LAST UPDATED: 1 month ago
Those who write a lot in Arabic will quickly appreciate the advantages of a mechanical keyboard. But there are also viable solutions for those who only occasionally write in Arabic.
Arabic keyboards – virtual and hardware Hide
- Online keyboards
- Desktop: Google Chrome extensions
- Desktop: Arabic phonetic keyboards for Windows and Mac
- Mobile phones: Android
- Physical Arabic Keyboards (hardware)
- Excursus: What is Arabizi?
These virtual keyboards work with every operating system – you just need a browser and don't have to install an extension or add-on.
If you only occasionally need Arabic letters, for example, to google things, a virtual keyboard should do the job.
You can write with English letters and the text will be automatically converted into Arabic script.
You can also install add-ons for Chrome and Android on the website.
Try it out here https://www.google.com/intl/ar/inputtools/try/
Previously: Hameem's Arabic Keyboard
If you quickly need to type some words in Arabic but don't have a physical keyboard, this web-based keyboard is quite handy. You can use the English keyboard and just type the word phonetically.
ACCESS it here https://taereeb.netlify.app/
Note: For the desktop version of Taereeb, scroll further down or click here.
You can access it here https://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/arabic.htm
Desktop: Google Chrome extensions
There are some handy extensions for Internet browsers.
Google Input Tools
With Google Input Tools, you can easily type in Arabic – using Latin characters or, if you have a tablet, using your handwriting.
Get it on the Chrome Webstore https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-input-tools/mclkkofklkfljcocdinagocijmpgbhab
Yamli Chrome extension
Yamli used to be the first and best extensions to type in Arabic (see below) – if you want to use Latin/English characters. I don't think that the extension will be maintained in future, but it still works.
Get it on the Chrome Webstore https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/yamli/jhninijcbcniklnjbohdmoglogfjbglh/related
Arabic Keyboard Online
This extension is for people you don't want to write with English characters, but prefer to hit an Arabic letter. It works quite well.
Get it on the Chrome Webstore https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/arabic-keyboard/efjgnndlicleaolkoffalpfkgmaggabk
You can access it here https://www.yamli.com/arabic-keyboard/
The story behind Yamli: In July 2006, the war in Lebanon had started. Habib Haddad was looking for news about the war online. Without access to an Arabic keyboard (I guess he was living in the USA), Haddad had difficulties finding information in Arabic.
Along with co-founder Imad Jureidini, he founded Language Analytics LLC in July 2007 – and developed yamli.
Desktop: Arabic phonetic keyboards for Windows and Mac
Omar al-Zabir's keyboard for Windows, MacOS and Linux
This phonetic keyboard works very well on Windows and Mac. You can use your English keyboard to produce Arabic letters – just type the words phonetically.
Get it herE FOR WINDOWS AND MAC: https://arabic.omaralzabir.com/
Get it herE FOR LINUX: https://github.com/suryaya/Arabic-Phonetic-Keyboard-Linux
Taereeb for Windows
Previously: Hameems Arabic Keyboard
This phonetic keyboard works also well on Windows. Pretty much the same as the one above.
Get it heRE for Windows: https://www.softpedia.com/get/Windows-Widgets/Hameems-Arabic-Phonetic-Keyboard.shtml
UPDATE (October 2022): The developer now offers a web-based version – see above under Taereeb Arabic Keyboard
Mobile phones: Android
SwiftKey is a virtual keyboard app developed by TouchType for Android and iOS devices. SwiftKey uses a blend of artificial intelligence technologies that enable it to predict the next word the user intends to type. The company was purchased by Microsoft.
Good for Arabic? Yes, Swiftkey works very smoothly.
How can I get diacritical signs (tashkeel)? Press the letter ظ and you will get all diacritical signs such as Damma, Kasra, Nunation, etc.
Get it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.touchtype.swiftkey.beta
Gboard Google Standard
Google is constantly improving its own keyboard.
Good for Arabic? Yes, Gboard works very well.
How can I get diacritical signs (tashkeel)? Press the . (full stop sign) to get the diacritical marks.
Get it here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.inputmethod.latin
This keyboard for Android is based on Yamli. I haven't tried it myself, but some people told me it works pretty well.
Get it here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.noon.android.noonKeyboard
Physical Arabic Keyboards (hardware)
I personally use a physical/hardware USB keyboard as I am used to type in Arabic. If you set up a keyboard shortcut to switch between keyboard layouts, mixing English and Arabic becomes very easy.
Remark: It is easy to add a new keyboard layout. If you don't know how to do it, here are instructions for Windows and for Mac users.
German – Arabic keyboard (qwertz)
The best place to buy an Arabic keyboard is ebay. You can get one for 13.50 Euro plus 5.95 Euro shipping = 19.45 Euro.
For German speaking countries You can buy it on Ebay
English – Arabic keyboard (qwerty)
There are many offers for Arabic keyboards in the UK (also on amazon.co.uk), however, you may have difficulties to find a good and fair-priced keyboard in the USA.
Please note that we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
USA Unfortunately, Arabic keyboards are pretty expensive. You can try ebay.
International (BUT NOT USA) Wireless QWERTY Arabic-English keyboard on ebay. The seller ships worldwide.
Excursus: What is Arabizi?
In the early years of the internet, before we had virtual keyboards on our phones and tablets, it was tricky to type in Arabic. So people used Latin (English) characters and developed a weird kind of writing, which is still used in Arabic dialects.
This type of writing is often called Arabizi (عربيزي), Arabglish , Arabglizi, Arabish, or Franco-Arabic. The English alphabet is used and enriched by numbers for all the sounds and letters that are typical for Arabic.
|Arabic letters||English letters||Transliteration|
|ء أ ؤ إ ئ آ||2||‘ (glottal stop)|
|خ||5 or 7′||kh|
|ص||9 or s||S|
|ض||d dh or 9′||D|
|ط||6 or t||T|
|ظ||z or th or dh or 6′||DH|
|غ||gh or 3′||gh|
|ق||2 or g or 8 or 9 or q||q|
Interested in other tools?
- LibreOffice: How to fix an annoying behavior when writing in Arabic
- The new tool that can even transcribe Gaddafi's speeches in Arabic
- How can you use ChatGPT to learn Arabic?
- What are the best Christmas gifts for Arabic nerds in 2022?
- How do you say LGBTQ in Arabic?
Picture credit: Image by Daniel Agrelo from Pixabay
I like your theme of arabic keyboard. Thanks bro
I personally used many of these keyboards but I love to use swift key, it’s the best. I also gathered information about android keyboards. You can check it.