Arabic Keyboard on Your Computer

You need to configure your computer for international support in order to type in Arabic. Click on your operating system below for detailed instructions.

Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7

  1. Download Aktub's customized Arabic keyboard layout. Click for a 101-key or 102-key keyboard. Unzip the downloaded file and click on the setup.
  2. Go to your "Control Panel."
  3. Look for either "Regional and Language Options" or, if you are not in Classic Mode, choose "Change keyboards or other input methods" under the "Clock, Language, and Region" area.
  4. Click on the "Keyboard and Languages" tab.
  5. Click on the "Change keyboards..." button then click on "Add...."
  6. Look for "Arabic" and choose the "Aktub" version which you installed.
  7. Save your settings.

For guided instructions, see these YouTube videos for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Mac OS X

Although Aktub supports other keyboard layouts, we recommend that you download the WinVArabic101 layout, adapted from the standard Windows Arabic keyboard layout used on most computers in the Middle East.

  1. Download file arabicstandard.keylayout by control-clicking here and choosing “Save As”.
  2. Move file to
    /Library/Keyboard Layouts where
    is the name of your main hard drive (Default is Macintosh HD).
  3. Right click on the file and choose “Get Info…” and make sure the filename is “arabicstandard.keylayout” and NOT “arabicstandard.keylayout.txt”
  4. Open System Preferences -> Language & Text –> Input Sources. On older versions of OS X, it may be System Preferences -> International -> Input Menu.
  5. Scroll Down List of Input Types and check “Arabic Standard”
  6. At Bottom of Window check “Show input in menu bar” to make it simple to switch between U.S. and Arabic Standard keyboard layouts


Enabling keyboard support in Linux is easiest if you use a modern desktop environment like GNOME or KDE. In this case, simply enable the Keyboard layout applets, which are directly accessible under the system configuration windows. If you do not use one of these window managers, you may still enable the Arabic keyboard, but typing into a terminal will be necessary to toggle keyboards:

  1. To switch to Arabic, type “setxkbmap -layout ara -variant basic”
  2. To switch back to English, type “setxkbmap -layout us”

Learn how to type in Arabic with Aktub Typing Tutor. Get it for $20!