How Do I Get Arabic Fonts Into Mac?

by Jen Cordwainer
Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock/Getty Images

The native Font Book library in OS X Mavericks includes default Arabic language fonts, including Al Bayan, Al Nile, and Al Tarikh. You can type Arabic characters into any text field by first enabling Arabic as an input source under your keyboard settings. You can also add additional third-party Arabic typefaces to the Font Book library, so that you can select them from the font menus in your word processing applications.

Using the Included Arabic Input

Step 1

Click on the Apple logo menu on the toolbar.

Step 2

Select "System Preferences" and click "Keyboard."

Step 3

Click on the "Input Sources" tab to view the font and language support for your Mac.

Step 4

Click on the "+" symbol to add a new language to your list of input sources.

Step 5

Highlight the "Arabic" option, select your preferred keyboard configuration, and click on "Add."

Click on "Arabic" in the list of Input Sources to type into any text field using Apple's default Arabic fonts. To switch back to English characters and keyboard configurations, return to the "Input Sources" window and select "English."

Adding New Arabic Fonts to Font Book

Step 1

Download a third-party Arabic font file onto your computer's hard drive.

Step 2

Double click the file icon to make a font preview window appear. If there are additional Arabic typefaces available for this font, they will appear in the drop-down menu at the top of this window.

Click on "Install Font" to make this Arabic font available in Font Book and various word processing applications.


  • Information in this article applies to Mac computers running the OS X Mavericks operating system. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.


  • To quickly switch between language keyboards, make sure that "Show Input menu in menu bar" is checked off in the Input Sources window. This allows you to select the Arabic language from your system toolbar.
  • Since Arabic is a bidirectional language, you can use keyboard shortcuts to switch between left-and-right and right-and-left typing directions. This feature can also be enabled from the Input Sources window.


Photo Credits

  • Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Jen Cordwainer has been writing technology, business and entertainment articles for seven years. She has three years of experience working in enterprise technology. Cordwainer has a bachelor's degree in English.

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