The Hebrew script is written right to left and can include diacritics to specify vowel marks, but these marks are often ommited in Modern Hebrew. In order to process Hebrew correctly, software must be able to display text from right to left and include vowel marks as needed.
Note that the Hebrew script is used for other Jewish community languages, particularly Yiddish (which includes additional characters). See Jewish Languages for details on other languages written in the Hebrew alphabet.
Note: Modern Hebrew is sometimes called Ivrit, a form closer to the actual pronuciation of עברית "Hebrew"
In order to integrate foreign scripts into your computer, you must set up "keyboard" or input utilities in your operating system. These utilities will allow you to switch between typing English and other languages in word processors and Web tools. This process will also make sure the correct fonts are installed and available on your operating system.
See instructions for Setting up Keyboards for details.
Microsoft provides a variety of free keyboard utlities, but they must be installed from the disk, then activated from the Regional Control Panel.
Student Computing Labs - The utilities are installed in the University Park Student Computing Labs, but students must install the utlities by going to the Start menu then International Language Support » Microsoft » Office Microsoft Office Asian Character Input Support.
Home Computers - Several Asian and Middle Eastern keyboards are available in Windows, but you may have to install it from the Windows System disk because it is a complex script. After that you can activate the keyboards from the Regional Control Panel.
See Windows East Asian and Complex Script Keyboards for detailed instructions with screen captures.
Once the keyboards have been installed, they must be activated in the Regional Control Panel. Read the summary instructions below or go to East Asian and Complex Scripts Keyboards for detailed instructions with screen captures.
See instructions for configuring right to left typing in Word for Windows for tips on how to type RTL languages.
A Hebrew and QWERTY Hebrew keyboard are available in Macintosh, but you may have to install it from the Macintosh System disk because it is a complex script.
Student Computing Labs - Many language keyboards have been activated in the labs and are available through the flag menu on the upper right. Skip to Step #4 in the instructions below.
Home Computers - A variety of keyboards are available from Apple, but you may have to install it from the Macintosh System disk then they can be activated through the International System Preferences. See details below.
See the Macintosh Keyboard Activation for complete instructions with screen captures.
See tips for creating Mac Right-to-Left documents (including alternatives to Microsoft Office) for more information.
If you have your browser configured correctly, the Web sites below should display the correct characters. If you have difficulties, see list below for font and browser configuration instructions.
Additional freeware fonts can be downloaded from the sites below. All fonts include vowel points and many include Yiddish characters.
Browsers which fully support Unicode are strongly recommended. Click link in list to view configuration instructions. You will be asked to match a script with a font.
If you see Roman character gibberish instead of Hebrew you will need to manually switch from Western encoding view to the Hebrew or Unicode encoding under the View menu of your browser.
These are the codes which allow browsers and screen readers to process data as the appropriate language. All letters in codes are lower case. If you are designing a new page, Unicode encoding is recommended since it supports the most characters.
Logical Hebrew (iso-8859-8-i) is preferred to Visual Hebrew (iso-8859-8) because it maintains the proper text flow. Visual Hebrew requires developers to input the text backward. If either Unicode or Logical Hebrew are used, then text can be inputted in sequential order and the browser will display the content from left to right.
Computers process text by assuming a certain encoding or a system of matching electronic data with visual text characters. Whenever you develop a Web site you need to make sure the proper encoding is specified in the header tags; otherwise the browser may default to U.S. settings and not display the text properly.
To declare an encoding, insert or inspect the following meta-tag at the top of your HTML file, then replace "???" with one of the encoding codes listed above. If you are not sure, use utf-8 as the encoding.
Generic Encoding Template
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=??? ">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8 ">
The final close slash must be included after the final quote mark in the encoding header tag if you are using XHTML
Declare Unicode in XHTML
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
If no encoding is declared, then the browser uses the default setting, which in the U.S. is typically Latin-1. In that case many Unicode characters could be displayed incorrectly. Also, older browsers such as Netscape 4.7 may not be able to process the entity codes correctly without the "utf-8" declaration.
Language tags are also suggested so that search engines and screen readers parse the language of a page. These are metadata tags which indicate the language of a page, not devices to trigger translation. Visit the Language Tag page to view information on where to insert it.
Some HTML editors set the direction automatically, but it can also be set manually using the new <dir> and <bdo> attributes. See the Right-to-Left Alignment tips page for more details.
One option is to use Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression or other Web editor and change the keyboard to the correct script. This will allow you to type content in directly with the appropriate script. However, it is important to verify that the correct encoding is specified in the Web page header.
Another option is to compose the basic text in an international or foreign language text editor or word processor and export the content as an HTML or text file with the appropriate encoding. This file could be opened in another HTML editor such as Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression, and edited for formatting.
For Web tools such as Blogs at Penn State, Facebook, Twitter, del.icio.us, Flicker, and others, users can typically change the keyboard and input text. In most cases, this content will be encoded as Unicode.
If you wish to input a word or short phrase, you can use Unicode entity codes. See the Hebrew Unicode Chart to view hexadecimal code points for Hebrew and other Jewish languages.
Some HTML editors set the direction of the text automatically. but it can also be set manually by using the newer <dir> and <bdo> attributes. See the Right-to-Left Alignment Tips page for more details.
In some cases, your best options may be to use PDF files or image files. See the Web Development Tips section for more details.
Includes vowel marks, Yiddish and Biblical Hebrew
Tex Texin Hebrew Articles
These Web sites provide additional information on developing Right-to-Left Pages.
Last Modified: Wednesday, 19-Dec-2012 17:22:55 EST