Handling Arabic Text in Dreamweaver
This article was specifically written
to guide individuals who wish to develop Arabic pages in
Dreamweaver, but it should also help individuals who wish
to do so in other bi-directional languages like Hebrew
Dreamweaver MX wasn't
designed to handle bi-directional languages, which includes
Arabic, Hebrew, etc. Dreamweaver
still doesn't even recognize
the DIR attribute
which is set to 'rtl' indicating that tables and text
are to be formatted from right-to-left. Dreamweaver also
doesn't support the LANG attribute,
which would be set to 'ar' to identify that text that follows
is in Arabic. Because of these problems, even after getting
Dreamweaver to display Arabic text, it will be very
difficult to edit Arabic text and tables won't be
right-to-left in Dreamweaver.
I have found two means
of inserting Arabic into Dreamweaver MX, but both means
require that you have the Arabic keyboard layout configured
either on your Windows
or Macintosh operating system. Guidelines on how to install
a new keyboard layout can be found at Dreamweaver's website
under the article 'Using
English Dreamweaver to develop non-English pages'.
For those using Windows XP, instructions can be found here,
while Windows 2000/NT users can get these details here.
The first means of
adding Arabic to Dreamweaver is by using
the 'UTF-8 (Unicode)'. Open Dreamweaver and open the page
to add the Arabic text to.
Change the document
encoding to 'UTF-8 (Unicode)' going into Page
Ctrl+J if you are in Windows) and then selecting it from
Encoding drop-down menu. Once the document
encoding has been changed, you can paste
your Arabic text into Dreamweaver and it
will appear correct.
The second means to
add Arabic text in Dreamweaver MX is by adding
document encoding file. To do this in Windows, locate the
directory that you installed Dreamweaver and then go into
then go into the directory Configuration\Encodings\, where
you will find a file named EncodingMenu.xml. Open the file
in Notepad and add the following line to the file.
<mm:encoding name="Arabic (Windows-1256)" charset="windows-1256" fontgroup="UTF-8" macfontscript=0
Save the file, and
then open Dreamweaver and change the document encoding
(Windows-1256)' in the file you want to add the Arabic
text. Copy your Arabic text and then paste it into Dreamweaver.
To be able to type Arabic text into Dreamweaver, you will
need to change the current keyboard layout by
clicking on keyboard layout indicator in the taskbar to
Arabic. But typing or editing Arabic text
in Dreamweaver is very difficult, so I suggest that you
type the Arabic text in Microsoft Word
or Notepad and then
insert it into Dreamweaver.
I tried out the LTR
to RTL Macromedia
Dreamweaver Extension by Ofir Ben Natan which adds DIR="RTF" to
all <P> or <DIV> tags
on a page, but for Arabic text, not only is the text right-to-left
but tables on a webpage are right-to-left. So the best
means of handling it is by adding DIR="RTF" to
the <HTML> tag.
arabic using dreamweaver?
for Developing Non-English Web Sites
Developing Website for Users of Languages Other Than English