English numerals appearing in Arabic text instead of Arabic numerals
When entering numeric data into a field that should contain Arabic, English
digits appear instead of Arabic ones. However, other characters do come
out in Arabic, and after typing Arabic characters subsequent numerals do
appear in Arabic.
This has been observed on an Arabic NT Workstation that was set up to
support both Arabic and English.
In the Regional Settings (Control Panel > Regional Settings, under the
‘Number’ tab) ‘Digit Substitution’ is to to ‘Context’. This means that NT
tries to work out whether the numeric characters should be English or Arabic.
Thus when some Arabic characters have been typed NT can deduce that numerals
should be Arabic. However when the field is empty the rules it uses are:
||No substitution, i.e. English
In all probability the reading order specified for the field is left-to-right
and hence NT assumes English.
Only the software developer can resolve this problem. The reading order
for the field should be specified explicitly as left-to-right.
- This also applies to printed documents. If an application prints
numeric (Arabic) data and it appears in English then the left-to-right
reading order should be specified for that printed field.
- If all numeric data is to be Arabic (i.e. no English numeric data)
then setting the ‘Digit Substitution’ (under Control Panel > Regional
Settings, under the ‘Number’ tab) to ‘Native’ will suffice if the locale
is an Arabic locale. This will however mean that it will not then be
possible to display any numeric data in English.
These notes have been tested with Windows NT4.
About the author: Brian Cryer
is a dedicated software developer and webmaster. For his day job he
develops websites and desktop applications as well as providing
IT services. He moonlights as a technical author and consultant.