I am new to LaTeX and am trying to create a long document with three interlinear lines:

  • top row - Hebrew (note: this is a right-to-left language)
  • middle row - transliteration of the Hebrew
  • bottom row - English translation.

Here is what the output would approximately look like:

    שלום   קוראים  לי    דוד
    david   li  korim   shalom
    David   my name is   Hello

I've read that ExPeX and/or polyglossia could be helpful, but I'm at a loss for how to even get started with all this. I would appreciate example code of:

  1. how to properly code the interlinear and make it work with Hebrew,
  2. how to make Hebrew text show up in the output (I currently can't even get Hebrew text to show up in the PDF after QuickBuild).
  3. how to use different Hebrew fonts.
  • If I had to do it I'd use babel package and write the sentence in a tabular so that reach part of speech is in its own cell
    – Elad Den
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 21:30
  • I strongly recommend using XeLaTeX and polyglossia instead of PDFLaTeX for typesetting Hebrew - this should solve problem 3.
    – Christian
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 21:40
  • @ Elad Den - would you kindly post some example code to show me what you mean?
    – AML
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 2:53

1 Answer 1


Based on an example from the ExPex documentation I came up with the following code using XeLaTeX which produces more or less what you asked for. If the main language of your document is English, you might want to change \setmainlanguage{hebrew} to \setmainlanguage{english} and \setotherlanguage{english} to \setotherlanguage{hebrew}. In this case the \textenglish command is not needed but you should enclose the Hebrew words by a \texthebrew command.

If you want to use different Hebrew fonts, you have to change the \newfontfamily commands accordingly. I used the Hebrew fonts I have installed on my computer.


\newfontfamily\hebrewfont[Script=Hebrew]{David CLM}
\newfontfamily\hebrewfonttt[Script=Hebrew]{Miriam Mono CLM}
\newfontfamily\hebrewfontsf[Script=Hebrew]{Simple CLM}

  \gla שלום קוראים לי דוד //
  \glb \textenglish{shalom} \textenglish{korim}  \textenglish{li} \textenglish{david}//
  \glc \textenglish{Hello}  \textenglish{name is}  \textenglish{my} \textenglish{David}//


This code produces the following output:

enter image description here

Please note that this code has to be compiled with XeLaTex (and not with pdfLaTeX).

  • This is very close, thank you. To follow up, first, what do I need to do to the Hebrew line (\gla ...) in order to make "קוראים לי/korim li/my name is" all line up as one block? Second, how do I get those three scripts that you used? I don't have them apparently, so I changed them to Times New Roman in order to see the Hebrew.
    – AML
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 2:00
  • I seemed to have fixed my first problem by simply adding {} around קוראים לי and by also combining 'korim li' in the \glb row, and 'my name is' in the \glc row. Any input on the fonts (while still being able to use XeLaTex) would be great.
    – AML
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 3:14
  • I think these fonts are part of the culmus fonts package. How to install them depends on the operating system.
    – Christian
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 8:25
  • One of the advantages of Xe(La)tex is the possibility of using system fonts and not only special LaTeX fonts.
    – Christian
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 10:16

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