Ahlan waSahlan fi 3alam Maren

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)

Comments (17)

  1. Ahmed Elzeftawi says:

    This is too bad…Isn’t this a copy of Yamli http://www.yamli.com/?

    Why waste your effort and create something that is already available and copy someone else’s work and claim it for yourself?

  2. AJ says:

    Will there be a version for MAC?

    that would be really great

  3. mashour says:

    Thanks for your comments.

    As for the "copying from others" comment, I would like to correct this impression with the following facts:

    1- Microsoft was the first to use transliteration to develop an Input Method Editor (the Chinese IME) back in the nineties, and it has been part of Windows OS since Windows XP.

    2- The wide and fast-growing adoption of Maren inside and outside the region has proven the efforts spent were really worthwhile.

    As for the MAC question, Maren works on Windows XP, Vista and 7 on any hardware including MAC. Supporting MAC OS is not in our plans for the moment.

  4. Yasmine says:

    So should I expect Maren to work on my mac if using ‘work for mac’? As i’ve already tried that but it doesn’t work! Come on give us a plan for mac users!! Please 🙂

  5. Yasmine says:

    Woops meant ‘ Microsoft WORD for Mac’

  6. Ahmed says:

    Where can i find the full list of Maren abbreviations?

  7. jk_pelaez says:

    call me 661-332 6343

  8. Bassam says:

    i have comment about SLA abbreviation it should be

    السلام عليكم


    سلام عليكم

    Thanks A Lot for the great offer

  9. jaffar says:

    it’s good useful addon to the arabic typing experience

    the application is very cool especially the drop menu with suggestions, i type Arabic faster using Maren than with the Arabia layout!! one problem for me is Hamazat try writing these words, it’s really pain in the neck,



    another suggestion is to add , button for user’s input to the glossary, it would be really handy for most of us thank you and keep it up

  10. Sherine says:

    I can not get access to maren, i downloaded it, it shows in the drop down list, it doesn't show on the task bar. I'm at work and I need it ASAP. I can't type in arabic, so please help.

    Thank you

  11. Khuzaima Shajapurwala says:


    How can I use maren in ASP.NET development. I have developed an application in ASP.NET and my database is MS SQL 2008. I want to convert the data stored in tables (eg NAMES) in arabic transcript. How can maren help me in this so that whatever data I have in english transcript can be converted into arabic script.

  12. Gen says:


    I am not sure if anyone is following this blog up or not by now….anyway, I would like to ask if there is any API for Maren?

  13. Mahmoud says:

    I have Windows 8.1 on most of our PCs, and on some PCs this software Work, and on others, mainly my own laptop, it doesnt work at all!

    I can install it and everything, but I cannot find the Maren input method in the language options!

    Would you please fix this problem?

    I am sure it should'nt take more than a couple of hours for someone to just update the use of correct libraries/registry entries, recomply and publish it!

    It would be HIGHTLY appreciated, even if the appearance isn't updated to match the modern UI of the new operating systems since Marens latest releases…

    Thanks in advance!

  14. AAhmad says:

    can i use maren in my windows application?

  15. Ammar says:

    It's not working on Windows 10..  any ideas how to fix it?

  16. Khalid says:

    Same thing as ammar, It was working on windows 10 for a while then it stopped. Tried everything removing and adding languages, removing and reinstalling Maren, nothing worked.

    It acts as if not installed, if Arabic is installed, then alt+shift changes to Arabic, if not, then alt+shift does nothing!!

  17. JK says:


    I have installed Maren but it doesn't show under the Saudi Keyboard. I only see:

    – Arabic (101)

    – Arabic (102)

    – Arabic (Azerty)

    – US


    Thanks for your help.


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