12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2012 1:54 PM by romillyham RSS

    Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)

    romillyham

      Please oh please could someone say whether, and how, now we are at the end of 2012, one can simply and practically set in Farsi on a Mac (OSX 10.6.8) using InDesign CS4 (not the ME version).

       

      There are threads here dating mainly to 2009 – two/three years ago! – that really don't deal very well with the issue or suggest "solutions" that look like a real hassle. I don't want to have to use scripts if possible, I just want to be able to enter Farsi and roman text in the same document and in the same paragraph, straightforwardly and without hassle. I can do it in TextEdit with virtually no problem! Why not in CS4, which boasts the so-called WorldReady plug-in? Big deal – out of the box it's much of the world unready.

       

      If it has to be a plug-in, someone please say which is the best plug-in for the price. I have looked at MetaDesigns' IndicPlus plugin, which handles arabic/farsi but seems mainly geared for Indian languages. It's $50 for the CS4 version.

       

      If the only practical way is to purchase an ME version of InDesign, someone please say that too!

       

      So many people are now wanting to learn/write/publish in Farsi that there is a real need for mixed-script/LTR-RTL setting software. Any Iranians here using InDesign CS4?

       

      Many thanks!

        • 1. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
          [Jongware] MVP

          romillyham wrote:

           

          Please oh please could someone say whether, and how, now we are at the end of 2012, one can simply and practically set in Farsi on a Mac (OSX 10.6.8) using InDesign CS4 (not the ME version).

           

          The ME version is the one that allows you to "simply and practically" set ME text with.

           

          The suggested workarounds are just that, mainly for the odd occurrence of Arabic in an otherwise Latin-oriented document. (Though I suppose it would be perfectly doable to do so for an entire document.)

           

          So many people are now wanting to learn/write/publish in Farsi that there is a real need for mixed-script/LTR-RTL setting software.

           

          There is -- InDesign ME.

           

          That said, the "hassles" aren't that big. When necessary, I use Peter Kahrel's "hassle" scripts; with such success one of the authors I did work for asked me how I did typeset his Arabic phrases so beautiful, so he could do the same in Word.

          • 2. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
            BobLevine UGM-MVPs

            What difference is the current year when you're using tools from 4 years ago?

             

            Bob

            • 3. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
              Joel Cherney MVP

              Why not in CS4, which boasts the so-called WorldReady plug-in? Big deal – out of the box it's much of the world unready.

               

              Actually, in CS4 the WRC was undocumented. If I recall correctly, Adobe told no one about it and left it under the hood for people to discover by reading the scripting reference. In CS6, the WRC is exposed to users and easy to turn on, but you still need either the ME edition, or something like IndicPlus or World Tools, to handle RTL languages. If you want control over, say, kashidas or diacritic placement, then you need either the

               

              If you are stuck on CS4, I think that World Tools is the best choice if you want significant control over layout. You're right about IndicPlus being mostly for the languages of India; the CS4 edition of World Tools really is aimed at right-to-left languages exclusively. Seems to cover Arabic/Persian/Hebrew/Kurdish/Urdu pretty well for me. To be honest the CS5/6 version of the plugin is better & easier to use if your texts are heavily bidirectional, but if you are stuck on CS4 then World Tools is your best bet. (I'm stuck there too, and cannot wait for my main clients to upgrade past CS4 so I can grab World Tools Pro.)

              If the only practical way is to purchase an ME version of InDesign, someone please say that too!

               

              Nope. There are other options - you can turn these function on and off with a script, which you already know. You can use a plugin, which you already know. You can use another application - notably, you cannot use Microsoft Word, which you may already know. But you can use OpenOffice or LibreOffice or another word processor. You probably already knew that, too.

               

              But page layout apps? Is there any page layout application that is available for Mac OS that makes bidi layout easy without buying a plugin? TBQH, although I hate it, I've long understood why so many designers working in RTL languages use Quark. ArabicXT is a pretty powerful tool. I see some evidence that Scribus is on its way towards complex script support but if this is the only page I can find on their wiki then they're probably not there yet.

               

              Simple fact is that no, even with the recent surge in popularity of Mac OS (which I've been using on and off to typeset dozens of different complex-script languages from around the world for fifteen years now), I know of no tools that make it easy to handle specifically bidirectional texts, outside of the applications I've already mentioned. I've never tried it in Pages, which for me kind of straddles the line between "word processor" and "page layout app." You may want to try it out, but reports I've read are that you can typeset Persian in it okay, but trying to do bidirectional RTL/LTR texts in it is even more frustrating than usual.

              • 4. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
                Joel Cherney MVP

                Oh yeah - I forgot Mellel. I usually forget Mellel unless I'm specifically being asked about typesetting Hebrew. It handles bidi stuff exceptionally well, though.

                • 5. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
                  romillyham Community Member

                  Thanks Joel for taking the time out to reply in such detail – massively useful, with leads I can follow.

                   

                  Truth is that purchasing/upgrading to a later or ME version of InDesign would be a big expense that I can't justify, and of course I felt that that WorldReady plug-in in CS4 must somehow be activatable, even if it has limitations relative to CS5/6.. My currently projected uses are purely personal, like running up vocab lists for improving my farsi. TextEdit is ok – actually pretty good considering – but has many obvious limtations too. IF I were offered a string of setting jobs by a client then I could justify the expense, for sure.

                  • 6. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
                    MW Design Community Member

                    Being this is for personal use (versus professional output) consider checking out LibreOffice. I believe it can handle rtl/ltr in the same document.

                     

                    Being that it is an OpenSource project, it means zero cash outlay.

                     

                    Take care, Mike

                    • 7. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
                      romillyham Community Member

                      Thanks for lead to LibreOffice, which I’d not heard of. Looks promising and I’m going to give it a shot as a first off (I was looking to make use of a big outlay on CS4 which only got used for about 4 jobs!)

                       

                      For anyone else interested in Persian language localization in LibreOffice, info is readily available by googling on strings such as "farsi in libreoffice".

                       

                      The farsi developers site (http://fa.libreoffice.org/) is not much use as it only repeats general LO blurb in farsi. On the download page the second button provides a converter to display the interface in farsi.

                       

                      There is supposedly a “LibreOffice Help Pack (Farsi)”, but it’s an exe file and in any case I have been unable to download it. It’s on some ?joke site called Software Informer where clicking on the download button takes you round in circles. No matter.

                       

                      Will report further as and when. Thanks all.

                      • 8. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
                        Joel Cherney MVP

                        Thanks Joel for taking the time out to reply in such detail – massively useful, with leads I can follow.

                         

                        No problem. I had to vet my response for snarkiness, though - next time you post a question here, I'd suggest that you take a slightly less, ah, confrontational tone.

                         

                        of course I felt that that WorldReady plug-in in CS4 must somehow be activatable, even if it has limitations relative to CS5/6..

                         

                        I think that 100% of the limitations are in the interface. Everything that you can do with the actual ME edition of InDesign, you can do with English-language ID and a pile of scripts. (The exception is that in the CS4 era. the ME edition was produced by another company (Winsoft) and it came with a plugin for calligraphic stuff (and fonts optimized for that plugin) that you don't get with the CS6 ME edition as produced by Adobe.

                         

                        Interestingly, in order to scare up that link, I visited the Winsoft site for the first time in a while, and it looks like they have their own plugin along the lines of World Tools. Haven't tried it, but it ceratinly seems to be the cheapest commercial plugin that allows access to RTL tools. It's not available to you on CS4, of course.

                        There is supposedly a “LibreOffice Help Pack (Farsi)”, but it’s an exe file and in any case I have been unable to download it. It’s on some ?joke site called Software Informer where clicking on the download button takes you round in circles. No matter.

                        That is a source of either adware or malware, depending on your definitions of same. I suggest you avoid it.

                        • 9. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
                          romillyham Community Member

                          . . . next time you post a question here, I'd suggest that you take a slightly less, ah, confrontational tone.

                          sweet smile

                           

                          Mood's much better today thanks to all the help and prospect of being able to move ahead.

                          • 10. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
                            romillyham Community Member

                            Brilliant! LibreOffice does the job - esp can mix ltr/rtl english/persian on the same line or para. Up and running in a couple of minutes.

                            بارک الله!

                            • 11. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
                              MW Design Community Member

                              Wonderful!

                               

                              Take care, Mike

                              • 12. Re: Farsi in ID CS4 (on Mac)
                                romillyham Community Member

                                Even better, I've just been able to import a long TextEdit vocab list (my kitchen vocab) in mixed English-Persian into a two-column format LibreOffice doc, which is exactly what I wanted — worked perfectly. The two fonts in the Text Edit doc, Helvetica and Geeza Pro, also import correctly. I could hardly believe it.

                                Fantastico. Thanks again people.