I also have to mark individual spaces as RTL character direction (that's in the flyout menu on the Charater panel) especially when numerals and parentheses and such are involved. 

 

But really, I think that many of your frustrations are coming from attempts to copy & paste bidirectional text. Don't trust the Clipboard!

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Participant ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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I'm ready to tear my hair out with this.  2 examples attached.
Top is screenshot of the Word doc.
Bottom is screenshot of how it comes into Indd, whether pasted, placed, or even put into Text and Remove All Formatting before pasting.  I can't place the English words where I need them to go.
How can Word do this correctly but InDesign cannot?
Help!!

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 6.26.43 PM.png

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 6.26.52 PM.png

 

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 6.47.05 PM.png

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 6.47.43 PM.png

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Community Expert ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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Sorry if I've missed this, but what font are you using? 

We often use Google Noto fonts as they have full glyph coverage and are well-supported by InDesign. They are free. https://fonts.google.com/noto

Perhaps the font you're using is being encoded differently in Word than InDesign?

And as has been mentioned in this thread, you almost always want to Place, not Paste, though I understand you're having the problem in either case.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2022 Jul 02, 2022

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I typed part of your text for testing purposes and all came alright in my InDesign (ME version) with the following settings:

Text frame set to Right-to-Left

Digits (numbers) set to Arabic

Composer set to Adobe World-Ready Paragraph Composer

Paragraph Direction is set to Right-to-Left

Here is what I got:

Screen Shot 2022-07-02 at 1.12.46 PM.png

Note, I typed the text in InDesign, I didn't copy/paste or place it since I don't have the source file.

I suggest that you delete all Latin text from the source file ie. Word document, then copy/paste the Arabic text into InDesign, then simply type the Latin text in InDesign, I do suspect InDesign is misreading the dashes – and parenthesis ( ) coming from Arabic Word document.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2022 Jul 02, 2022

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Zaid is correct again here, and is describing something that had me tearing my hair out, for years, until I figured it out.

 

Some glyphs are treated by InDesign as inherently LTR (like Latin script) and others as inherently RTL (like Arabic script). Others that appear in both contexts, like parentheses and hyphens, are inherently bidirectional, and are awarded directionality based on the surrounding characters. This system doesn't match Word's system, at all. This creates real problems when attempting to e.g. add parenthetical part numbers that have embedded hyphens. Or to have trilingual parenthetical statements in English, Japanese, and Arabic.Additionally, sometimes Word (or maybe the Windows clipboard?) has in the past added Unicode control characters for things like directionality overrides. Just to make things more interesting, right?

 

So, in your shoes, I would set up InDesign to use logical character selection (not visual) and then use the keyboard to select the entire part number, and then choose Left-to-Right Character Direction, and then overtly mark the spaces around the part number as Right-to-Left Character Direction. This is one of the real hair-pulling things for me; spaces themselves inherit their directionality from their surrounding glyphs. I'll try to post an illustrative video later, but it'd probably work better if you (or Zaid?) posted some text for me to work with, as I don't read Arabic and couldn't even estimate how long it'd take me to hunt-and-peck my way through rekeying even one of the sentences you're working with.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2022 Jul 02, 2022

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الخصوصية بشكل افتراضي

وتقول المنظمة الأوروبية للمستهلكين (BEUC)، التي تنسق التحالف، إن اللغة التي تستخدمها غوغل Google في عملية التسجيل "غير واضحة وغير كاملة ومضللة"، ما يدفع العديد من المستهلكين إلى اختيار خيارات أقل ملاءمة للخصوصية.

ونتيجة لذلك، "تم وضع عشرات الملايين من الأوروبيين على مسار سريع للمراقبة عندما قاموا بتسجيل حساب على غوغل" على حد قول المنظمة.

وتعتقد المنظمة أن إنشاء الحساب هو النقطة الحاسمة، التي تطلب فيها غوغل من 320 مستخدم اختيار الكيفية التي ستعمل بها حساباتهم، كما ان هنالك End-users بحدود 800-950 مستخدم اشتكوا من النتائج السلبية.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2022 Jul 02, 2022

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Well said Joel, I posted a sample of Arabic text for your use if you will.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 03, 2022 Jul 03, 2022

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1000x thanks!

 

The first thing I notice is that, when I copy your sample text out of Chrome and paste into InDesign and Word, is that Word handles the directionality of the hyphen incorrectly, and what is rendered as "End-users" in both Chrome and InDesign, Word treats as "users-End".

JoelCherney_0-1656839693413.png

However, because I have logical cursor behavior turned on, you can see the actual order of the keystream, first in Word, then in InDesign:

wordrtl.gifindyrtl.gif

 

So the logical order of characters is the same, even if they're being displayed in different ways. Note that, in both cases, the spaces surrounding the English phrase are being handled as RTL spaces, because in both apps I have RTL paragraph direction turned on.

 

So, if we place the Word file with the incorrect handling of the hyphen into InDesign, what happens?

 

JoelCherney_1-1656840333951.png

 

It's still rendering incorrectly! That is because InDesign's Word import filter is respecting the incorrect Word settings. All we have to do here is allow InDesign to render the text according to the keystream by reverting to "Default" character direction.

 

fixy.gif

 

That is how it works, in a simple case. However, there are plenty of non-simple cases. For instance, sometimes my Arabic translators key in all of their parentheses when using the Arabic keyboard in Word running on Windows, and in other cases they key in their parentheses, or their entire part numbers, by switching to the English keyboard. Sometimes they key it all in Arabic, and then realize upon proofing that they need to add a single space, and accidentally whack their space bar with the English keyboard on. This confuses Word's directionality settings, which goes on to confuse InDesign's Word import filter. This can lead to situations where simply selecting Default Character Direction isn't enough, and we have to force InDesign to render text properly. Here is one of my own examples that I worked on recently:

 

nondis.gif

I obviously didn't finish cleaning this one all the way (e.g. the wholly unnecessary discretionary ligature in "complaint_filing_cust.html" which is on because this particular translation app always turns all of the discretionary ligatures on when handling Arabic in IDML) but I think you'll get the idea. "Default" character direction usually works once you have your text in InDesign, but if you have to handle a lot of bidirectionality in the middle of a paragraph, knowing how to force the directionality of spaces and parentheses and the like will usually let you render your text as you'd expect with a minimal amount of effort. 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Jul 03, 2022 Jul 03, 2022

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Perfect examples and illustrations Joel. Talking about dashes, since the dash appears the same just like a minus sign in both Arabic and English, it doesn't mean that it is alright to mix and match wherever in the text we're typing. I mean to say that it is wrong for the typesetter or writer of a multilingual sentence to type some digits as follows 248 then switch the keyboard input to Arabic to type a dash in order to separate the digits this way: 2-4-8

The trickiest part of a multilingual and bidirectional text is when working with numbers that have fractions such as 2.99, dashes, or parentheses. In such an event, I have to visit more menus and manually adjust the text just like Joel's example, what I also end up doing mostly is assigning the English Language to digits 12345, and assigning Arabic Languagee to digits ١٢٣٤٥ if there are any in the article. I find this step forces the Digits to behave well 

Dictionary.jpg

 

 

 

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Participant ,
Jul 06, 2022 Jul 06, 2022

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That looks like this excellent explanation would solve my problem... but I don't have an option to change character direction.  Right now I'm just typing the English words in backwards...

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Community Expert ,
Jul 06, 2022 Jul 06, 2022

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@rosenh wrote:

 but I don't have an option to change character direction


Do you mean the option is not visible in your InDesign? If so, then you don't have the Middle Eastern version, hence you will get much difficulties in handling multidirectional text.

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Participant ,
Jul 06, 2022 Jul 06, 2022

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That is correct, I don't have the ME version activated.  Since this is a rare project, I did manage a workaround without having to reload InDesign!  I could never have figured it out without the excellent help offered in this forum!!!
(Sorry, I don't know how to record my workaround steps:)
1) Place (preferred) or paste the RTL text.  (Note, it will not be RTL in InDesign, even if it's RTL in Word, until the InDesign paragraph style includes World-Ready Paragraph Composer.)
2) I had already created paragraph styles with the ME-friendly font and included Right Justified and World-Ready Composer (which is found under "Justification")
3) Assign the style, and the text jumps to RTL.
4) For English text within the paragraph, assign a Character Style that includes "English" as the Language (found in the Advanced Character Formats dialog box).  This Character Style was also useful because the English text is often much larger than the ME text, so it's nice to make them smaller.
5) Now... highlight the text, and re-type it backwards!  This sounds odd, but it really worked.
6) Dashes and Parentheses are problematic... sometimes they caused whole paragraphs to come apart, and I actually put those phrases on their own single line.  And sometimes the parentheses worked as expected!  

Thank you all again, I couldn't have done it without you.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 07, 2022 Jul 07, 2022

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That is really clever! I can't really endorse the "I just typed the letters backwards" solution, but I totally understand why you used it. I used to use many similar techniques myself, back in The Old Days when the Middle East Edition of InDesign was a separate (expensive) app sold by Winsoft, and I worked in a nonprofit that couldn't afford to buy me a license. The Bad Old Days, I guess.

 

Today, of course, it's free with your Creative Cloud subscription. But if you don't want to deal with the hassle of reinstalling (or the hassle of asking the IT department to allow such reinstallation), there are a few other hacky workarounds you can use. I'll list a few of the most useful I know about here, in case you, or anyone else, ever need them:

 

1) All of these RTL behaviors are scriptable. It just takes one line of Javascript to apply RTL character direction or RTL paragraph direction. I haven't tested them since maybe CC 2016, but the RTL scripts posted by Thomas Phinney for CS4 still worked even then. That whole blog post should be saved for posterity, I think.  

 

2) But maybe you just have a single Arabic sentence you need to paste in, and don't want to stop to learn how to install and use these scripts. In that case, you can make a fresh empty text frame, grab the Text tool and click into it for live text, and then go to "Type" and hold down the Control key (on Windows) while you click the "Fill with placeholder text" entry in the menu. Instead of filling the frame with the familiar "Lorem ipsum" text, it will give you a list of optional placeholder text languages, including Arabic! So you can either paste straight into the Arabic, or base a new paragraph style on it that will have the WRC turned on and RTL paragraph direction applied. 

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