Guideline H: Languages with a bidirectional script

H4: Isolating artwork and text orientation



Isolating artwork orientation and text orientation

It is common practice to complement a piece of artwork, such as, an image, bitmap, photograph, or chart, with text for labeling, explanations, or legends. It is important in the bidirectional environment to treat the artwork and all its textual information separately with regard to their respective orientations.


Guideline H4


Ensure artwork orientation and text orientation are specified independently of one another.


This guideline complements Guideline A8 - Treating Icons and Clip Art as UI

Example: Consider the map of Canada with the text of all the names of her provinces and territories in Arabic or Hebrew. The Arabic or Hebrew names should appear on the map in right-to-left order, but the map of Canada must not be mirrored with British Columbia as the rightmost province!

example of a map using bidirectional environment

Unlike maps, the orientation of charts can be LTR or RTL. Similarly, the base text direction of text displayed on charts can also be LTR or RTL regardless of the chart orientation.

There are many types of charts and there are different national standards and preferences for mirroring each of the different types of charts. Chart mirroring can be very complex when we take into account the overall product GUI mirroring mode and the various country defaults based on locale or national standards. Providing the end user with the option to choose chart mirroring direction would help minimize the complexities involved and would allow for greater flexibility by accommodating possible changes in national preferences.

Example: The sample charts below are from Dojo 1.7 where base text direction is controlled through the textDir parameter which accepts 3 values: LTR (for English), RTL (for Arabic / Hebrew) and Auto (or contextual for mixed cases). The text display is authentic but the chart images are simulated as mirroring of charts is not currently supported in Dojo.

Text in the chart is LTR and the chart itself is LTR

Text in the chart is LTR and the chart itself is RTL

Text in the chart is RTL and the chart itself is LTR

Text in the chart is RTL and the chart itself is RTL

Text in the chart is Auto and the chart itself is LTR

Text in the chart is Auto and the chart itself is RTL