I have a big phone (Moto G). I'm left-handed, so everything on the left of the screen would be so much more convenient on the right, and vice versa.

But wait, Android 4.2 introduced Right-to-left (RTL) layouts! The problem is that I don't speak any RTL languages, just English.

My understanding is that Android sets whether it's LTR or RTL, and any app can read this setting to display an appropriate layout. Can I set my Android device to be right to left while still using English?

  • 2
    !crazy That's ?backwards English read You
    – geffchang
    Mar 21, 2014 at 2:27

2 Answers 2


Yes you can do that. Firstly enable the The developer mode by tapping the build number in About Phone Then go in developer options and then check force RTL layout

  • 1
    Exactly what I was looking for, thanks!theandroidsoul.com/… gives details on how to get developer mode.
    – Chris
    Apr 10, 2014 at 7:35

You'd have to use a custom ROM to do this, because the layout direction is a fixed part of the locale information, not a user-visible setting. Even if you could, you'd find that most apps wouldn't change. It takes development and testing time to make Android layouts bidirectional, and the support wasn't added to Android until Jelly Bean, so apps tend to only use it if they actually do support RTL languages.

Even on apps which do support it, you'd probably find strange behaviour because English isn't supposed to be laid out right-to-left. For example, text labels that are too long might have the "..." at the start instead of the end, or vice-versa.

So in summary, it's a lot of effort to end up with a broken configuration.

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