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Question: Excel: Editted Hebrew is reversed on reopen.

Chacham (981) writes | more than 3 years ago

User Journal 5

Someone just asked me about Excel. She works on a sheet that has English and Hebrew words. If she edits any existing Hebrew entries, or enters any Hebrew herself, when she reopens the file the Hebrew letters show up in reverse order (Hebrew is RTL). Any idea what could be wrong?

Someone just asked me about Excel. She works on a sheet that has English and Hebrew words. If she edits any existing Hebrew entries, or enters any Hebrew herself, when she reopens the file the Hebrew letters show up in reverse order (Hebrew is RTL). Any idea what could be wrong?

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5 comments

If I still worked at MS (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 3 years ago | (#33493302)

I'd ask for you. :)

That said, you or her can always feel free to ask at the Microsoft Office Forums [microsoft.com] (which were not that easy to find :( )

Re:If I still worked at MS (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 3 years ago | (#33493442)

Thanx. And I Get a big "Duh!".

I am an Answerer in the Database Design Forum (Though i haven't done anything in over a month, since i lost my job.)

RTL Issues (1)

superyooser (100462) | more than 3 years ago | (#33498618)

I've had that problem in Word but not in Excel. I just keep tinkering with it, achieving limited success. I get to the point where I don't care anymore whether Word "understands" that the text is supposed to be going RTL. Sometimes I cheat and use a tool to reverse the letters [textmechanic.com] . (However, of course, this is a terrible solution if it's a document that's going to be edited with any frequency.) From what I understand, there is an invisible character that denotes when Word should begin to read text as RTL. Maybe there is a Word plugin to make this character appear.

What do they do in Israel??

For Hebrew word processing, one could try DavkaWriter or Dagesh Pro. I'm not aware of a Hebrew-centric spreadsheet program.

I might suggest trying a Hebrew version of Excel, but I can't say from experience (I haven't tried it) that it actually handles bi-directional-text documents better. I don't know if anything under the hood is really different or if it's just textual localization in the chrome and different default settings. Seeing as Microsoft has a large corporate presence in Israel, you'd think they would get RTL and BiDi issues smoothed out very well in their flagship products.

Another thought just hit me: I wonder if using a Hebrew version/language-pack of the Windows OS would make it work better. This close-reopen issue reminds me of a problem I had with either WordPress or Joomla -- I can't remember which. When you saved a document, it would attempt to "clean up" the markup, which ruined my work the first I encountered this default behavior. I wonder if Word is trying to "clean up" the document (i.e. reverse the text direction) based on the OS's LTR/Anglo-centric settings. In a similar vein, the person you're helping could try setting Word's spell-check feature to use Hebrew. Then, maybe it wouldn't "clean up" as for an Anglo user, if that is indeed the nature of the problem. You wouldn't think that such a setting would be a factor, but we are talking about usability bugs here. And Microsoft.

Re:RTL Issues (1)

superyooser (100462) | more than 3 years ago | (#33498722)

I made a mistake. In the last paragraph, I meant to say "Excel" instead of "Word" in some places. The advice goes for either app. Also, I just noticed that Microsoft is calling Office plugins "Add-Ins" in Office 2007. I don't know when that change happened or if it's always been that way.

Re:RTL Issues (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 3 years ago | (#33498824)

Thanx, i'll take it under advisement. :)

I'm waiting for a response, here [microsoft.com] .

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