How to access Arabic and Hebrew features in Photoshop

How to access Arabic and Hebrew features in Photoshop
This video shows users how to access the Middle Eastern type engine, allowing them to use the features that support Arabic and Hebrew...
David Mohr

Enable Middle Eastern features

To reveal Middle Eastern type options in the Photoshop interface, do the following:

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Type (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > Type (macOS).
  2. In the Choose Text Engine Options section, select World-Ready Layout.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Open a document and choose Type > Language Options > Middle Eastern Features.

Text direction

To create content in Arabic and Hebrew, you can make the right-to-left (RTL) direction the default text direction. However, for documents that include left-to-right (LTR) text, you can now seamlessly switch between the two directions.

  1. From the fly-out menu in the Paragraph panel, choose World-Ready Layout
  2. Select Right-To-Left or Left-To-Right paragraph direction from the Paragraph panel.
Photoshop Paragraph direction selection
Paragraph direction selection

Digit types

When you are working in Arabic or Hebrew, you can select the type of digits you want to use. You can choose between Arabic, Hindi, and Farsi.

By default, in Arabic versions of Photoshop, Hindi digits are auto-selected; in Hebrew versions, Arabic digits are selected. However, you can manually change digit types if necessary:

  1. Select the digits in the text.
  2. In the Character panel, use the Digits menu to select the appropriate font.
Photoshop Digits type selection
Digit type selection

Automatic Kashida insertion

In Arabic, text is justified by adding Kashidas. Kashidas are added to Arabic characters to lengthen them. Whitespace is not modified. Use automatic Kashida insertion to justify paragraphs of Arabic text.

Select the paragraph, and at the lower-right of the Paragraph panel, choose an option from the Insert Kashidas pop-up menu: None, Short, Medium, Long, or Stylistic.

Note: Kashidas are inserted only in paragraphs with fully justified margins.

To apply Kashidas to a group of characters, select the characters in the document, and then choose Type > Language Options > Kashidas.

Ligatures (OpenType fonts)

With some OpenType fonts, you can automatically apply ligatures to character pairs in Arabic and Hebrew. Ligatures are typographic replacement characters for certain letter pairs.

  1. Select text.
  2. In the Character panel, above the language and anti-aliasing menus, click the Standard or Discretionary Ligatures icon.

Discretionary ligatures provide more ornate options that some fonts support.

Photoshop Hyphenation options
Hyphenation options (InDesign panel shown)

Justification alternates

A font can provide alternative shapes for certain letters, typically for stylistic or calligraphy purposes. In rare cases, justification alternates are used to justify and align paragraphs containing these shapes.

Justification alternates can be turned on at a character level, but only if a font supports this feature. At the bottom of the Character panel, select Justification Alternates.

These Arabic fonts contain justification alternates: Adobe Arabic, Myriad Arabic, and Adobe Naskh.

These Hebrew fonts contain justification alternates: Adobe Hebrew and Myriad Hebrew.