An Improvement for Word Processors
Original Publication Date: 2001-Feb-20
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-11
Invention Disclosed is a method to improve the automatic rendering of text direction in word processors that support both left-to-right and right-to-left languages. Problem Some frequent combinations of right-to-left and left-to-right text are hard or even almost impossible to create when typing text into a word processor. For instance, if L stands for the right-to-left letter l (such as in Hebrew or Arabic), and you are typing right-to-left and want to create the string “ibm-L”, where “ibm” is left-to-right, in MS Word you must either type “ibm L” (with spaces surrounding the hyphen), or type the characters in the following order: L, i, b, m, -. The problem seems to arise from the rules of implict text direction, which define the direction of some characters according to the direction of their context. In the example above, the hyphen is associated with the left-to-right text, hence the problem. A very good example of rules by which the direction of characters in a text is determined can be found on http://www.unicode.org/unicode/reports/tr9, but even by those rules some combinations are not rendered as expected.