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. 

Check your language

You can use bidirectional languages, like Arabic and Hebrew, in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Learn how to add a language to the input sources on your Macadd a keyboard to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and change the language on iCloud.com.


Create a document

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

  • On your Mac: Choose File > New, then select a template. Select a bidirectional language in the bottom-right corner, then click Choose.
  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Tap Add button, select a bidirectional language in the upper-left corner, then tap a template.
  • On iCloud.com: Click Add button, select a bidirectional language in the upper-right corner, 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 your Mac:

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

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Tap 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 your Mac or iCloud.com: Click Format button, then click Right to left button
  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Tap Format button, then tap Right to left button.

Reverse a table’s direction

  • On your Mac or iCloud.com: Click a table, click Format button, then click Reverse table direction or Reverse table direction.
  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Tap a table, tap 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 your Mac: Click Document options in the upper-right corner, then select Facing Pages.
  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Tap 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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