Methods for Processing Arabic Text
- The Arabic keyboard is the standard method for processing Arabic text. It looks just like a regular QWERTY keyboard, but with Arabic letters sharing the same keys. Users can enable the keyboard, and switch from Latin to Arabic script, and vice versa, with the Alt-Shift shortcut.
Virtual Arabic Keyboard
- You can still use a QWERTY keyboard to type Arabic, even if it has no Arabic option. A virtual Arabic keyboard will allow you to type Arabic script using corresponding QWERTY keys. There are many virtual Arabic keyboards on the Internet. All of them display the Arabic keyboard onscreen for quick reference. You can even use your mouse to select the individual letters. When you are finished, simply copy the text from the browser and paste it onto your email or word document.
- The transliteration keyboard works by converting English letters and numbers into Arabic. Under this system, each Arabic letter is fixed with an English letter or number. For example, the Arabic letter "fa" is represented by the letter "f" because they share the same sound. Arabic letters that have no English equivalent sounds are assigned numbers. For example, the guttural, throaty "ha" ([X] in IPA) is represented by the number "5." To write the Arabic word for "stop" on a virtual transliteration keyboard, you would write "5las."
Yamli Smart Arabic Keyboard
- The Yamli Smart Arabic Keyboard is very popular among young Arabic speakers. The virtual tool converts the Internet chat style of Arabic, which is written phonetically with English alphabets and numbers, into Arabic script. The Yamli keyboard differs from other transliteration keyboards because it takes into account all the extra vowels and letters that might appear in the English phonetic version of Arabic. The name Mohammed, if written with the strict transliteration method, would appear as "m7md." The Yamli keyboard accepts not only the input of "m7md," but also "mu7med," "muhammed," "mohammed," "mo7med" and other popular variations.