When I receive an excel file with arabic letters, some of them are displayed in square garbage character. Is there any other alternative?

An excel files is created in MS Office Excel that contains both English and Arabic character is saved in .xls format and sent to users with LibreOffice 4.4.1. When users open the .xls file in scalc, some of the Arabic character appear unreadable and in square boxes. If the cell with 'square boxes" are selected and changed from “Italic” to “Non-Italic”, then the Arabic letters appear. Does this mean every time users gets this spreadshuet, they have to change the text from Italic to Non-Italic?

Users PC configuration;

Windows XP and Windows 7 Pro
LibreOffice 4.4.1

This should be the issue reported as bug FDO#87532. I cannot confirm that it only applies to the fonts ‘Arial’ and ‘Times New Roman’ for which it is reported there.

As my test is showing the problem will also occur in documents not imported from alien files. ‘Insert’ > ‘Special Character…’ > (some Arabic letters) > change font style to ‘Italic’ will produce it in most cases. Many additional fonts (if not most) are afflicted.

As I don’t know anything about writing in Arabic (except that it is running from right to left … and always ‘Italic’ in a sense) I cannot say if the ‘Italic’ style has any meaning for it and if fonts (which ones?) contain an ‘Italic’ variant or if the ‘Italic’ style should be faked or ignored by the running software …

As the handling of fonts is the same for all of LibreOffice the problem will also show in Writer documents.

My best idea: Negociate with your partners to not use ‘Italic’ in Arabic writing.