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Fix Arabic text in Safari and Mail with Office 2004 Apps
This is an issue that has been discussed in some detail on Apple's forums, but has not been mentioned on Microsoft's own support site for Office 2004 at all. Office 2004 installs its own versions of Arial and Times New Roman that do not support Arabic or other similar languages, such as Farsi and Urdu. After installing Office 2004, Arabic text in Safari and Mail will be disconnected.

To remedy this problem, delete Arial and Times New Roman from ~/Library/Fonts. This will allow Apple's originally installed versions of the fonts in /Library/Fonts to take precedence once again.

Microsoft really needs to address this, since it's an issue less-savvy users will not figure out on their own.
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Fix Arabic text in Safari and Mail with Office 2004
Authored by: semiotek on Aug 16, '04 12:40:19PM

Hmm - Arabix text seems to work fine in Safari (I don't use Mail), and I haven't trashed any fonts since installing Office 2004. Can there be another factor at work?



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Fix Arabic text in Safari and Mail with Office 2004
Authored by: semiotek on Aug 16, '04 12:42:36PM

Arabix is a new brand of confectionary aimed at the Middle East market, of course!



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Fix Arabic text in Safari and Mail with Office 2004
Authored by: bedouin on Aug 16, '04 04:29:32PM
I believe that if a version of Arial or Times New Roman already exists in ~/Library/Fonts/ the Office 2004 installer will not overwrite them. This was the case on my PowerMac, and so Arabic continued to work fine. However on my iBook and friend's PowerBook no fonts were previously installed into the home directory, and Office installed its own version of the fonts, taking precedence over those in /Library/Fonts.

I have no idea what fonts you or Arabix may have installed previously, or how the program functions that may make you an exception to the rule. The problem also does not effect ALL web pages; it seems to only be an issue on pages that specifically request these fonts in CSS/HTML. At any rate, a huge percentage of people will find Arabic non-functional after installing Office 2004.

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Fix Arabic text in Safari and Mail with Office 2004
Authored by: Uncle Asad on Aug 16, '04 05:51:35PM

Sad and very Microsoftian that Office, which doesn't support Arabic on the Mac, breaks Arabic support in Apple apps.

I'm not a big Mail user, but I always thought Safari was smart enough to grab missing characters from other fonts. If I view a page with an obsucre character, that character tends to show up in Lucida Grande (since LG tends to have the most complete set of non-CJK Unicode characters) while the rest of the page remains in Times New Roman. Something sounds a bit off yet.



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Fix Arabic text in Safari and Mail with Office 2004
Authored by: maged on Aug 17, '04 03:24:57AM

Worked for me. I noticed this and didn't know what was causing it. You're right, it is only on some websites, such as:
http://www.daralhayat.com/
Which has a CSS specifically requesting Times.

I wonder if copying MS Arial & Times New Roman fonts from a Windows or Virtual PC install would help...

At first I thought this would fix OmniWeb 5's problem with displaying Arabic but that seems to be a true rendering issue.



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Fix Arabic text in Safari and Mail with Office 2004
Authored by: palahala on Feb 16, '08 09:32:32PM

In fact the Microsoft fonts do support Arabic, but not in a way Safari likes it. Firefox, for example, displays the Microsoft fonts just right. More details in this slightly more recent hint: Display Arabic correctly In Safari.



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