3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2013 9:31 AM by Joel Cherney

    Arabic fonts in InDesign CS6

    annarasie

      I¹m looking for some help regarding Arabic fonts on Mac InDesign CS6 (Adobe Creative Suite 5.5).

       

      I¹ve designed a company profile in English and they need it to be translated into Arabic for their Middle Eastern branch. They¹ve sent the correct Arabic copy in a Word document but the moment I copy it into InDesign it corrupts and becomes illegible. I¹ve looked on the Adobe and Apple forums but can¹t find a solution for the problem.

       

      This is a Mac problem because one of my friends have InDesign for Windows and the font works 100% on her version. I think the problem is that the Arabic font was written for Windows and is therefore not compatible with Mac.

        • 1. Re: Arabic fonts in InDesign CS6
          PrintFusion45 Employee Moderator

          Look for an OTF version of the same Arabic font. Install the OTF version of the Arabic font on your Mac using Font Book. Relaunch InDesign and see if you can them import the word doc without missing fonts error.

          • 2. Re: Arabic fonts in InDesign CS6
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            To use right-to-left text in ID you'll need to at the very least turn on the World Ready Composer and the RTL features using a script. That may be sufficient for occasional use of Arabic, or you may need to add a plugin, like World Tools from In-Tools.com, or even switch to the ME/NA version of ID (which is easy if you are a cloud subscriber).

             

            Since I don't do any Arabic or Hebrew work I'm not really versed in the details, so I'll ping one of the other regulars who does this all the time, but he's probably still asleep so you may have to wait a bit for better info.

            • 3. Re: Arabic fonts in InDesign CS6
              Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              This is a Mac problem because one of my friends have InDesign for Windows and the font works 100% on her version.

              Mmmmaybe.

               

              Can you tell us the name of the font?  In which version of Word is the Arabic rendering correctly? Do you have a known-good PDF to compare your Arabic against? If not, how do you know that the Arabic is rendering correctly anywhere?

               

              It was my understanding that Mac Word simply can't handle right-to-left scripts like Arabic, so it's possible that your translation provider has used a very old font that fakes the cursive connections between letters in Arabic. It could also be the case that the font is Arial - versions of Arial installed with Office for Mac traditionally don't have Arabic glyphs because Mac Office has not offered RTL support for Arabic. But the font technologies used in Windows for Arabic support (both in TrueType and OpenType) do, in fact, work on the Mac, assuming the font was made by someone who knew what they were doing.

               

              Both Peter and shnath offer good advice. I am a big proponent of World Tools, but in CS6 if you have a correctly formatted Word document you should be able to just place it and get RTL behaviors, if the font used has Arabic support.

               

              Lastly:

              I¹ve designed a company profile in English and they need it to be translated into Arabic for their Middle Eastern branch.

              I don't do much commercial work myself (I'm more of a nonprofit, social-service guy) but a "company profile" sounds to me like something that should be typeset by a graphic designer who actually reads the language. You are working on some kind of marketing or business speech intended for distribution in a culture where good calligraphy and typography are very important. It is unfortunately very easy for those of us who are not immersed in these calligraphic traditions to accidentally do something equivalent to formatting a press release in sixteen-point Comic Sans. So if you keep posting in this thread we can get you to the point where your Arabic copy is legible, and probably to the point where it's not embarassing. But if your clients need anything more than basic legibility, you may want to hand this off to someone who is an in-language professional.