# Using — to produce Kav Mafrid (Hebrew dash) in XeLaTeX

I am using XeLaTeX + polyglossia for Hebrew typesetting. Recently I have encountered an issue with producing dashes (Kav Mafrid, in Hebrew) in Hebrew texts. The issue arises when I am using newfontfamily instead of setmainfont.

To be more precise, here is an example. When I am using setmainfont, the following code

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\setmainfont{David CLM}
\setsansfont{Simple CLM}
\setmonofont{Miriam Mono CLM}
\usepackage{polyglossia}
\setdefaultlanguage{hebrew}
\begin{document}
קו -- מפריד.
\end{document}


produces the right output:

However, the compilation in that case is very slow (I have no idea why, but it runs xelatex 6 times), and I have issues including Latin characters with accents inside Hebrew paragraphs (see this question).

The better practice is, perhaps, to use newfontfamily. In that case, this is the code:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\newfontfamily\hebrewfont[Script=Hebrew]{David CLM}
\newfontfamily\hebrewfonttt[Script=Hebrew]{Miriam Mono CLM}
\newfontfamily\hebrewfontsf[Script=Hebrew]{Simple CLM}
\usepackage{polyglossia}
\setdefaultlanguage{hebrew}
\begin{document}
קו -- מפריד.
\end{document}


In that case, the compilation is very quick (only a single call to xelatex), and some issues with Latin characters are solved, but the output is the following:

Any idea what I can do to fix this behaviour?

Just add Ligatures=TeX to your fontfamily options.
• Ligatures=TeX is enabled by default with recent versions of fontspec. – egreg Dec 18 '15 at 12:49
• I have added \defaultfontfeatures{Ligatures=TeX} just after loading fontspec, and it did the job. Thanks! – Bach Dec 18 '15 at 12:50