The Unicode Bidirectional algorithm mandates that the glyph for the character "left parenthesis" (and many others) be inverted when displaying text in RTL direction.

However I am trying to typeset in ConTeXt a text in hebrew and parentheses appear incorrectly, )like this(. What can I do to invert them in the typesetting engine (I mean, without having to change the characters in the original text)? This question was asked before, but for LaTeX and XeLaTeX. I would need a solution for ConTeXt Mark IV

I attach a minimal working example:

\definefont[hebrewfont][arial at 12 pt]
\textdir TRT
שלום (אני) כותב\\
  • Are you asking "Why doesn't this work as expected" or "How can I get it to typeset what I need, given how it works"?
    – einpoklum
    Aug 30, 2013 at 15:41
  • @einpoklum Good question, I'd like to know "how I can get it to typeset what I need, given how it works".
    – Ralph
    Aug 30, 2013 at 16:56
  • There are some examples for bidirectional typesetting at the end of typo-dir.mkiv. Btw. \enableregime is unnecessary and should be removed. Aug 30, 2013 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


The proper, high level, commands for setting text direction in ConTeXt are \setupalign and \setupdirections (they are “experimental” though).

\definefont[hebrewfont][dejavusans at 12 pt]
שלום (אני) כותב\\

For my personal work I use the context-bidi module (wrote myself, even more experimental).

  • How do install the cotext-bidi module you mentioned above, when using Tex Live 2015 ?
    – Ibn Saeed
    Jan 18, 2016 at 7:16

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