How to Read Arabic Text on the Internet

Please check with vendors (or their web sites, provided below) for system requirements, features, compatibility, installation, configuration, known bugs, security fixes, technical support and pricing (if not free)

MS Arabic Windows 95 or 98 (Enabled or Localized) and MS Windows NT 4.0 Arabic Enabled: use one of the following:
Arabic MS Internet Explorer 3.02 (stand alone browser, preserves formatting).

Microsoft’s Web Address:
This works for both Arabic and English pages and switches automatically according to language as specified in the header.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 for Middle East: Works with both Arabic Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 Arabic Enabled. The full installation contains FrontPage Express which is modified to handle Arabic html’ing. Supports Arabic and English, updated for stylesheets and dynamic HTML.

Windows NT 4.0 Arabic Enabled: This version of NT comes with MSIE 3.02 Arabic already with the system.
Sakhr’s Sindbad (requires 32-bit Netscape V. 3)
Sakhr’s Web Address:
Alis Tango (Alis Technologies)
Alis’s Web Address:
Accent’s Multilingual Mosaic
Accent’s Web Address:
You may be able to read Arabic text on Arabic Windows 95 using an English browser like Netscape or MSIE, but the text will be left aligned and formatting along with layout will be lost. Numbers will not display correctly, nor in the right place. To be able to do that, you’ll need to change font settings.

MS English Windows 95, 98 or Windows NT (may work on Pan European versions as well):

MSIE 5.0 (New): we tested MSIE 5.0 on Windows 95, 98 and NT4 (we mean English Windows!). MSIE 5.0 works very well for viewing but you won’t be able to edit, enter Arabic search terms or fill forms in Arabic on the English platform. In most cases (unless you change system fonts to Arabic), page titles will show as ?????). Remember to run custom/limited setup and check the Arabic language support when you install Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 (be ready for over 10 MB download). Also, don’t put IE5 on Arabic windows 98.
Other solutions: Sakhr’s Sindbad for Netscape 3 or 4, Accent’s Multilingual Mosaic, Alis Tango (latest versions)
Please see links to these vendors above and make sure you read their system requirements.

MS Windows 3.1x, Windows NT 3.50:
If you have Arabized DOS you may be able to use Lynx (Text only browser). With Windows 3.11, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 with Arabic support, both Netscape and MS Internet Explorer (English versions) allow you to view Arabic text (layout and format will be lost), earlier versions of Netscape may work better.

MS Windows2000 (NT 5):
Windows2000 (originally NT 5) is still in beta as of this writing, but it contains support for many languages including Arabic. The built in browser is Arabic aware and the task becomes easier. However, pages with sloppy HTML code will not display well.

Note: on March 29, 2000, we were notified of a product by Digital Ventures called WinArabic Script for displaying Arabic webpages and composing mail on Mac systems. The site address is Comments are welcome.
If you have Worldscript installed (Arabic fonts included), you may be able to view Arabic text (without the layout, mostly left aligned and some lines mixed up – especially if the line contains a period in the middle). Basically, if you can type in Arabic on your Mac you’ll be able to set the font (fixed and proportional) to any Arabic font you have. This works with both Netscape and MS Internet Explorer if the html file is in the ISO (standard Character Set) Arabic. Mac Arabic is close to ISO (also known as ASMO) but not identical. There is no full browser support for Arabic on MAC OS to the best of our knowledge (regardless of coding sets), but you may want to try CyberDog from Apple (requires system 7.5.3 or later). It used to be available for download at:, but last time we checked, this link was dead.
Now, CyberDog (in version 2) can be downloaded from: and may exist on Apple OS CD version 8. Our understanding is that CyberDog supports both ISO and CP Arabic.
Currently, Arabic2000.Com pages with Arabic text are coded in the cp-1256 character set and can’t be viewed on MAC machines without a helper application (and we don’t know of any). We hope to add a Unicode version of our pages soon.
We heard that some Mac users manage to use old browsers or fool settings with new ones (like choosing an Arabic font for western encoding). Some reported problems with charset meta tags confusing Netscape and ended up downloading pages and viewing them locally after some editing.
Unix /Linux users:

PMosaic from Global Publishing or Langabox’s AraMosaic (may require root authorization to install). AraMosaic can save html files in either coding set.

Global Publishing Web Address:
Langabox Web Address:
Browser and Operating System Independent Solutions:
These solutions either work with the latest versions of Web browsers (4.x) or require special software or server support:
* PDF files: text edited and saved in .pdf format using Adobe Acrobat.

Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view (available from Adobe at
* Dynamic Fonts and StyleSheets: These works with browsers versions 4.x or later only. One example we know of is Nuun (

* Java based sites: Some sites allow you to read Arabic by embedding a Java Applet on their server. This will work if the Jave Applet is version compatible with the Java interpreter that came with your browser (3.0x or later)

In some cases you may need to change font size or configure the browser to recognize a user-defined language (or font). Some require manual code page switching as well. In Netscape, see under the Preferences menu. In MSIE, font size is under View/Font and fonts are under view/options/font settings. Note that Arabic MSIE version 3.02 does not need any user intervention to work. It detects the code page on its own (provided the source has the right character set tag), but you may want to enlarge/minimize the font size for comfortable reading. For the Arabic pages here at, we did our testing using MSIE Arabic version 3.02 on Enabled Arabic Windows 95 and Arabic Windows NT 4 as well as MSIE 5.0 on Arabic windows NT4 and English Windows 95.

We welcome your feedback and comments about this page. Please feel free to drop us a line.


What’s New at Arabic2000.Com?

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Last Updated: Jan. 11, 2003

The Arabic Tutor CD is now only US$44.95 (incl. S/H to USA/Canada). See the online orders page for details.
New sites – here are a few Arabic sites (in Arabic) to help you in locating new resources:
Faharis – a collection of categories, links, news etc.
Ashya Net – index, categories and news
Microsoft Arabia Arabic products and solutions from Microsoft (mostly in Arabic)
Ajeeb (E-A translation)
Al-Misbar (E-A translation)
Free Translation (Eng, Ger, Fre, Spa)
Zorona (news, search etc. in Arabic)
Arab Vista (search and directory)
Al-Qamoos multilingual dictionary
Tarjim (English to Arabic)
Al-Buraq – Gateway to Palestine: News, phone directory, references etc.
Khayma.Com – hosted sites and directory
Dalil2000 – a comprehensive web index
Arab Computing – computer technology and help
Arab Wide Web – various channels and news
Sendbad directory – another Arabic directory
Al-Muakhat – news and culture, from Somalia
Help for the visually impaired – Braille resources, and other useful links
Arab lawyers Network – legal resources

We do ask for your patience and please do not submit company and pure commercial sites to the index, we can’t include these there.
CVs (Resumes) and asking for personal favors: We are sorry, but we don’t have openings at the moment and we are not accepting CVs – these get deleted right away.

Requests for personal favors, like writing your name in Arabic and/or translating a phrase or word can’t be satisfied either. We also ignore these because we get so many of them on a daily basis and we don’t have time/resources to say sorry to each.

For those of you who made a resolution to learn Arabic, please have a look at our learn Arabic section. We can help!

Arabic Online School:

– posted lesson 1 of level II (A 102) in the public area (requires login, info at school reception desk)

– added three sections to lesson 11 of Arabic 101 online course (this link requires login info. If you are not a user yet, see details on how to learn Arabic in two weeks)

New sites: a number of sites were checked and added to our Arabic Web Index. Please note that sites with links to links or those with heavy advertising do not qualify. We do not list incomplete and company sites (please try commercial directories for commercial sites)
Easy-Arabic is now in one file for easy download and installation.
Now available: Arabic 101 (beginners) online course – learn Arabic online using your browser.

Free Easy-Arabic registration: download Easy-Arabic and register it for free if you have The Arabic Tutor or an A101 admission.
New phone number: please note our new phone number under How to Contact Us. The new time zone is also different. We now have both a fixed and a mobile phone. Of course, you can always communicate with us via e-mail.

Arabic Web Guide – Best Arabic Sites: an Arabized version (re-organized Yahoo-style) of Arabic sites in Arabic text. We are still adding sites (must be in Arabic language), so please feel free to submit sites you don’t see listed. Please do not submit sites under construction.

Arabic online media is now fully Arabized. Please let us know if we did not list your favorite papers (if they are already online).
Ask Arabic2000: Where can I find … ? updated – offers answers to questions asked (or searched for) repeatedly by our visitors
Now available: Common Arabic Words and Phrases – with Arabic script and real audio pronunciation

Updated How to read Arabic on the Internet. Info about MSIE5 (windows 95/98 and NT4 or later – now can read Arabic on Latin Windows) and CyberDog (Macintosh)

Updated Arabic Web Index and added all relevant entries. Entries in the wrong category and those exceeding limit were ignored. We do ask you to read the instructions carefully before submitting. Please do not re-submit if your site is already listed – our system may remove both! Also, don’t paste from rich text or HTML – we do not accept that and it won’t make it to our index.

Updated the Arabic Newspapers and Online Publications section of Arabic web index. We now list more than 60 newspapers and magazines in Arabic from all Arab countries except Iraq and Libya. If you know of any newspapers not listed, please let us know. all links were tested and verified.