When I compile my Hebrew document with XeTeX, the resulting PDF displays correctly with the right directionality. However, when I try to search, I have to search the term backwards in order for it to find. For example, if I have אבגד (abcd) I won't find it as is, but I will find it if I search for דגבא (dcba).

Is there any way to make the direction of the PDF search correspond to the text direction?

  • 2
    With the software you're using to view the PDF, are you able to search other Hebrew PDFs successfully? Or, is this the only document which causes you problems?
    – Aces
    Oct 2, 2016 at 12:56
  • Hi Guy, I think this issue is related to your pdf viewer. when i compile and use sumatra PDF as my viewer i get the same problem, but with acrobat reader, it is seems to be fine
    – Udi Fogiel
    Sep 15, 2022 at 1:25

1 Answer 1


I hesitate to post an "It's-working-for-me" reply as an "answer", but it might provoke a refinement of OP's issue, if nothing else.

Here is something like a "MWE", using TeXstudio 2.10.8 on a Mac (early 2015) with TL 2015 installed:

%!TEX TS-program = xelatex
%!TEX encoding = UTF-8 Unicode


\setmainfont{TeX Gyre Pagella}

\newfontfamily{\Hb}{SBL Hebrew}


\title{Very Trying}


For some time now I have thought about trying to get, {\RL{\Hb מי יודע}}, RTL mixed in, for example, and distinct RTL in my LTR text:\\

{\Hb מי כהחכם ומי יודע פשׁר דבר}\\

This is  typeset by \textsf{bidi} package, version \bidiversion, \bididate.


A search of the PDF (using Preview) works exactly as expected:


FWIW. (The Hebrew font referenced is SBL Hebrew.)

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