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Complexities of Arabic typesetting

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Arabic typesetting is extremely complicated, especially when compared to English or other Romance languages. The Arabic language, skills, and experience in typesetting are essential to create a masterpiece.


The language of Arabic is much more difficult to understand than most languages. The complexity of Arabic stems from its characters. Many Arabic characters are very similar, but often represent very different sounds. Characters also have different forms depending on whether they are at the beginning, middle or end of a word. Research has found that the similarity between the characters inhibits the brain from understanding what each means. Another challenge that Romance-language speakers would experience learning Arabic is reading from right to left, instead of left to right. Arabic also doesn’t have any vowel characters, so the reader must know what sounds they should say based on the arrangement of the other characters. Arabic also has very few cognates in Romance languages, which makes it difficult to learn for Romance-language speakers.


Typesetting is the process of arranging characters in a meaningful and artistic fashion. Before the computer, movable type was used with a printing press to stamp out printed material. In modern times, everything is done on the computer. This presents the challenge of finding or designing a legible font, because many Arabic characters take tight turns, or have nearly overlapping elements. The two main types of fonts are calligraphic fonts and modern fonts. Calligraphic fonts simulate the brush strokes of ancient calligraphy.

Modern fonts are anything else. Some modern fonts have the characters joined together, like cursive writing. It is imperative to make sure that each character in a font is legible.

360 Arabic Solutions provides the highest quality typesetting available. As experts in Arabic and typesetting, we know what works well, what to avoid and what challenges might come up.

Our team of highly experienced, expert translators and designers will make sure that your project comes out perfectly. Challenges that need to be dealt with throughout the process of typesetting include managing the larger size of the Arabic characters. This means that less Arabic can fit in a certain area than English. This can be a challenge for projects that have dense text, but we guarantee to make it work out in a way that you will love.

The size difference between the characters also creates issues for pagination, or logically dividing the media into separate pages. As experienced Arabic writers, we understand that correct grammar and spelling are imperative. This includes where and when characters change, as determined by the location in the word and by other characters around it. As natives of the Middle East, we know the differences in the vernacular tongue between certain geographical areas. These differences can be as diverse as the difference between English and French; one cannot understand both by only knowing one.

We are ready to begin working on your typesetting project today. We are prepared to deal with any project and are excited to talk to you about yours. We look forward to working with you!

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Arabic typesetting | Arabic Desktop Publishing | Arabic Fonts | Arabic translation

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Our company provides a variety of linguistic services, such as translation and localization services, creative writing, proofreading, subtitles and synchronization, typesetting and desktop publishing, voice over, and more in over 32 languages including Arabic.

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