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Configuring Windows 2000 for Multi-Language Input


The following explains how to configure your computer to be able to input a variety of complex scripts, particularly Arabic and Persian (which Microsoft refers to as "Farsi").

The steps below are done under Windows 2000; for Windows XP the same concepts are applicable—specific details can be found at:

To successfully complete this, you must:

  • Have a Windows installation CD (Windows 2000, or Windows XP (Home or Professional edition)
  • Have sufficient privileges on the computer you are working on (i.e. Administrator) if working with in a Local Area Network environment.


Part One: Installing the language files


  • Click the Start button on the lower left-hand corner of your computer:

  • From Settings, select Control Panel:



  • In the window that appears, double-click on the Regional Options icon:



  • In the Regional Options window, under Language Settings for the System, select the language group you wish to add to your computer:



  • Click OK. When installing  right-to-left (e.g. Arabic, Hebrew) languages on your PC  for the first time, you will probably receive this prompt:


  • Insert the Windows 2000 (or XP) CD-ROM and click OK.
  • Repeat steps a-c to open the Regional Options window again; proceed to Part 2 below.



Part 2: Setting the input language

  • In the Regional Options window, click on the Input Locales tab and under Installed Input Locales, click the Add button:



  • Under Input Locales, select the language you wish to have installed:


  • Next, select the Keyboard layout you wish to use (usually you will select the default)
  • Click OK; the Input Locales button will close. You will see the Regional Options window again.
  • Click OK to save settings.

You should now see the Language Bar in the lower right-hand corner of your screen (notice the EN for English).

You can use the mouse this to toggle between different input languages, or else use the left Alt+Shift keys on your computer.

Once you have done this, you will be able to type characters in the script of that language.

Windows Keyboard layouts: (requires JavaScript enabled Internet Explorer):


Questions/comments/technical support; contact Shelton Henderson, Bibliographic Specialist,