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August 29, 2007 6:33 PM   Subscribe

I want to use Arabic with Photoshop....

Apparently Photoshop doesn't allow for right to left text, so I can type using Arabic fonts (I have quite a few installed), but it comes out left to right. If I try to cut and paste from another program, it flips the letters around automatically. So I have something like:

توحشت المغرب

And Photoshop turns it into THIS.

Doing some searching turns up two solutions:

1. Buy the Arabic PhotoShop CS3 ME (Middle East) version.

- I already have the the vanilla CS2 version, so ponying up $$$ for a new version is not very appealing.

2. Buy software like Parnian or Al-Rassam Al-Arabi.

- I'll do this if I have to.

It just seems really rotten on Adobe's part - I was hoping for a workaround of some sort. I searched AskMe, but only found a brief reference to the problem here.

P.S. The sentence is in Moroccan Arabic, not MSA.
posted by Liosliath to Technology (13 answers total)
g'ah! that's awful, really?

Just guessing here, but how about some other font rendering plugin? Or worst case, render it in some other application and cut and paste a bitmap image over?
posted by Nelson at 6:39 PM on August 29, 2007

Yeah, I did that (your latter suggestion) using Paint, but it just made me so mad.

See, the ME version can have either an Arabic or an English interface, and it does everything that the regular version can - so it sounds to me like I'm being cheated. With crap like this, I'm really losing my former position of always paying for software.
posted by Liosliath at 8:47 PM on August 29, 2007

I may be missing a nuance of your problem, but, can you not do Edit -> Transform -> Flip Horizontal to the text layers?
posted by iguanapolitico at 5:17 AM on August 30, 2007

(Oh, uh... I'm way back in Photoshop 7 here at home so your menus may vary.)
posted by iguanapolitico at 5:32 AM on August 30, 2007

Do you have illustrator? Type it into illustrator & then convert it into outlines. Cut and paste it into photoshop as either pixels or a vector shape. You won't be able to edit the words in photoshop though.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:03 AM on August 30, 2007

iguanapolitico, the problem I'm catching is that arabic letters have different forms, some letters join and some don't. When it's flipping, it's changing all of the joined letters so they aren't even displaying as joined letters as they should anymore. And flipping wouldn't help because they'd be backwards.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:06 AM on August 30, 2007

"Shetab Farsi Negar is software for typing Farsi and Arabic and any languages that use the same letters in graphical environments such as Adobe Photoshop..." [shareware]
posted by desjardins at 9:21 AM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

This worked for me, on a mac w/ 10.4

I copied your Arabic text from the top of this page into TextEdit. (Word wouldn't paste-in the text.) I was able to change the font to Geeza Pro, make it black and larger.

Saved it as a pdf via Print.

I could open this pdf in Ai CS2, it outlined the fonts, but they stayed in the correct order.
posted by JulianDay at 9:36 AM on August 30, 2007

I don't have Illustrator, unfortunately - nor a Mac, but thanks for the suggestions!

However, the shareware that DesJardins found is better than the two I mentioned, so maybe I'll go with that...
posted by Liosliath at 2:13 PM on August 30, 2007

If for some reason the shareware dosen't work out, I think you can find software to export to pdf from Word on the PC.

If the fonts get outlined in whatever exporter you find, when you open the pdf in Ps it can rasterize it to any dpi you want, since the outlined fonts are vectors.
posted by JulianDay at 2:37 PM on August 30, 2007

Do you have *any* programs installed that you think can handle right to left text? Maybe you could type in that program and do a screen capture? Not the best solution, I know.
posted by edjusted at 11:10 AM on August 31, 2007

Oh, bleh, I see. What a pain. Sorry my advice sucked. :)
posted by iguanapolitico at 12:46 PM on August 31, 2007

Yeah, I can do screen caps in several programs...it just annoys me to have to do it, especially since Adobe has this capability (R-L text), they just choose to selectively distribute it.

iguanapolitico - your advice didn't suck, because I tried that very technique at one point during the whole frustrating debacle! :)
posted by Liosliath at 6:01 PM on August 31, 2007

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