[texhax] Justification through glyph variants

Joel C. Salomon joelcsalomon at gmail.com
Sun Dec 4 19:10:20 CET 2011

On 12/03/2011 08:18 AM, Arno Trautmann wrote:
> Joel C. Salomon wrote:
>> In some older Hebrew books, and in Hebrew calligraphy, a technique used
>> to align text to the outer margin is stretching letters.  Certain
>> letters are particularly stretchable; in fact, Unicode has several "wide
>> letters" encoded in the Alphabetic Presentation Forms area.
>> At any rate, is there any way to make (any version of) TeX use these to
>> help justify lines?
> I did a short hacking and produced some code
> If you can provide me with some information on hebrew typesetting, a
> suitable font, the character codes and maybe a full example, I could
> improve my test code (which only substitutes "n" by "m" which is rather
> pointless) to maybe fit your needs.

I’ve attached a version of the Jewish wedding contract, the ketubah.
I’m using the Free font Shmulik CLM from
<http://culmus.sourceforge.net/fancy/index.html>, but almost any font
with Hebrew support will work.

Interestingly, the ketubah is usually written to be fully justified,
often even on the last line — it’s a contract, and you don’t want it to
be easy to add text after the fact!

See <http://www.hasoferet.com/images/ketubot/yehudit.png> for a nice
example of a fully-justified text, including the last line (the bottom
two lines are for the witnesses’ signatures).

See also <http://www.hasoferet.com/images/ketubot/yona.jpg> (the last,
centered, line (before the signatures) is a phrase that sometimes stands
alone); this is a good example of the use of stretched letters for

The characters that can be substituted are:
* U+FB21 (ﬡ) Hebrew Letter Wide Alef  for U+05D0 (א) Hebrew Letter Alef
* U+FB21 (ﬢ) Hebrew Letter Wide Dalet for U+05D3 (ד) Hebrew Letter Dalet
* U+FB21 (ﬣ) Hebrew Letter Wide He    for U+05D4 (ה) Hebrew Letter He
* U+FB21 (ﬤ) Hebrew Letter Wide Kaf   for U+05DB (כ) Hebrew Letter Kaf
* U+FB21 (ﬥ) Hebrew Letter Wide Lamed for U+05DC (ל) Hebrew Letter Lamed
* U+FB21 (ﬦ) Hebrew Letter Wide Final Mem for U+05DD (ם) Hebrew Letter
Final Mem
* U+FB21 (ﬧ) Hebrew Letter Wide Resh  for U+05E8 (ר) Hebrew Letter Resh
* U+FB21 (ﬨ) Hebrew Letter Wide Tav   for U+05EA (ת) Hebrew Letter Tav

Thanks for looking into this; let me know if I can test your code or
help in any other way.

—Joel Salomon
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