Friday, July 24, 2015

Word For iOS Updated to Support Arabic, Hebrew, and Thai

Version 1.11 of MS Word for iOS, issued 7/24/15, adds support for editing bi-directional and complex scripts, namely Arabic, Hebrew, and Thai.

I wonder if this indicates MS Word for Mac might soon get this as well?

A doc created in the new Word for iOS and sent to my Mac opened with correct Arabic display in Word for Mac 2011 (!) and 2016.

1 comment:

Smokey Ardisson said...

(If this is a duplicate, I apologize; I tried to submit this last night and couldn't tell if Blogger actually sent it into the moderation queue or just ignored my attempt to submit.)

After seeing this post, I went back and read the kludge you mentioned in your prior post. This situation is…totally bizarre.

The only "reasonable" explanation I can think of is that Microsoft did the work to support Arabic/RTL and just didn't turn on the RTL/joining support by default in Mac Word (nor did they provide any UI to allow users to turn it on themselves) for some reason, but that existing RTL Word documents include some sort of flag signaling RTL that Mac Word parses and then uses to enable RTL/joining in that document only. (It reminds me tangentially of the old Arabic-related bug in the Mac OS days where certain apps would not display the teh [ت] unless text was specifically tagged as being Arabic, IIRC because teh and MacRoman non-breaking space shared the same decimal codepoint.)

I'm curious if plain text, rich text, and .doc/.docx Arabic files generated by other Mac apps (e.g., TextEdit, Pages, and/or NeoOffice/LibreOffice/OpenOffice) also open correctly in Mac Word 2011 and 2016, or if the flag is something super-specific/proprietary that MS is including in WinWord and iOS Word Arabic documents?