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Greek and Hebrew Fonts: Potential Problems

A short guide to typing Greek and Hebrew characters

ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ׃

Library Assistant For Reference and Technical Services

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David Richards
14542 Choate Circle
Charlotte, NC 28273

Copy and Paste Issues

Font Direction: Unicode Hebrew follows a natural “right-to-left” word order, so your cursor will act “funny” when using Unicode Hebrew.

  • Type your English text first, leaving a two-space gap _ _ where you want to insert Hebrew. Then paste the Hebrew text between the two spaces _ אֱלֹהִים _ . You may need to delete a space before or after a word.

Leftover Code: Sometimes (especially when copying from an online resource) there are hyperlinks or formatting that will be copied along with the text, and you do not want that extra code in your paper.

  • Copy the text from the website, and then paste it into a simple text editor (like Notepad). Then copy and paste the text from the text editor and paste that into your word processor. (In Microsoft Word, you can paste text only.)

A "Word" about Macs...

Vocalized Unicode Hebrew does not work well in Microsoft Word on a Mac. There are a few workarounds:

  • Copy and paste Hebrew text into PowerPoint and then copy and paste from PowerPoint into Word.
  • Do not use vocalized text (just copy or type consonants). Bible software packages like Logos and Accordance allow you to strip your text of vocalization when you copy and paste. Also, typically when writing, it is acceptable to use the consonantal text unless you are discussing specific issues of vocalization, morphology, sound, etc.
  • Use a different word processor (e.g., Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, Pages (v.5+), LibreOffice (v5+), TextEdit.