Acrobat XI Ships with Improved Middle East Language Support

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages is provided via machine translation.

I am pleased to announce that Acrobat XI shipped earlier this month. The Acrobat development team worked hard to provide an improved level of support added for Middle East languages. Below are details of the additional ME support provided in this release and how you can test drive and use it. We welcome your input, please post any feedback in the comments.

Rob Jaworski, International Program Manager, Acrobat


There are four main areas of improvement to Acrobat’s support provided to Acrobat XI: 1) minor editing, 2) Web Capture, 3) improved search functionality, and 4) Hindi/Farsi digits in Annotations.

In order to use these improvements, make sure Arabic and Hebrew language support has been installed. On Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.x, all language support has been installed by default. You can simply install Arabic and Hebrew keyboard and set the OS format and regional setting as desire. On Windows XP, if not using the localized Arabic and Hebrew OS version, you may need to install the right-to-left language support from the regional setting control panel in order to have Arabic and Hebrew font and keyboard available.

If you purchase and install the MENA version of Acrobat XI (I.e. English with Arabic support, English with Hebrew support or North African French) on the system, then Acrobat should launch with all the necessary MENA support options already enabled. However, if you purchase Acrobat XI in other application UI languages, the ME support can also be seen or tested by having the necessary options turned on manually.

Here are more details about the improved support for ME languages.

  • Minor Editing– Middle East support has been added to the minor editing feature in Acrobat XI, formerly called the TouchUp Tool. You can newly add or make simple edits to Hebrew and Arabic text on a PDF. The feature is designed to handle digits, ligature and right-to-left text direction.
    • Before you start adding new ME text or editing existing ME text, make sure the ME support options are enabled. Go to Edit menu (on Windows) or Acrobat menu (on Mac), select Preferences. Click ‘Language’ category and verify the section “Editing Text in Middle Eastern Languages” as follows:
      • Main paragraph direction should be Right To Left
      • Ligatures is checked, if needed
      • Hindi Digits is checked, if needed
      • Enable Writing Direction Switching is checked
    • Open a PDF document and open the Tools pane. Select ‘Add Text’ under Content Editing. Switch keyboard to Arabic or Hebrew, mouse click on a PDF and start typing text.
    • Open a simple Hebrew or Arabic PDF document. Open Tools pane. Select ‘Edit Text & Images’. Bounding boxes will be on drawn on the editable text. Switch keyboard to Arabic or Hebrew, mouse click at the text to perform a minor edit.
  • Web Capture– Users can use Acrobat XI to convert web pages, HTML files, or plain text files with either Hebrew or Arabic content into PDF documents. The conversion can be performed via the plug-in buttons available within the supported browsers, i.e. Internet Explorer (Windows Only), Firefox (Windows/Mac) and Chrome (Windows Only). The text will appear in the correct script and layout, and the output PDF can then be shared for review with other users using the existing Collaboration features.
    • Open an Arabic or Hebrew web page in a supported web browser. If the Adobe PDF plugin is installed properly, the ‘Convert’ button on the menu bar should be available. Click Convert to create a PDF from the web page.
    • Alternatively, within Acrobat, select File > Create > PDF from Web Page. On the Create PDF from Web Page dialog, enter the URL and customize the settings via ‘Settings…’ button. Specify the file type, language encoding, font setting and page layout. Click OK to dismiss the setting dialog and click ‘Create’ to convert the web page to PDF documents.
  • Improvement in Search– In the ME version of Acrobat X, the “Ignore Page structure” option under Search preference has to be checked in order to search for ME text on a tagged PDF. When the option is selected, it not only takes effect to bi-directional scripts but it could produce the irregular drawing for other scripts and could also produce inconsistent search index files, which results in various compatibility problems. In Acrobat XI, the issue has been addressed by having the necessary implementation that is limited to ME scripts only and having search for ME on a tagged PDF enabled all the time without having to enable any option.
    • Open an ME tagged PDF. Perform search for ME text using the regular search options available.
  • Hindi/Farsi digits in Annotations– In earlier releases of Acrobat, users are not able to enter Hindi or Farsi digits inside a pop-up note annotation before. In Acrobat XI, the issue has been addressed to allow an Arabic user to determine the digits used in a pop-up note by using both OS format and current keyboard setting.
    • The digits used in a popup note are determined by both OS format setting and current keyboard.

Arabic Digits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Hindi Digits: ۹ ، ۸ ، ۷، ٦ ، ٥ ، ٤ ، ۳ ، ۲ ، ۱

Farsi Digits: ۹ ، ۸ ، ۷، ۶ ، ۵ ، ۴ ، ۳ ، ۲ ، ۱

1. Under Arabic format setting (e.g. Arabic (Egypt) or Arabic (Saudi Arabia)):

(On Windows 7, Control Panel > Region and Language > Format = Arabic (<region>), select Additional Settings… and choose a standard digits = either Arabic, Hindi or Farsi)

Scenario (1)

When using English keyboard, then apply Arabic digits (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) in a popup note

Scenario (2)

When using Arabic keyboard, then digits display in a popup note…

A – Follow Standard Digits settings (Arabic, Hindi, Farsi)

B – If Standard Digits NOT set to either Arabic/Hindi/Farsi, then Hindi digits apply

2. Under English format setting (e.g. English (United States)):Arabic digits (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) will always be used no matter what current keyboard or standard digits settings are. Under this environment, a user can have digits displayed in Hindi by, under Region and Language > Additional setting, select ing Standard digits = Hindi and Use native digits = National.

Announcing Adobe Pre-release Programs for Hebrew users

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages was provided by machine translation.

Adobe Pre-release Programs are your chance to experience, evaluate and influence upcoming products & technologies from Adobe within a smaller, more focused user environment. Pre-release Programs facilitate a symbiotic development process allowing Adobe to share products in the development stage to gather early feedback. In the process you get a chance to shape the upcoming products and adapt to the new products faster.

Multiple engagement channels are available to Pre-release participants at Adobe:

  • Access to download Pre-release software/technologies and technical documentation
  • Ability to report bugs & request features for the Pre-release software
  • Access to the Pre-release user forums for sharing ideas directly with Adobe product teams and other like-minded folks of the product’s community
  • Opportunity to participate in various product-related surveys


A Pre-release program is an endeavour to engage the real users of the product – YOU – early in the development cycle of the product, to listen and learn from you on how the product is working for you.

Current Pre-release Opportunities: How to Apply?

You may fill in the application forms for expressing your interest to join a products’ Pre-release program at Adobe. The participation will be entirely based on the requirements of the program and the credentials of the participant.

Following products plan to open-up pre-release testing opportunities with Middle East English – Arabic Enabled, Middle East English – Hebrew Enabled and North African French builds:

Adobe InDesign – Sign-up now to participate in the Adobe InDesign ME pre-release program and preview exciting new functionality!Apply now

Adobe Illustrator – Sign up to participate in the Adobe Illustrator ME Program and preview exciting new functionality!Apply now

Adobe Photoshop – Sign up to participate in the Adobe Photoshop ME Program and preview exciting new functionality!Apply now

We look forward to your participation in this pre-release program. In case of any issues of if you need more information, please feel free to contact us at

On behalf of – Ahmed Gaballah, Ashish Saxena, Avinash S. Kotwal, Iouri Tchernoousko