Use bidirectional Arabic and Hebrew in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

Learn how to create and edit documents with right-to-left text.

When you use a bidirectional language, the default writing direction for text, text boxes, and tables is right-to-left. When you first enter text in a document, your keyboard language determines the writing direction. 

Add a keyboard

You can use bidirectional languages, like Arabic and Hebrew, in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. To use bidirectional languages, change your keyboard settings.

On Mac:

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Keyboard.
  2. Click Input Sources.
  3. Click the add button 
  4. Select a language and a keyboard.
  5. Click Add.

On iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: 

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Keyboard.
  4. Tap Keyboards.
  5. Tap Add New Keyboard, then select your language.


Add your preferred language

If your language isn't showing up in your preferred language list, you can add it on each of your devices.

On Mac:

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Language & Region.
  2. Under "Preferred Languages," click the add button 
  3. Select a language and a keyboard.
  4. Click Add.

On iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: 

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Language & Region.
  4. Tap other languages, then select your language.

To confirm that you changed your language settings, make sure that the preferred languages listed under Language & Region are correct.

Create a document

After you add a bidirectional language, choose a template to create your document. 

  • On Mac, choose File > New, then select a template. Select a bidirectional language in the bottom-right corner, then click Choose.
  • On iPhone or iPad, tap the new document button , select a bidirectional language in the tool bar, then tap a template.
  • Online at iCloud.com, click the new document button , select a bidirectional language, select a template, then click Choose.

Set the language of an existing document

When you create a new document, it will use the same language that your device uses. Learn how to change the language on your Mac and change the language on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

To change the language of an existing document, follow these steps for your device.

On Mac:

  1. Choose File > Advanced > Language & Region.
  2. Select a language.
  3. Click OK.

On iPhone or iPad:

  1. Tap the More button , then tap Language & Region.
  2. Tap Language, then choose a language.
  3. Tap Region, then choose a region.
  4. Tap Done.


Work with bidirectional text and tables

You can have both right-to-left and left-to-right text in the same document. Learn how to reverse a table’s direction, change writing direction, and more.

Change writing direction

  • On Mac or online at iCloud.com, click the Format button Format button, then click the Right-to-Left button Right to left button
  • On iPhone or iPad, tap the Format button , then tap Right-to-Left button Right to left button.

Reverse a table’s direction

  • On Mac or online at iCloud.com, click a table, click the Format button Format button, then click the Reverse Table Direction buttons Reverse table direction or Reverse table direction.
  • On iPhone or iPad, tap a table, tap the Format button , then scroll down and tap Reverse Table Direction.

Reverse sheet direction

To reverse the direction of all tables on a sheet in a Numbers document:

  1. Tap or click a sheet.
  2. Tap or click Reverse Sheet Direction.

Use facing pages

You can set your Pages document as a two-page spread and your pages will display right-to-left when you set a bidirectional language.

To use facing pages in a new document, select a book template from the template chooser. To use facing pages in an existing document, follow the steps for your device:

  • On Mac, click the Document Options buttons  in the upper-right corner, then select Facing Pages.
  • On iPhone or iPad, tap the More button , tap Document Setup, tap Document Inspector button , then scroll down and turn on Facing Pages.


Work with bidirectional text in charts

When you set a bidirectional language, the direction of text, formatted numbers, dates, and labels in charts will display right-to-left.


 

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