About

{right-to-left} is about authoring and compiling Right-to-Left (RTL) content with (La)TeX. English and other European languages are written Left-to-Right (LTR), i.e. the first character is on the left edge of the line and the text progresses rightwards. In Farsi, Hebrew, Arabic and other languages - it's the other way around.

In many software environments, implicit assumptions are made about the LTR nature of text and typeset contents, some more obvious and others quite subtle; TeX and friends are no different. This is addressed to some extent by the typesetting engine itself (e.g. using eTeX or XeTeX instead of plain old TeX), and to some extent by macro frameworks or packages (such as babel for LaTeX and polyglossia and bidi for XeTeX). The communities of users and TeXnicians concerned with such content is much much smaller than the general crowd, thus bugs and mis-features aboud, at times not even noticed by LTR-minded developers.

Use this tag for issues such as:

  • Getting Right-to-Left typesetting to work with your distribution (independently of the language you use).
  • Issues with spacing, alignment and line-breaking in RTL paragraphs.
  • Issues with margins, page layout and page order for RTL documents.
  • Compatibility issues for various packages while in RTL mode.
  • Apparent issues with RTL-related packages themselves; in these cases use the package name as a tag, e.g. {babel} or {polyglossia}
  • Apparent issues with typesetting engines (e.g. XeTeX as opposed to one of the packages) when typesetting RTL text.
  • Typesetting conventions and best practices common to RTL material in any relevant language, as opposed to LTR material.
  • RTL-aware and RTL-capable TeX authoring tools and environments.
  • Documentation regarding any and all of the above - or lack of it

Do not use this tag for issues which are purely language-specific, e.g. problems using an Arabic font. Use {arabic}, {hebrew}, {farsi} etc for these. Of course, many issues are both {right-to-left}-relevant and language-specific.

Some relevant reading:

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