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Support for control over text direction in input fields and multi line text editors on mobile platforms (such as Android, iOS, Windows Phone) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237749D
Publication Date: 2014-Jul-09
Document File: 7 page(s) / 100K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


This article suggests a method for interactive change of text direction in editable controls (such as input fields) on mobile platforms using swipe based event.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 37% of the total text.

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Support for control over text direction in input fields and multi line text editors on mobile platforms (

((such as Android

such as Android , ,

As you can see, change of text direction affects relative position of words and text segments on the screen.

Current support on desktop computers

Standard support for control over text direction in input fields is through means supported by OS, technology or application (such as web browser).

For example:

Text with Left-To-Right direction:

Text with Right-To-Left direction:


To interactively change text direction in the context of input fields user can leverage keyboard short cut(s) such as:

(to change text direction to Left-To-Right) and

(to change text direction to Right-To-Left)

Standard support for control over text direction in rich text editors is via two buttons added to the toolbar. They allow to set direction of paragraph to either Left-To-Right or Right-To-Left.

For example:




Windows Phone

Windows Phone )

Text direction and the way it affects text display.

Each language has natural text direction associated with it. For example, for English it
is LTR, while for Arabic / Hebrew it is RTL.

Sentences formulated in natural language may include words from a different language. For example, it is a very common case to have Arabic / Hebrew sentences including English words.

The same text is displayed differently depending on text direction selected for rendering.

Readability of text depends to a great extent on the direction it is displayed with.

Here are several examples of text displayed with different text directions:

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Similar approach is implemented in many rich text editors (both web and desktop based).

Current support on mobile devices

On mobile devices there is no way provided by mobile OS's allowing end users to change interactively text direction in input field(s) or multi-line text editors.

Mobile devices provide out-of-the-box contextual text direction. There is no way for the end user to change this default behavior.

Why existing solutions are inadequate ?

Lack of control over text direction on mobile platforms does not allow end user to control how text is displayed. This is critical for languages with bidirectional scripts, since showing text with not natural text direction very negatively affects its readability. Proposed solution lifts this limitation on the application level and assures that mobile platforms have tools similar to what desktop based application have.

Suggested solution
Suggested solution can be implemented as part of native application running on

Android / iOS / mobile OS.

It allows end user to interactively control text direction in input fields and multi line text editors.

To change text direction, instead of using various keyboard shortcuts (please note that

combination is not available on mobile devices) we suggest to use a more natural way for mobile devices: swipe gesture.

To change direction of text in the input field or mult...