[XeTeX] Ancient Hebrew font problem

Khaled Hosny khaledhosny at eglug.org
Mon Aug 23 22:17:18 CEST 2010

On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 03:46:38PM -0400, Kirk Lowery wrote:
> 2010/8/23 Carsten Ziegert <carsten_ziegert at sil.org>
>     Hi,
>     I am facing a problems with hebrew vowels while trying three different
>     fonts (see example file):
>     With SBL Hebrew and Ezra SIL, the vowels are too much on the left under
>     the consonants.
>     Cardo seems ok, except for shureq (leftmost letter of the third and
>     fourth word from the left). The point is on the right hand side of the
>     Waw consonant instead of on the left.
>     System specs: Ubuntu Karmic, fontspec 2010/08/01 v2.0c,
>     XeTeXk, Version 3.141592-2.2-0.996-patch2 (Web2C 7.5.6)
>     What can I do to achieve the correct vowel adjustment? Does anyone have
>     experiences with fonts for Biblical Hebrew?
> Doing cantillated Hebrew is my day job. And I use XeLaTeX as my preferred
> system for academic publishing.
> I modified your minimal example to contrast the two methods. Note the
> differences in the prologue. SBL Hebrew comes out right, SIL Ezra does not (no
> disparagement of SIL Ezra!).
> \documentclass{scrbook}
> \usepackage{fontspec,xltxtra,xunicode,bidi}
> \defaultfontfeatures{Mapping=tex-text}
> \setromanfont[Mapping=tex-text]{TeX Gyre Schola}
> %Set up for Biblical Hebrew
> \TeXXeTstate=1
> \newfontfamily{\sbl}[Script=Hebrew]{SBL Hebrew}
> \begin{document}
> %
> \section*{SBL Hebrew}
> \RL{\sbl{הָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ}}
> \section*{Ezra SIL}
> \newcommand{\heb}[1]{\TeXXeTstate=1{\fontspec{Ezra SIL}\beginR{#1}\endR}}
> \heb{וְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ}
> \end{document}
> Others here can no doubt explain the technical reasons why the first example
> works and the second does not.

Because the first font activated Hebrew script (which in turn activates
Hebrew related font features, like proper mark positioning), while the
second did not.


 Khaled Hosny
 Arabic localiser and member of Arabeyes.org team
 Free font developer

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