Maren converts Romanized Arabic, i.e Arabic text written through Roman characters, into Arabic script as you type. And hence you as a writer/author will be able to send your thoughts in Arabic-script-Arabic instead of Romanized-Arabic, and your recipients will be able to read your text in Arabic, making things more natural. Moreover, if the text you’re writing is expected to reside on the web, you have much bigger chances to appear on the search results than if it were posted in Romanized-Arabic, just by using Maren.


Among the many useful features of Maren, I will cite those I see most appealing. First of all is that it works as part of Windows operating system, and hence it operates seamlessly in most Windows applications and Websites. It generates ranked Arabic candidates as you type, and with a very high accuracy, which means that in most of the cases, the automatically selected “first” candidate will be the intended one, which means minimal interruption overhead on the user. The accuracy rate and response time are consistent across vocabulary (rare vs. frequent words) and across word length (short vs. long words). The conversion to Arabic is real-time as you type, regardless of the complexity of the input word and regardless of the available computational resources in terms of memory or processing power. Maren supports most common abbreviations, it recognizes abbreviations such as ISA, NVM, E7L…etc, and expands them into full Arabic phrases. You don’t need to be online to use Maren, it’s installed on your machine and you can use it anywhere, anytime, and most importantly, your data, conversations and written documents are in full privacy.


Let me give you some useful tips when using Maren:

  1.  If the language bar neither appears in the taskbar nor on the desktop, then it’s hidden and you need to show it. To do that, you need to go to the Control Panel > regional settings > keyboards and Languages > Language bar, and check the “show language bar” box. Once the Language bar is shown, to activate Maren keyboard, you need to select the Arabic(Saudi Arabia) Language, then select Arabic (Microsoft Maren) keyboard.
  2. On Windows Vista, you have a shortcut key (Ctrl+Shift+Space) to select Maren mode.
  3. In Rich-Edit-Controls, as in Word, Live Messenger and other chatting applications, and websites, you get best results when using Maren in the right-to-left direction, while in simple edit controls such as in Notepad or in IE Toolbars, you get best results when using it in the left-to-right direction.
  4. As a rule of thumb, select the orientation (left-to-right or right-to-left) that would better fit your needs, using Ctrl+Shift.
  5. Type in abbreviations, there is a big chance you get them expanded into the corresponding Arabic phrase, “BRB” , “JAK”, “ISA” ,“TYT” are few examples.


If you have suggestions for new features, want to propose new abbreviations, discover useful tips, or have questions, just let us know, we’ll be more than happy to answer you.




Achraf Chalabi

Cairo Microsoft Innovation Center (CMIC)