Writing in Arabic on a mobile phone works like a charm. But writing texts on Microsoft Word or LibreOffice is still quite challenging. It basically starts with choosing a good font.
Both – Times New Roman and Arial – offer Arabic support. They are not bad at all, but sometimes they may look weird and become hard to read – especially if you use diacritical marks (Tashkeel/تَشْكِيل) and mix them with other fonts.
What options for Arabic fonts do you have?
There are Arabic fonts which are beautifully crafted. However, they are pretty expensive. I will offer you here two options which usually work and get the job done.
- Option 1 – a conservative font that is perfect for beginners and has great support of diacritical marks: Deja Vu Sans.
- Option 2 – Google Fonts which offers more sophisticated fonts that look great, but may also be a bit fussy.
I like to use Deja Vu Sans in documents. It is a very clear font that clearly marks all diacritical marks at their appropriate position.
The DejaVu fonts are a font family based on the Vera Fonts. Its purpose is to provide a wider range of characters. The best thing – they are under a free license. In other words, you can download them and use them in your documents without worrying about copyright issues.
You can download it here: https://dejavu-fonts.github.io/
Unless you are using Linux, I would recommend downloading the ZIP-file. You will find the fonts in the TTF (TrueType)-format. If you don’t know how to install such files, I will give some hints later in this blog post.
There is a great option which is called GOOGLE FONTS: fonts.google.com
Google offers professional fonts for free. You don’t need to buy them. Many people forget that you can’t just download a font and use it. You need to obtain a license. If you use google fonts, you are fine.
How do you download Arabic fonts?
Choose the language: Arabic
On the right part of your screen, you will see the option “Languages”. Choose Arabic.
Choose a font
You will now see all fonts that offer full Arabic support.
Download the font
Click on the “plus”-symbol to mark the fonts you want to download. After that you will see a new window at the bottom. Enlarge it.
In order to download it, click on the symbol on the right.
Unzip the file
You will end up with a zip-file called “fonts.zip”.
Install the fonts
You will see some TrueType-files now with the extension .TTF. Usually it works if you simply open them with a double-click. If your operating system doesn’t know what to do, try to press the right mouse button and see if you could open or install the file with a font manager.
If all this doesn’t work out, go to google and search for: “install ttf files”.
Good to know:
How do you write the “Basmallah” or Allah (the “Grand Word”) in a nice way? For example: In the name of God/Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful: بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ – Check out this blog post:
REMARK: Twitter-User Zübeyt Nalçakan (@ZubeytNalcakan) suggested the following website: http://arbfonts.com
Other useful tools and websites for Arabic:
- 27med, 9ala7, 5alid – How to read and write Arabic in arabizi
- A tool to learn the notoriously difficult rules for numbers in Arabic
- Arabic songs with English subtitles? Yes – on youtube!
- Are there audio books in Arabic? YES!
- Books I have written (about Arabic)
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