Use of arabtex

ArabTeX is a very nice package for typesetting Arabic using TeX or LaTeX. However, it is a little too smart, and working with it is like typing a book on a typewriter that has its own opinions about spelling and sometimes even about the subject matter of the book.

So, it is good that there is a verbatim mode that allows one to say more precisely what one wants to see on paper. Below some docs on this verbatim mode. (If your browser does not render arabic, see LaTeX output below.)

Verbatim mode is activated by \setverb and left again by \setarab. The 28 Arabic letters, together with the required ArabTeX input, are given below.

ا ب ت ث ج ح خ د ذ ر ز س ش ص
A b t _t j .h _h d _d r z s ^s .s
ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ك ل م ن ه و ي
.d .t .z ` .g f q k l m n h w y

A few foreign letters:

پ ڤ چ څ ژ گ ځ ڭ ڵ ڕ
p v ^c ,c ^z g c ^n ^l .r

Verbatim mode will select the right letter shape (isolated, initial, medial, final), e.g., <h hhh> yields ه ههه. The font knows about two shapes for a medial h, and , but I do not know how to tell arabtex which shape to use. Picking the glyph by hand does work: these two glyphs can be obtained via \rawarab{352} and \rawarab{356}, after \verb|\newcommand\rawarab[1]{{\fontencoding{U}\fontfamily{xnsh}\selectfont\char'#1\relax}}|

The hamza with various possible carriers, and ta marbuta, and alif maqsura:

أ إ ؤ ئ ۀ ـٔـ ء ة ى
'a 'i 'w 'y 'h 'B '| T Y

Various vowel signs:

دَ دِ دُ دْ دّ آ ٱ دً دٍ دٌ دٰ دٖ دٗ
da di du d" d* 'A " or -" daN diN duN d_a d_i d_u

For ٱ, an alif with wasla, use " at the beginning of a word, and -" elsewhere.

Maybe \rawarab is needed to get at the separate signs. (For fatha, kasra, damma, madda, shadda, fathatan, kasratan, dammatan, sukuun, wasla, quranalif the font indices are 013, 013, 014, 016, 017, 023, 023, 024, 025, 026, 027, and some manoeuvering is needed to move them to the right place.)

Tatwil (kashida) is given by -- or B.

Vowel signs can be put on kashida: <Ba> ـَـ, <BaN> ـًـ, <|B"> ـْـ, <|BB> ـّـ, etc.

Bugs. Verbatim mode is broken near alif and alif maqsura. An unwanted fatha is added to the preceding consonant, and a quote is needed to prevent this: <'ilY> إلَى, <'il"Y> إلى. When also kashida is present, it is put in the wrong place: <k--A> كَاـ.

Finally there are the ligatures, especially lam-alif. One gets the ligature without vowel by use of the quote.

لا لَا لأ لَأ لأَ لَأَ لإ لَإ لإِ لَإِ
l"A lA l'a la'a l'aa la'aa l'i la'i l'ii la'ii

Screenshots of the LaTeX output:

LaTeX source