Arabic - problems when cutting and pasting from Word into Storyline 2

Mar 16, 2017

Help! I'm having trouble cutting and pasting text in Arabic text from Word into Storyline. The source document uses Arial font. When I paste the text directly into Storyline, it creates a jumble of odd non-Arabic characters. When I cut and paste via Notepad the Arabic text is created correctly in Storyline. The attached screengrab should explain what's happening.

I've read through all the related posts but can't find a solution to this. I've repeated the experiment using a brand new one-screen SL project.

I need to solve this because exactly the same thing is happening when using import from the translation extract, and I guess it's one and the same problem. Something to do with fonts? Or formatting in the source Word file?

Any help would be much appreciated.

5 Replies
Leslie McKerchie

Hello David - My first assumption would be formatting within the Word file, especially since it seems to work as expected from Notepad (which does not have formatting). However, I do see where we have an open issue reported for some users when importing Arabic via Word.  I see that you did test/utilize a Unicode font as well, which would have been my second suggestion. That all being said, I'm going to include this thread in our report so we can track user impact as well as post an update when applicable.

I do not have have a verified workaround to share, but we had a user share:

Try to "re-translate" the existing Arabic Word document using Microsoft's Online Translation Service. Here's how:

NOTE: Tested to work using MS Office 2013. I haven't tested using a version of MS Office with Arabic language pack installed - which may help in determining the root cause of this issue. 

1. Open the existing Arabic Word document.

2. Highlight all of the document's content.

3. Right click > select Translate. The "Research - translation pane will open on the right side of the document.

4. Set the languages to translate from "English" to "Arabic"

5. Click on the translate button (Green arrow). On the notification window that pops up, click on "Send" button. This will open up your web browser and display the translated texts using Microsoft's translator service.

6. Copy all the texts and replace the one's from the original file.

7. Save the document and import it to Storyline 2.

Also, the user mentioned they had success using the xliff for exporting and importing the Arabic translations instead of using the Word doc

David Carr

Thanks Leslie. I agree that the problem lies somewhere in the Word document formatting, but it's hard to solve - a small number of fields import correctly, but when I use Format Painter from these to seemingly identical fields, these still import as corrupted text.

As for using an automatic translation service? Well, I'm sure this wouldn't go down too well with the client who has just paid for a professional native speaker to do this detailed work. And in my humble opinion, asking a computer to translate text accurately is currently about as effective as asking my dog to do the weekly grocery shopping. Try running a paragraph or two from Le Monde through an online translation service and you'll see what I mean,

Jane Davidson

Hi, I'm wondering if there is now a fix for this issue or at the very least a workaround? We've received Word doc with Arabic translation of transcripts back from translators and, when try to copy and paste these into the Notes section of our Storyline file, the formatting goes all over the place and it sometimes doesn't display all of the text. We've tried changing the font in the Word doc and removing the formatting etc. but nothing has worked. This is a showstopper for a big project at the moment so would appreciate a quick response. Thanks in advance. 

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