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 Using the Armenian script on Windows XP / 2000
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Purpose of this guide

This guide will explain how to configure your Windows XP or Windows 2000 operating system to be able to write using the Armenian alphabet.


Your Windows XP / 2000 operating system comes built-in with support for Unicode, an encoding standard that allows your computer to represent texts written in most of the world's writing systems. Because Unicode supports the Armenian script, your Windows XP / 2000 system comes pre-installed with Armenian support. Specifically, the Sylfaen font that ships with Windows XP / 2000 supports the Armenian subset of the Unicode standard.

Viewing Armenian text

Viewing documents or websites in the Armenian script does not require configuring Windows XP / 2000. For example, you should already be able to read the following text:
«Ուզո՞ւմ ես գուշակել, տեսնել մի ժողովրդի ապագան՝ նայի՛ր նրա երիտասարդութեան։»

Writing in the Armenian script

To be able to write in the Armenian script, you must configure Windows XP / 2000 with Supplemental Language support for complex scripts. This will allow you to use your existing keyboard to input Armenian characters. For example, the “A” key will produce the Armenian letter “Ա”.

The following instructions will explain how to install and use the Armenian keyboard layout on Windows XP / 2000.

A. Configuration

Note: Follow these instructions only once.

  1. Click the Start button and open Control Panel

  2. Select the Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options category

  3. Select the Regional and Language Options icon

  4. Select the Languages tab from the window that opens

  5. Under the Supplemental language support section, select the checkbox labeled Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages

  6. Click the OK button in the dialog box that pops up

  7. Click Apply

  8. Insert your Windows XP / 2000 installation disc if prompted, and click OK

  9. Wait while the files are installed

  10. Click Yes when you are ready to restart your computer

  11. After your computer is restarted, return to the Languages tab of the Regional and Language Options by following steps 1 through 4 above
  12. Click the Details button under the Text services and input languages section

  13. Click the Add button in the new Text Services and Input Languages window that pops up. This will allow you to add a new input language.

  14. Select Armenian from the Input language menu

  15. Select Armenian Western (or Armenian Eastern) from the Keyboard layout menu

  16. Click OK

  17. Click OK in the Text Services and Input Languages window

  18. Click OK in the Regional and Language Options window

B. Usage

After you have followed the above instructions to configure an Armenian keyboard, follow these steps to switch between your keyboard layout between Armenian and other languages while using a Windows application:

  1. First open the application in which you will be typing text. In this example, we will use the OpenOffice Writer application to input Armenian text.

    Note: OpenOffice is a free and open source office suite that is a convenient alternative to Microsoft Office, offering word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database, and drawing applications. You may download it for free from www.openoffice.org.

  2. Click the Language icon near the lower left corner of your screen, next to the system tray. If your installation of Windows is localized for the United States, the icon will display as EN. This indicates that your current keyboard layout is set as English.

  3. Select Armenian from the menu that displays the keyboard layouts that you have configured.

  4. The letters HY should now appear in the language bar, indicating that the Armenian keyboard layout has been selected.

  5. Return to your application to start typing in Armenian. Although it is not required to set a font, we recommend using the Sylfaen font (that comes with Windows). In this example, we set the current font to Sylfaen in OpenOffice Writer.

  6. Begin writing your Armenian text!