Jul 20, 2023

TeX/LaTeX package to generate Arabic writing

This LaTeX package extends the capabilities of TeX/LaTeX to generate the arabic writing from an ASCII transliteration for texts in several languages using the arabic script. Several other common encodings are also supported.

In the FreeBSD Ports Collection, there are thousands of applications and tools to choose from to enhance your computational experience. One such port that falls under the Arabic category is “arabtex”.

Arabtex is a package designed to support languages written in the Arabic script by enabling TeX/LaTeX, the typesetting system designed and primarily written by Donald Knuth, to generate documents in Arabic, Persian, and many other languages.


First of all, we need to install the arabtex port. You can browse for the Arabtex package in the FreeBSD Ports database. From your terminal, simply input

cd /usr/ports/arabic/arabtex/ && make install clean

To add the package, input

pkg install arabic/arabtex

The system will fetch the package from the FreeBSD servers and install it on your system.


Once installed, you can utilize arabtex by following a few simple steps.

Firstly, to use the arabtex package in your LaTeX document, you need to include


Then use the \setcode directive


In order to typeset Arabic text, one has to first transliterate it using ASCII characters. For example, writing “\RLf.s.h.” in your LaTeX document will render as Arabic script for the word “fish”.

Or for more comprehensive documents, you can set the Arabic environment as

... your text ...

Remember, to be able to visualize your .tex documents as PDFs or other formats, you would need to have a TeX distribution installed for example TeXLive, which can be installed on FreeBSD quite smoothly https//


Arabtex provides a number of benefits. It offers high-quality typesetting of Arabic, Persian and Urdu scripts, including proper placement of diacritics and other script-specific features.

It also supports a rich set of macros that can be used to adjust the appearance of the text to an extraordinary degree.

Importantly, it’s a free and open-source software, meaning you can always tweak and customize it according to your needs.


Arabtex essentially extends the capabilities of TeX/LaTeX to handle Arabic script. It’s a valuable tool not just for individuals working with Middle Eastern languages, but also for linguists, scholars, students, and anyone needing to typeset these languages for their work or studies.

Being part of the FreeBSD Ports can ensure a smooth and integrated experience with your system. Learning and exploring a tool like Arabtex can broaden your linguistic horizons whilst offering a high-quality typesetting solution.

While focusing on the text formatting and layout, it’s equally important to ensure the security of your FreeBSD system. Ports such as Nmap https// can help provide network security and assist in network inventory, managing service upgrade schedules, and monitoring host or service uptime.

With Arabtex and many other similar powerful tools, FreeBSD is more than an operating system; it’s a diverse platform for all your computing needs.

Checkout these related ports:
  • Py-hijri-converter - Hijri-Gregorian dates converter based on the Umm al-Qura calendar
  • Libreoffice -
  • Libitl - API abstraction to common Islamic calculations
  • Khotot - Meta-port for popular Arabic font packages
  • Kacst_fonts - Truetype Arabic fonts created by KACST
  • Aspell - Aspell Arabic dictionaries
  • Ae_fonts_ttf - Collection of TrueType Arabic fonts
  • Ae_fonts_mono - Collection of PCF fonts that include Arabic glyphs