Typesetting my chemistry thesis using mhchem, I make semi-frequent use of the option to escape to text mode using {}, especially to typeset hyphens in the midst of chemistry like in the following way: \ce{6{-}Me}. The output should be:


However, after the addition of a word in Hebrew, this broke. The new output is:

6 Me-

Is there any way I can fix this?

My version of the mhchem package is 4.04, distributed via TexLive, Ubuntu software sources. A minimal working example is attached. I’m using XeLaTeX.


\setotherlanguage{hebrew} % <-- comment out this line for correct output.

  • I tried your example and it works as expected, both with and without \setotherlanguage{hebrew}. What LaTeX engine do you use? Nov 21, 2016 at 1:07
  • @EricDomenjoud Funny, I forgot to mention it. XeLaTeX
    – Jan
    Nov 21, 2016 at 1:09
  • This is XeTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-0.99992 (TeX Live 2015/Debian) (preloaded format=xelatex 2016.9.27)
    – Jan
    Nov 21, 2016 at 1:19
  • I use XeTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-0.99996 (TeX Live 2016) and in both cases, I get 6-Me. However, I get a warning from polyglossia which says "No hyphenation patterns were loaded for `Hebrew'. I will use \language=\l@nohyphenation instead".Perhaps I am missing something. Nov 21, 2016 at 2:35
  • @EricDomenjoud Just to confirm: You are using version 4.04 of mhchem, too? Since the current one on CTAN is 4.05.
    – Jan
    Nov 21, 2016 at 2:38

1 Answer 1


Updating mhchem to the newest version had no effect.

However, updating bidi put the hyphen back into the correct position. My former bidi was 19.something, the current version is 20.something.

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