Adobe InDesign/Illustrator CS6: get Arabic/Hebrew support and extra languages for free

twardoch's picture

New typographic aspects of Adobe InDesign/Illustrator CS6: you can switch to the Middle East version free of charge, and you can easily add spelling and hyphenation dictionaries for many languages.

If you have a license for Adobe InDesign CS6 or Illustrator CS6 in a Western European language or in U.S. English, either as a standalone product, as part of an “offline” Creative Suite or as part of Creative Cloud, you can switch these apps to the Middle East versions free of charge. You can use the Middle East versions in English, but you’ll get access to additional spelling/hyphenation languages as well as to extra UI elements for right-to-left languages such as Arabic or Hebrew.

Here’s how you get the Middle East versions of some applications:

1. Install your normal CS6.
2. Go to
3. Sign in with your Adobe ID.
4. Click on “Apps”, download the Adobe installer.
5. Launch the Adobe Applications Manager if it did not start automatically. You should see a list of applications from the Creative Cloud, and on some it should say “Installed”. Probably with InDesign and Illustrator you’ll get that.
6. Click on your login name on the left, choose Preferences.
7. In “Language”, select “English Arabic” (actually, “English” followed by Arabic writing).
8. As the Install Location, pick /Applications if you’re on a Mac.
9. Click on Save. Now the list of the applications’ “Installed” statuses should change.
10. Pick InDesign and click on “Install”. The Adobe Applications Manager should now download the “LS6” (Middle East) version of InDesign instead of the “LS16” (U.S. English) version, and it’ll install on top of your previous InDesign CS6.

I did just try that and now I have a Middle Eastern version, registered and activated just like the previous one. All my plugins etc. work as before. I’ve also done the same with Illustrator CS6 ME and it also works. The only caveat of course is that the InDesign ME download is 1.22 GB and Illustrator is 1.88 GB. So it’s a long download...

Before you do all this, you can rename the folder in which you have your U.S. English version of InDesign/Illustrator from /Applications/Adobe InDesign CS6 into something like /Applications/Adobe InDesign CS6 US -- to keep the non-ME version of InDesign/Illustrator just in case.

Also, InDesign CS6 now uses Hunspell as the default engine for spelling and hyphenation (but the previous engines such as Proximity or Winsoft are still available). Hunspell is based on open-source dictionaries and hyphenation patterns which are used in products such as OpenOffice or Firefox. InDesign ships with a large number of dictionaries for various languages, but it’s now possible to easily add dictionaries for languages that aren’t included (e.g. Armenian or Georgian). The Adobe document “Addition/Removal of Hunspell dictionaries in CS6” explains how to add extra dictionaries and hyphenation patterns yourself.

Ps. See my comment below for an easy way to enable more hyphenation and spelling languages in CS6 apps!


hrant's picture

Good news.

Adam, do you know how easy it would be to add Armenian hyphenation to InDesign?


twardoch's picture


could you check the results of:
? I see they're not perfect, but that's the only compatible Armenian hyphenation patterns I could find.


twardoch's picture

I’ve just created a little CS6 Hunspell Enabler package.

By default, InDesign CS6 and Illustrator CS6 expose 55 languages for spelling and hyphenation in the Character palette. But in fact, CS6 applications ship with spelling and hyphenation dictionaries for 129 languages. The additional languages can be exposed in the UI using a simple modification. This package provides this modification, it also includes a simple Armenian hyphenation dictionary (CS6 apps only include spelling for Armenian, but no hyphenation).

1. Download and unpack (20 KB).
2. Read the included README.TXT for further instructions.

Below is the comparison of hyphenation and spelling languages available in CS6 apps before and after applying the enabler (some of the “before” languages are only available in the Middle East editions):

Hyphenation patterns available in CS6 by default, before applying the enabler: Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Kannada, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian Bokmal, Norwegian Nynorsk, Oriya, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Ukrainian.

Additional hyphenation patterns available in CS6 after applying the enabler: Afrikaans, Armenian*, Belarusian, Esperanto, Icelandic, Indonesian, Interlingua, Irish, Kurdish, Mongolian, Serbian.

*) Requires copying the included Armenian hyphenation file into the correct location.

Spelling dictionaries available in CS6 by default, before applying the enabler: Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Kannada, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian Bokmal, Norwegian Nynorsk, Oriya, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Ukrainian.

Additional spelling dictionaries available in CS6 after applying the enabler: Afrikaans, Akan, Albanian, Armenian, Assamese, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Esperanto, Faroese, Galician, Icelandic, Indonesian, Interlingua, Irish, Kazakh, Khmer, Kinyarwanda, Kurdish, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Mongolian, Nepali, Nyanja, Persian, Serbian, South Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Swahili, Swati, Thai, Tsonga, Tswana, Urdu, Venda, Vietnamese, Welsh, Xhosa, Zulu.

charles ellertson's picture

That's great Adam. Would it be churlish of me to ask you get your nose back to the grindstone on FL Studio 6?

I'll be 67 soon, and I have a bet FL-6 will be out before I die. I'd like to be young enough to enjoy my winnings with a night of revelry...

sevag's picture

Hello Adam, will your Hunspell Enabler work with CS5? Thanks.

twardoch's picture

> Would it be churlish of me to ask you get your nose back to the grindstone on FL Studio 6?

We're on it, I'm on it.

> Will your Hunspell Enabler work with CS5?

No, only CS6. I believe Hunspell was also added experimantally to InDesign CS 5.5 but I don't think my "enabler" will work there directly.

sevag's picture

Adam and Hrant,
Are there any alternative solutions you know of that would patch the Armenian hyphenation inconvenience for CS5 or in general.

John Hudson's picture

Thanks very much for this advice, Adam, which I applied last night and now have CS6 ME running on my machine. The process, while hardly intuitive, is simple and reliable enough that I'm confident in recommending it to my clients who need the Middle East edition. Recently I had the same process recommended to me by a contact at Adobe: it seems to be the only way to get the ME version if one is outside the Middle East or North Africa. [There was a brief moment last night when I thought I might simply be able to purchase an ME version license from the Adobe store, but when I got to the payment stage, although my street address was correctly inserted from my Adobe profile, the drop down list of country names was limited to ME/NA countries.]

twardoch's picture

Sans sleep,

the big thing about CS6 is that by default, Adobe is using an open-source spelling and hyphenation engine (Hunspell), and that Adobe has worked on many of the included open-source spelling dictionaries and hyphenation patterns themselves (so while the engine is open-source, the same as used in OpenOffice, Mozilla products, hyphenator.js etc.) and while the hyphenation patterns are principally based on TeX hyphenation patterns, the actual dictionaries and patterns included in CS6 are largely upgraded by Adobe. But because of the fact that Hunspell is the default engine, one can easily use additional existing dictionaries and patterns, and it is relatively easy to create your own (or at least, the process of creating them is well-documented).

In previous versions of CS applications, the spelling and hyphenation engines were licensed from 3rd-party vendors such as Proximity and Winsoft, and were closed-source. In order to add your own, you needed to also write a full plugin. So while it has been possible, it was more difficult.

For CS5, Mindsteam Software has created MindHyph and MindSpell which are plugins that enable spelling and hyphenation using the Hunspell format. This means that with MindHyph and MindSpell, you can install the same Hunspell spelling dictionaries and hyphenation patterns in InDesign CS5 which by default are included in CS6.


sevag's picture

thank you.
Good day.

Georgy's picture

Greetings, dear Adam.

Thank you for this post.

I'm trying the Adobe Design Standard CS6 software @ this moment. I installed the English Int'l version, through a direct download. I'd like to use the ME version. Someone gave me the advise below:

Adobe InDesign CS6 is InDesign version 8.0. To enable the Middle East version,
1. Be sure InDesign is not running
2. Click on the Start button, then on Run
3. In the Run dialog, in the Open field, type regedit
4. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Adobe\InDesign\8.0
5. Double-click on Feature Set Locale Setting
6. Change value to 103
7. Close Registry Editor
8. Restart Windows
9. The next time you run InDesign, it should come up as the Middle East version.

But it didn't work because I couldn't navigate to see Indesign in the Registry Editor. I could see Adobe, but not Indesign. Is it because I'm using the trial version? Is the License compulsory before switching to the ME version?

Thank you for your suggestions.

John Hudson's picture

Georgy, have you tried the method that Adam carefully described? This works, and is also the method that was recommended to me by an InDesign developer at Adobe.

Georgy's picture

Hi. I found a good solution to my problem, from someone else's advice:

For documentation sake, to change the Feature Set locale for Indesign to Arabic script on a 64bit computer, the location in regedit.exe is







Feature Set Locale Setting REG_DWORD 0X00000103 (259)

There is an Adode node directly under software, but it does not contain Indesign on my 64bit computer.

twardoch's picture

There is a 2009 thread on the Indiscripts site which has some more information about switching the "feature set" (which is the name referred to the Western vs. CJK vs. Middle East abilities of InDesign) on Windows.

The bottom line is that it's potentially possible to switch the "Feature Set Locale Setting" on Windows (the values seem to be: 256 for Western feature set, 257 for CJK feature set and 259 for Middle East feature set), but the application still needs to have the actual plugins that are required for a given feature set.

I just tested this with a trial version of InDesign CS6 Middle East for Windows: it installs the Middle East (259) feature set by default, and the user can change it to Western (256) but *not* to CJK (257) -- then, InDesign complains that "CJK Layout" is missing.

From reading the comments in the thread, it looks that it's only possible on Windows while on Mac OS X, each version of the application has just one feature set. This is confirmed (by analogy) in the InDesign CS6 Server documentation, which states: "InDesign Server performs composition based on the enabled feature set: Roman (English) or Japanese (CJK). On Windows, registry settings are used to specify the enabled feature set. On Mac OS, there are two applications, one with the Roman feature set enabled and one with the CJK feature set enabled."


jrweber's picture

We have a multi-user license for both Production Premium and Design and Web Premium and when I open Application Manager and change my language to English arabic all of the applications just change to "try". Is there something I am missing?

HamishLeif's picture

Thanks Twardoch, I've added those additional languages giving me a much improved list of languages to work with!! I've also learned about the 'Fill with placeholder text' trick to get CS6 to handle at least basic Arabic text formatting.

Alas I seemed to have missed the boat with regards to getting the full install of CS6 English with Arabic support/ME edition as it seems the options you describe above no longer work now that CC has taken over. I got as far as setting the language to English/Arabic in the CC app (this option wasn't available in AAM) but alas the only options now are to download the CC versions of the Apps and not any CS6 ones :-(

Also, even though I removed the CC app from my Mac I can no longer use AAM? Looks like a reinstall is required even though I used the official "un-install CC" app i.e. I didn't just drag the app to the trash.

Thanks for helping me to improve things as I am now better off than I was even though I'm not where I was hoping to be.

-- OS X 10.8.4 running InDesign 8.0.1 / CS6 --

HamishLeif's picture

I'm guessing the best solution is for me to purchase World Tools Pro?

AzizMostafa's picture

> I'm guessing the best solution is for me to purchase World Tools Pro?

World Tools Pro - Hebrew?! Think of QalamBartar?!

DG66's picture

Is illustrator CC in Adobe Application Manager the same as illustrator CS6?

DG66's picture

if I installed illustrator CC in Adobe Application Manager, can I do the steps of the ME mentioned by twardoch?

Thomas Phinney's picture

Illustrator CC is not the same as Illustrator CS6. It is a new version, that would have been CS7 if they didn't change the naming scheme.

Peter Hoelscher's picture

Hi Adam

I have followed your instructions on Hunspelling my InDesign CC for Armenian. Pathes are a bit different, but I finaly acomplished the changes. InDesign CC now shows an Armenian hyphenation and spelling. Sad thing is, that it won't do any hyphenation at all.
Is there a differnce to InDesign CS6 or does your tutorial eventually not work in CC?

Thanx in advance

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