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Reading Arabic Text in the Internet

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In this page, we will try to guide you through some steps to be able to read Arabic.  We have included here several options so to make it easy for you to select the one that best fits your environment and needs.  We recommend that you follow the steps as outlined in this page.  You can find detailed information on viewing Arabic text over the Internet by clicking the following icon read-arabic.gif (925 bytes).  If after following these steps, you still are unable to read the Arabic text, then send us a message and give us details of your environment and the procedures that you followed.  We will try to find solutions to your situations.

Step 1:  Specify What You Need

If you have Windows 95 or Windows 98 with Arabic support, then you can use any of the following options:

Netscape Navigator 3.0 to 3.04.  Some of these versions require no additional program in order to display Arabic text except changing some settings.  Other versions still require the Sindbad program to display the Arabic text.  Click here to try to see if changing the font settings will do the job.
Netscape Communicator 4.0 to 4.05.  As with Navigator 3.0 to 3.04, some of Communicator versions will display Arabic just by changing some settings.  Click here to see how.  If you are not successful then you will need the Sindbad program to do the Arabization.
Internet Explorer with Arabic support.  Some of the older version of Internet Explorer as well as the latest version supports Arabic.  See Step 3 for details.
Other versions of Netscape or Internet Explorer are not guaranteed to display Arabic text properly.  Please let us know if you are successful with any of them.

If you have the English version of Windows 95 then you have the following options:

Netscape Navigator 3.0 to 3.04.  You will need the version of Sindbad program that is designed for this version.
Netscape Communicator 4.0 to 4.05.  You will need the other version of Sindbad program to do the Arabization.

If you have the English version of Windows 98 then you can try the following option:

Netscape Navigator 3.0 to 3.04.  You will need the version of Sindbad program that is designed for this version.

Step 2:  Modifying Netscape's Settings to Display Arabic

If you have Arabic Windows 95 or 98 and versions 3.0 to 3.04 of Netscape Navigator or 4.0 to 4.05 of Netscape Communicator, then it is good to first try to change the font and page code settings (as outlined below) before downloading Sindbad.

Modifying the Font and Page Encoding Settings for Netscape Navigator 3.0 to 3.04

select "General Preferences" from the "Options" menu.
Click on the "Fonts" tab.
From the "For the Encoding" list, select "User Defined" (the last choice).
On the "Use the Proportional Font", click the "Choose Font" button.  Select "Traditional Arabic" from the list (or any other Arabic font such as Arabic Transparent or Simplified Arabic) and specify the font size.
On the "Use the Fixed Font", click the "Choose Font" button.  Select "Simplified Arabic Fixed" from the list and specify the font size.
Click the "OK" button.
Now you need to set the document encoding to "User Defined."  To do this, select "Document Encoding" from the "Options" menu and select "User Defined."
This should make you able to read the Arabic text.
We noticed that the font setting doesn't change.  However, you will need to set the document encoding to "User Defined" each time you start Navigator.
If you still have problems, then it means that either your browser doesn't support Arabic at all or you need Sindbad to do the Arabization.

Modifying the Font and Page Encoding Settings for Netscape Communicator 4.0 to 4.05:

select "Preferences" from the "Edit" menu.
On the "Category" panel on the left, click on "Fonts".  You will see the fonts setting on the right panel.
From the "For the Encoding" list, select "User Defined" (the last choice).
On the "Variable Width Font", select "Times New Roman (Arabic)" from the list (You can also try other fonts that have the word "Arabic" between parenthesis, such as Arial (Arabic)).  Select an appropriate font size.
On the "Fixed Width Font", button.  select "Currier New (Arabic)" from the list.  Select an appropriate font size.
Below the fonts setting on that same panel are three options.   You need to select the first option that says "Use my default fonts, overriding the document-specified fonts."
Now you need to set the document encoding to "User Defined."  To do this, select "Encoding" from the "View" menu and select "User Defined."
If you have already trying to read a page with Arabic text, then you will need to click the "Reload" button.
This should make you able to read the Arabic text.
If you still have problems, then it means that either your browser doesn't support Arabic at all or you need Sindbad to do the Arabization.

Step 3:  Downloading the Software

If you don't have any version of Netscape then you will need first to install Netscape Navigator 3.0 to 3.04 or Netscape Communicator 4.0 to 4.05.  If you have other versions of Netscape installed in your system, then you might just try to install Sindbad and see if Sindbad will work with them.  If not, then you will need first to uninstall such versions, download one of the following Netscape versions and then install them before installing Sindbad.

Downloading Netscape Navigator 3.0 to 3.04:

You can download Netscape Navigator 3.01 from Sakhrsoft's home page (www.sakhrsoft.com) by pointing your browser at the following link ftp://ftp.sakhr.com/pub/sindbad/new_sind/n32e301p.exe.
You can also download the program from different other sites on the Internet.  Here are two locations: ftp://ftp.nepean.net.au/pub/n32e302.exe (version 3.02) and http://www.netpath.net/~ftp/n32e304.exe (version 3.04).
When asked for the location where you want to save the file, save it on your desktop so it will be easy to find it later.

Downloading Netscape Communicator 4.0 to 4.05:

You can download Netscape Communicator from Sakhrsoft's home page (www.sakhrsoft.com) by pointing your browser at the following link ftp://ftp.sakhr.com/pub/sindbad/standard/n32e405.exe.
You can also search the Internet for other sites that have Communicator 4.0 to 4.05.  We have found for you two places that you can download from.  These are ftp://157.182.199.91/cb32e405.exe or ftp://ftp.nepean.net.au/pub/cb32e405.exe.
When asked for the location where you want to save the file, save it on your desktop so it will be easy to find it later.

Downloading Sindbad:

Sindbad is available from Sakhrsoft's home page (www.sakhrsoft.com).
There are three versions of Sindbad.  Depending on whether you want to install or have already installed Netscape Navigator 3.0 to 3.04 or Communicator 4.0 to 4.05, you can select the version of Sindbad that goes with it.  If you have Netscape Navigator 3.0 to 3.04 installed in your system or you downloaded it as outlined above, then point your browser to the following link ftp://ftp.sakhr.com/pub/sindbad/new_sind/sindbad3.exe (file size around 4.3 MB) to download the Sindbad program for this version of Netscape.   Otherwise, point your browser to the following link ftp://ftp.sakhr.com/pub/sindbad/standard/sindbad.exe (file size around 6.3 MB) to download the other version of Sindbad that works with Netscape Communicator 4.0 to 4.05.
When asked for the location where you want to save the file, save it on your desktop so it will be easy to find it later.

Downloading the Latest Version of Internet Explorer:

You can download older versions of Internet Explorer from Microsoft Middle East at (www.microsoft.com/middleeast).
You can also download the latest version of Internet Explorer which is available from Microsoft's site.  This is a very huge download (about 30MB for the complete version) so be prepared to hook your line for hours.  You will need first to download a setup program.  This is a small download.  Save this file on your desktop.  Then, double-click it to start downloading the full version.  Remember to select the "Customize your installation" and to select the "Arabic Language Support" when asked about the options that you want to download.  To do so, go down the list until you reach the last section "Multi-Language Support."  Look for the line that reads "Arabic Language Support" and make sure that the box to left of it is checked.   The program will be saved in a directory in your hard drive called "Windows Update Setup File."  After download is complete, you need to run setup.exe in this directory in order to start the Internet Explorer installation.

Step 4:  Installing the Software

If you selected to download Netscape Navigator 3.0 to 3.04 then click here for the steps on how to install the Netscape Navigator  and click here to install Sindbad.
if you selected to download Netscape Communicator 4.0 to 4.05 and Sindbad, then click here to install Netscape Communicator and click here to install Sindbad.

Installing Netscape Navigator 3.0 to 3.04

Look for the Netscape 3.0 to 3.04 file that you downloaded in Step 3 (normally it is called n32e30xp.exe where x is the version number)  on your desktop and double-click it (if you have saved the file in another location, then you need to find it using My Computer or Find)
The installation wizard will ask you if you want to install the Netscape Navigator.  Click the "Yes" button.
The wizard will display the Welcome screen.  Click "Next."
The next screen will ask you to specify the directory where to install the Navigator.  It should default to \Program Files\Netscape\Navigator.   If you see that it default to \Program Files\Netscape\Communicator instead of Navigator, then it means that you have Netscape Communicator installed on your machine.   Make sure to change the path to \Program Files\Netscape\Navigator, or it will overwrite the Communicator program.  Click "Next."  The wizard might tell you that the specified directory does not exist and will ask you if you want to create the new directory.  Click "Yes."
The wizard will ask you if you want to install Cool Talk, a program that comes with Navigator and allows you to chat with other people.  Click "No."
Installation will continue.
After installation is over, the wizard will ask you if you want to connect to Netscape's site to continue Navigator's setup.  Click "No."
After the program is installed, the wizard will ask you if you want to view the README file.
To start Navigator, double-click on the Netscape Navigator's icon located on your desktop.  Navigator will display the License Agreement.  Click "Accept."
The Navigator might tell you about creating a default profile.
When Navigator loads, try to display a page that contains Arabic.   You can do so by connecting to the Internet and pointing to "http://members.tripod.com/ibadhiyah" or selecting "Open Location" from the "File" menu.  Enter an HTML file name that contains Arabic text.
If Arabic doesn't display properly, then follow the steps outlined in Step 2.

Install Netscape Communicator 4.0 to 4.05

Look for the Netscape Communicator 4.0 to 4.05 file that you downloaded in Step 3 (normally it is called n32e40x.exe where x is the version number)  on your desktop and double-click it (if you have saved the file in another location, then you need to find it using My Computer or Find)
The installation wizard will ask you if you want to install the Netscape Communicator.  Click the "Yes" button.
The wizard will display the License screen.  Click "Yes."
The wizard will ask you to select the type of installation.   Select "Typical"  On the same screen you can specify the directory on which to install the Communicator.  Click "Next."  If asked about creating the specified directory, answer "Yes."
On the next screens, just click "Next" until installation starts.
After the program is installed, the wizard will ask you if you want to view the README file.
Now installation is complete, so click "OK" and your computer will restart.
When your computer restarts, double-click on the "Netscape" icon on your desktop.  You will be asked if you want to create a new profile.  Click "Yes."
Enter your name and email address.  Click "Next."
Enter the profile name (or use the given one) and location.   Click "Next."
Enter your name, email address, SMTP server for outgoing messages if you want to use Netscape to send your messages.  Click "Next."
Enter your username and the name of the POP3 mail server if you want Netscape to receive your mail.
Enter the news server and port number if you want to read news through Netscape.
You might see a message telling you that Navigator is not currently your default web browser.  Click "Yes" to make it your default or "No" to leave the setting as they were before installing Communicator.
When Communicator loads, try to display a page that contains Arabic.   You can do so by connecting to the Internet and pointing to "http://members.tripod.com/ibadhiyah" or selecting "Open Location" from the "File" menu.  Enter an HTML file name that contains Arabic text.
If Arabic doesn't display properly, then follow the steps outlined in Step 2.

Installing Sindbad:

Look for the Sindbad program on your desktop (typically called sindbad.exe or sindbad3.exe) and double-click it (if you have saved the file in another location, then you need to find it using My Computer or Find)
The installation wizard will ask you if you want to install the Sindbad program.  Click the "Yes" button.
The wizard will display the Welcome screen.  Click "Next."
The wizard might display to you a message telling you that it didn't detect an Arabic platform.  Ignore the message and click the "OK" button.
The next screen will allow you to specify the directory where Sindbad will be installed.  Change the given directory if you like and then press "Next."
The wizard will ask you about the location of the program folder.   Just click the "Next" button.
Installation will continue.  After it is done, the wizard will ask you to reboot your system.  Click the "OK" button.
After your program reboots, you can run Sindbad by double-clicking its icon on your desktop.
Sindbad has an additional small arrow next to the Minimize/Maximize/Close buttons on the top right most part of the browser's window.   Clicking this arrow will change the orientation (right to left or left to right) of the page you are reading.  The Sindbad browser also has two additional menus that will allow you to modify the way Sindbad displays Arabic text.

 

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This page was last update on Wednesday, March 03, 1999