[XeTeX] Ancient Hebrew font problem

Gareth Hughes garzohugo at gmail.com
Wed Aug 25 02:17:09 CEST 2010

Karljurgen Feuerherm wrote:
> Hi
> As I do some Hebrew, and have just migrated to a Mac (last month), I am
> curious why the font feature need not be declared on a Mac?
> Thanks
> KF

The fontspec manual discusses the difference between ICU and AAT font
handling. Macs use the latter, Linux and other operating systems use the
former. With ICU handling, language and script features have to be
selected manually, whereas they are automatic in AAT. In fontspec, if
you select language and script options, ICU handling will be activated.
If you do this on a Mac, it could well look messy. This list often sees
posts where people with Macs have selected language or script tags and
it has caused problems, or when users of other OSs don't select these
tags. I'm sure someone with more technical knowledge could tell us more
about this issue if necessary.

>>>> On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at  4:02 PM, in message
> <4C72D3DD.8000905 at gmail.com>,
> Gareth Hughes <garzohugo at gmail.com> wrote: 
>> Carsten Ziegert wrote:
>>> 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?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Carsten
>> Dear Carsten,
>> The problem arises from not telling fontspec you're writing in
> Hebrew:
>> you need to declare the font feature Script=Hebrew (you wouldn't
> need
>> this on a Mac). To do this you need the format
>> \fontspec[Script=Hebrew]{Ezra SIL} or whatever font you desire.
>> Are you using that format for a reason? I would prefer to use
>> polyglossia for a bilingual document:
>> \usepackage{xltxtra, polyglossia}
>> \setmainlanguage{english}
>> \setotherlanguage{hebrew}
>> \newfontfamily\hebrewfont[Script=Hebrew]{Ezra SIL}
>> \begin{document}
>> Ezra SIL: \texthebrew{וְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֨ה֙ וָבֹ֔ה}
>> \end{document}
>> Gareth.

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