You'll have to forgive me, I'm completely new to TeX and know basically nothing about it. What I'm looking to do is to create vowelized and unvoweled Hebrew content to be used in HTML5.

Artscroll, in my humble opinion, has done the most incredible job of Hebrew typesetting that I've ever seen. Unfortunately, their site is down for Shabbat, so I can't fetch a image of what I'm talking about. How do major publishers like Artscroll/Mesorah typeset?

I already have the Hadassah font they use for their content, but I'm completely oblivious when it comes to TeX layout. Are there any good tutorials available for what I'm looking to do? Is there a way I can write and preview TeX content live? Can output from TeX be easily converted to scalable/resizable HTML?

  • 2
    It sounds like you want HTML so why do you want to use TeX?
    – TH.
    Apr 2, 2011 at 0:09
  • It seems to be a lot easier to write with vowelization. Writing an escape command is usually faster than looking up the character in a character map and inserting it. This guy described a really easy way to do this, but I'm unsure how to do what he's doing: bit.ly/g1yjZG Apr 2, 2011 at 0:18
  • 1
    @TKKocheran: It's not Sabbath everyday, maybe you could fetch the image you wanted anyway?
    – einpoklum
    Sep 26, 2012 at 8:51

2 Answers 2


It sounds like you want to write Hebrew using escape sequences. If so, you should check out the cjhebrew package, which has support for niqqud and also has a very good manual with instructions on its use.

Edit: Here is an example of cjhebrew's usage:


This is an example of \texttt{cjhebrew}, \<'lyhw swl.tnyq>, that is used inline.

Here is an example that also includes niqqud:

  +sUlAh +sOlAh +sab*:lUliyM b*a+s:lUliyt k*ol +sab*:lUl +s:+sOlAh +sUlAh hU' +sElAh


Screenshot of cjhebrew.

  • Nice, that definitely looks easier to do that what I've been doing. Is there support for other fonts, specifically Hadassah? If not, I'll continue working on the program I'm writing to make it possible. Apr 11, 2011 at 21:34
  • 1
    Elihayu, thumbs up for the Hebrew equivalent of "She Sells...". If anyone is curious, this reads: "Shula shola shablulim bashlulit, kol shablul she-shola shula, hu shela". Minor comment: I think, but not sure, that you need kamats katan under the kaf in "Kol", and that the first shin in "She-Shola" is with segol.
    – Yossi Gil
    Apr 12, 2011 at 6:54
  • I'm glad someone got it! "Shula is picking snails in the pond. Every snail which Shula picks is hers. Hers is every snail which Shula picks in the pond in which Shula picks snails." As for my errors in the vowels, @Yossi is probably correct; it's been a very long time since I was anywhere close to good at Hebrew!
    – ESultanik
    Apr 12, 2011 at 15:09
  • @TK cjhebrew contains its own Type1 Hebrew font. In theory, though, it should be compatible with any Hebrew Type1 font, provided the proper mapping.
    – ESultanik
    Apr 12, 2011 at 15:12
  • @ESultanik: good job. Is this your invention? Never seen this before. I also think there is a mappiq in the final He.
    – Yossi Gil
    Apr 12, 2011 at 17:27

I am not sure I understand the difficulty. If you use xelatex, polyglossia, and an appropriate font (e.g., Ezra SIL), there is no problem in producing Hebrew with Nikkud. Here is a short example, which I am sure you can expand:


   \setmainfont{Comic Sans MS}%Liberation Serif
   \setromanfont{Comic Sans MS}
   \setmonofont{DejaVu Sans Mono}
   \newfontfamily\hebrewfont[Script=Hebrew]{Ezra SIL}% or whatever
% Fix section numbering bug of Polyglossia

נאום גטיסבורג}
זהו נאום גטיסבורג המפורסם!

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, \ldots

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה הֵן עַם אֶחָד וְשָׂפָה אַחַת לְכֻלָּם וְזֶה הַחִלָּם
לַעֲשׂוֹת וְעַתָּה לֹא יִבָּצֵר מֵהֶם כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יָזְמוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת
הָבָה נֵרְדָה וְנָבְלָה שָׁם שְׂפָתָם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ אִישׁ שְׂפַת
רֵעֵהוּ וְהָאָרֶץ הָיְתָה תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ וְחֹשֶׁךְ עַל-פְּנֵי תְהוֹם!

\section{שירת ביאליק \LR{Bialik 101}}
הָיָה עֶרֶב הַקָּיִץ

וּבְנוֹת לִילִיּוֹת זַכּוֹת שׁוֹזְרוֹת מוֹזְרוֹת בַּלְּבָנָה \\
חוּטֵי כֶסֶף מַזְהִירִים,\\
וְהֵן אֹרְגוֹת כְּסוּת אַחַת לְכֹהֲנִים גְּדוֹלִים\\
וְלִמְגַדְּלֵי חֲזִירִים.

הָיָה עֶרֶב הַקָּיִץ. כָּל-הַבָּתִּים נִתְרוֹקְנוּ\\
וְנִתְמַלְאוּ הַגַּנִּים;\\
יָצָא אָדָם, כְּדַרְכּוֹ, בְּמַאֲוַיָּיו הַגְּדוֹלִים\\
לַחֲטָאָיו הַקְּטַנִּים.


Here is the output using "Ezra SIL" font, which is reasonably old fashioned, but misses a bold variant and other stuff. Output of the above

And this is the same text, typeset with the more modern looking "David CLM" font.

Same, but with David CLM instead of Ezra SIL

  • 2
    Why Comics Sans, why?
    – raphink
    Sep 26, 2012 at 9:03
  • I cried at the usage of Comic Sans as well, but a very nice solution indeed! Aug 1, 2013 at 0:41

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