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cropped huruf arabic letters

Chrome/Firefox: changing Arabic font easily

Arabic fonts always look too small and unreadable on the browser. There are extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera that fix that. One is Wudooh.

Last updated: 10 months ago

UPDATE: There is a new and excellent for Chrome and : Wudooh – see below.

The default settings for the Arabic alphabet on most operating systems and programs are just weird.

Why reading Arabic on a computer is difficult

Reading Arabic (newspapers, books, etc.) on the Internet can be irritating. Many people told me that they would love to read more Arabic on the Internet, but they get tired after some time.

The Arabic script, for some reason, is always smaller compared to Latin characters. Furthermore, the font is sometimes weird and might even produce mistakes as not all characters are correct.

In the past, I recommended an extension called Huruf (حُرُوف) which does a great job and works perfectly fine with and Firefox. Badrul Aini Sha'ari from Kuala Lumpur told me about Wudooh which has a great plus point: you can “whitelist” certain websites.

This is very useful when reading verses of the Qur'an like on quran.com since Huruf destroyed the script. With Wudooh, you can simply whitelist the URL.

Wudooh was written by Bassam Helal. You can get it here for free: https://wudooh.app

Wudooh (clarity in Arabic and Persian) is a simple browser extension that makes reading Arabic script text clearer and more pleasant. This project is based on and is the successor to Jackson Petty's Huruf. Wudooh adds many more features and fixes commonly complained about problems found in Huruf.

Where can you download Wudooh?

  • For Chrome – download Wudooh
  • For Firefox – download Wudooh
  • For Microsoft Edge – download Wudooh

What are the advantages of Wudooh?

Huruf (and its successor Wudooh) makes reading on-screen Arabic easier by increasing the font size of all characters within the ranges of the Arabic script; this means that Huruf/Wudooh will work on any language that uses the Arabic script, not just Arabic (e.g. Persian, Punjabi, Urdu, etc). You can set the font size and line height to be up to 150% of the default value.

Droid Arabic Naskh is one of the best free Arabic fonts available. This type of font is optimized for reading Arabic script on screens.

The developer paid attention that the large “loop height” and “tooth height” help prevent readers from having to zoom web pages to a larger size to read them. The traditional Naskh forms are softened for less formal documents such as periodicals and journals.

Remark: In an article published on wired.com the author explains why typeface design has a western-normativity problem. The simple answer is that most Arabic typefaces have been designed by Latin alphabet typographers.

What about Opera?

For Opera, you need another trick. Thanks to Mostafa Alahyari from Tehran (Iran), there is a great extension that does the job and adjusts Arabic (and Farsi and Urdu) fonts. It is called Font ARA Font Changer and is a cross-browser extension – which means it works on any browser.

screenshot extension fontara

Other useful tools and websites:

Picture credit: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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5 years ago

I am curious about how to apply this wonderfulness to apps… I installed BBC Arabic on my phone, get notifications all the time (which I love), but when I go to try to read a given story, it’s challenging and tiring because of this very thing you’ve highlighted. I realize the answer is probably to just open a page in a browser, but the quickness of the app is a value.

Jacob West
Jacob West
5 years ago

I’m on firefox, and there is zoom in and zoom out that you can use on English and Arabic, doesn’t let you choose the font though. That sounds like a cool feature.

Mr Maqbool Ahmad
Mr Maqbool Ahmad
5 years ago

I am using Chrome as my default browser and download by clicking on the word
“here” in the “For Chrome – download it here.” And it works. However the letters
are too big for me..

Once you download by clicking on the word “here” in the ” – download it here.”
Can I adjust the font size or disable all together and how?
Would appreciate your help.

Stephan Vogel
Stephan Vogel
5 years ago

I think the reason why Arabic characters look much smaller then Latin characters, or pretty much any other script is the space reserved for diacritics and for ligatures. Esp. when you look at the Alif: أَ or إ .

In some fonts character combinations like لح will be rendered as a literature, with the characters stacked vertically rather then horizontally.

6 years ago

This is great, thanks.
Does anyone have an idea how to fix the issue without an extension? for example on restricted computers or android ?

6 years ago

Thank you for this.

Works actually fine on regular websites, but doesn’t on facebook…

7 years ago

Good tips and sharing, many thanks!

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