My ultimate goal is to create a beamer presentation in Hebrew. While toying with things, I got stuck with an error:

! Package etoolbox Error: Toggle 'Hebrew@RL' undefined.

which is thrown on the line


On the following code:





How can I create a Hebrew beamer presentation then? Or even, how can I create a Hebrew LaTeX output?



Based on egreg's remark, I have edited my code (I can compile it in non-beamer format):



\setmainfont{David CLM}
\newfontfamily\hebrewfont{David CLM}




Now I get an error:

! Package polyglossia Error:  The current roman font does not contain the Hebrew script! Please define \hebrewfont with \newfontfamily.

See the polyglossia package documentation for explanation. Type  H <return>  for immediate help.  ...                                    

                                                   l.2 \select@language {hebrew}

David CLM however is a Hebrew font. How can I overcome this?


Following Alan's answer, I have added

\setsansfont{David CLM}

And now I get a blank document and some Warnings are printed:

** WARNING ** Tried to end an annotation without starting one!  
** WARNING ** Interpreting special command eann (pdf:) failed.  
** WARNING ** >> at page="1" position="(2.83482, 1.99252)" (in PDF)  
** WARNING ** >> xxx "pdf:eann"  
** WARNING ** Can't begin an annotation when one is pending.  
** WARNING ** Interpreting special command bann (pdf:) failed.  
** WARNING ** >> at page="1" position="(24.1549, 1.99252)" (in PDF)  
** WARNING ** >> xxx "pdf:bann<</Type/Annot/Subtype/Link/Border[0 0 0]/C[.5 .5 .5]..."  
** WARNING ** >> Reading special command stopped around >>   <</Type/Annot/Subtype/Link/Border[0 0 0]/C[.5 .5 .5]/A<</S/G...<<  
** WARNING ** Tried to end an annotation without starting one!  
** WARNING ** Interpreting special command eann (pdf:) failed.  
** WARNING ** >> at page="1" position="(115.413, 1.99252)" (in PDF)  
** WARNING ** >> xxx "pdf:eann"  
** WARNING ** Can't begin an annotation when one is pending.  
** WARNING ** Interpreting special command bann (pdf:) failed.  
** WARNING ** >> at page="1" position="(123.383, 1.99252)" (in PDF)  
** WARNING ** >> xxx "pdf:bann<</Type/Annot/Subtype/Link/Border[0 0 0]/C[.5 .55.5]..."  
** WARNING ** >> Reading special command stopped around >>  <</Type/Annot/Subtype/Link/Border[0 0 0]/C[.5 .5 .5]/A<</S/G...<<  

I get the same result even if the slide is in English

Edit: I have created a new file (mv the old file into a new name) and compiled with the same result. Here is the File :

 *File List*
  beamer.cls    2011/09/12 development version 3.12 A class for typesetting pre
sentations (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbasercs.sty    2011/09/21 (rcs-revision 42a2c9debdc3)
beamerbasemodes.sty    2010/05/01 (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbasedecode.sty    2010/05/01 (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
   ifpdf.sty    2011/01/30 v2.3 Provides the ifpdf switch (HO)
beamerbaseoptions.sty    2010/04/27 (rcs-revision 982469101dd6)
  keyval.sty    1999/03/16 v1.13 key=value parser (DPC)
geometry.sty    2010/09/12 v5.6 Page Geometry
  ifvtex.sty    2010/03/01 v1.5 Switches for detecting VTeX and its modes (HO)
 ifxetex.sty    2010/09/12 v0.6 Provides ifxetex conditional
  size11.clo    2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX file (size option)
 pgfcore.sty    2010/04/11 v2.10 (rcs-revision 1.7)
graphicx.sty    1999/02/16 v1.0f Enhanced LaTeX Graphics (DPC,SPQR)
graphics.sty    2009/02/05 v1.0o Standard LaTeX Graphics (DPC,SPQR)
    trig.sty    1999/03/16 v1.09 sin cos tan (DPC)
graphics.cfg    2010/04/23 v1.9 graphics configuration of TeX Live
   xetex.def    2009/11/22 v0.94 LaTeX color/graphics driver for XeTeX (RRM/JK)

  pgfsys.sty    2010/06/30 v2.10 (rcs-revision 1.37)
  pgfrcs.sty    2010/10/25 v2.10 (rcs-revision 1.24)
everyshi.sty    2001/05/15 v3.00 EveryShipout Package (MS)
pgfsyssoftpath.code.tex    2008/07/18  (rcs-revision 1.7)
pgfsysprotocol.code.tex    2006/10/16  (rcs-revision 1.4)
  xcolor.sty    2007/01/21 v2.11 LaTeX color extensions (UK)
   color.cfg    2007/01/18 v1.5 color configuration of teTeX/TeXLive
 xxcolor.sty    2003/10/24 ver 0.1
hyperref.sty    2011/11/21 v6.82l Hypertext links for LaTeX
hobsub-hyperref.sty    2011/04/23 v1.4 Bundle oberdiek, subset hyperref (HO)
hobsub-generic.sty    2011/04/23 v1.4 Bundle oberdiek, subset generic (HO)
  hobsub.sty    2011/04/23 v1.4 Subsetting bundle oberdiek (HO)
infwarerr.sty    2010/04/08 v1.3 Providing info/warning/message (HO)
 ltxcmds.sty    2011/04/18 v1.20 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO)
ifluatex.sty    2010/03/01 v1.3 Provides the ifluatex switch (HO)
 intcalc.sty    2007/09/27 v1.1 Expandable integer calculations (HO)
etexcmds.sty    2011/02/16 v1.5 Prefix for e-TeX command names (HO)
kvsetkeys.sty    2011/04/07 v1.13 Key value parser (HO)
kvdefinekeys.sty    2011/04/07 v1.3 Defining keys (HO)
pdftexcmds.sty    2011/04/22 v0.16 Utilities of pdfTeX for LuaTeX (HO)
pdfescape.sty    2011/04/04 v1.12 Provides string conversions (HO)
bigintcalc.sty    2011/01/30 v1.2 Expandable big integer calculations (HO)
  bitset.sty    2011/01/30 v1.1 Data type bit set (HO)
uniquecounter.sty    2011/01/30 v1.2 Provides unlimited unique counter (HO)
letltxmacro.sty    2010/09/02 v1.4 Let assignment for LaTeX macros (HO)
 hopatch.sty    2011/01/30 v1.0 Wrapper for package hooks (HO)
xcolor-patch.sty    2011/01/30 xcolor patch
atveryend.sty    2011/04/23 v1.7 Hooks at very end of document (HO)
atbegshi.sty    2011/01/30 v1.15 At begin shipout hook (HO)
refcount.sty    2010/12/01 v3.2 Data extraction from references (HO)
 hycolor.sty    2011/01/30 v1.7 Color options of hyperref/bookmark (HO)
kvoptions.sty    2010/12/23 v3.10 Keyval support for LaTeX options (HO)
  pd1enc.def    2011/11/21 v6.82l Hyperref: PDFDocEncoding definition (HO)
hyperref.cfg    2008/07/11 v1.2 hyperref configuration for XeLaTeX
     url.sty    2006/04/12  ver 3.3  Verb mode for urls, etc.
  hxetex.def    2011/11/21 v6.82l Hyperref driver for XeTeX
   puenc.def    2011/11/21 v6.82l Hyperref: PDF Unicode definition (HO)
stringenc.sty    2010/03/01 v1.8 Converts strings between encodings (HO)
rerunfilecheck.sty    2011/04/15 v1.7 Rerun checks for auxiliary files (HO)
se-ascii-print.def    2010/03/01 v1.8 stringenc: Printable ASCII characters
beamerbaserequires.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbasecompatibility.sty    2010/07/12  (rcs-revision 6648c3177e4e)
beamerbasefont.sty    2010/10/26  (rcs-revision f39336aafb3c)
 amssymb.sty    2009/06/22 v3.00
amsfonts.sty    2009/06/22 v3.00 Basic AMSFonts support
beamerbasetranslator.sty    2010/06/11  (rcs-revision 85fd1cc7fc42)
translator.sty    2010/06/12 ver 1.10
beamerbasemisc.sty    2010/06/06  (rcs-revision bff0a9294b45)
beamerbasetwoscreens.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbaseoverlay.sty    2011/09/12  (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbasetitle.sty    2010/09/21  (rcs-revision f0446ed0b6ae)
beamerbasesection.sty    2010/08/29  (rcs-revision e07e85b4cd4a)
beamerbaseframe.sty    2011/09/12  (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbaseverbatim.sty    2011/09/12  (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbaseframesize.sty    2011/09/12  (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbaseframecomponents.sty    2011/09/12  (rcs-revision 70f9d8411e54)
beamerbasecolor.sty    2010/06/06  (rcs-revision d1a9b48be06d)
beamerbasenotes.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbasetoc.sty    2010/06/11  (rcs-revision 242ecaa6783b)
beamerbasetemplates.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbaseauxtemplates.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbaseboxes.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbaselocalstructure.sty    2010/09/19  (rcs-revision 9224c5f3ce70)
enumerate.sty    1999/03/05 v3.00 enumerate extensions (DPC)
beamerbasenavigation.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerbasetheorems.sty    2010/06/06  (rcs-revision 7e7cc5e53e9d)
 amsmath.sty    2000/07/18 v2.13 AMS math features
 amstext.sty    2000/06/29 v2.01
  amsgen.sty    1999/11/30 v2.0
  amsbsy.sty    1999/11/29 v1.2d
  amsopn.sty    1999/12/14 v2.01 operator names
  amsthm.sty    2009/07/02 v2.20.1
beamerbasethemes.sty    2010/05/01  (rcs-revision efa082c6111d)
beamerthemedefault.sty    2010/06/17  (rcs-revision d02a7cf4d8ae)
beamerfontthemedefault.sty    2010/06/17  (rcs-revision d02a7cf4d8ae)
beamercolorthemedefault.sty    2010/06/17  (rcs-revision d02a7cf4d8ae)
beamerinnerthemedefault.sty    2010/06/17  (rcs-revision d02a7cf4d8ae)
beamerouterthemedefault.sty    2010/06/17  (rcs-revision d02a7cf4d8ae)
fontspec.sty    2011/09/18 v2.2a Advanced font selection for XeLaTeX/LuaLaTeX
   expl3.sty    2011/11/19 v2966 L3 Experimental code bundle wrapper
 l3names.sty    2011/11/11 v2944 L3 Experimental namespace for primitives
l3bootstrap.sty    2011/09/10 v2798 L3 Experimental bootstrap code
    etex.sty    1998/03/26 v2.0 eTeX basic definition package (PEB)
    calc.sty    2007/08/22 v4.3 Infix arithmetic (KKT,FJ)
l3basics.sty    2011/10/15 v2915 L3 Experimental basic definitions
 l3expan.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental argument expansion
    l3tl.sty    2011/10/22 v2929 L3 Experimental token lists
   l3seq.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental sequences and stacks
   l3int.sty    2011/10/22 v2928 L3 Experimental integers
 l3quark.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental quarks
   l3prg.sty    2011/10/15 v2915 L3 Experimental control structures
 l3clist.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental comma separated lists
 l3token.sty    2011/10/22 v2931 L3 Experimental token manipulation
  l3prop.sty    2011/09/17 v2839 L3 Experimental property lists
   l3msg.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental messages
    l3io.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental input-output operations
  l3file.sty    2011/10/09 v2896 L3 Experimental file operations
  l3skip.sty    2011/11/14 v2959 L3 Experimental dimensions and skips
  l3keys.sty    2011/09/10 v2800 L3 Experimental key-value interfaces
    l3fp.sty    2011/09/26 v2857 L3 Experimental floating-point operations
   l3box.sty    2011/11/15 v2960 L3 Experimental boxes
l3coffins.sty    2011/11/15 v2963 L3 Experimental coffin code layer
 l3color.sty    2011/09/07 v2776 L3 Experimental colour support
l3luatex.sty    2011/09/10 v2798 L3 Experimental LuaTeX-specific functions
  xparse.sty    2011/11/19 v2966 L3 Experimental document command parser
fontspec-patches.sty    2011/09/18 v2.2a Advanced font selection for XeLaTeX/Lu
fixltx2e.sty    2006/09/13 v1.1m fixes to LaTeX
fontspec-xetex.sty    2011/09/18 v2.2a Advanced font selection for XeLaTeX/LuaL
  eu1enc.def    2010/05/27 v0.1h Experimental Unicode font encodings
  eu1lmr.fd    2009/10/30 v1.6 Font defs for Latin Modern
xunicode.sty    2011/09/09 v0.981 provides access to latin accents and many oth
er characters in Unicode lower plane
 eu1lmss.fd    2009/10/30 v1.6 Font defs for Latin Modern
polyglossia.sty    2011/10/12 v1.2.0cc Babel replacement for XeLaTeX
etoolbox.sty    2011/01/03 v2.1 e-TeX tools for LaTeX
makecmds.sty    2009/09/03 v1.0a extra command making commands
 xkeyval.sty    2008/08/13 v2.6a package option processing (HA)
 xkeyval.tex    2008/08/13 v2.6a key=value parser (HA)
    bidi.sty    2012/01/01 v11.150 Bidirectional typesetting in plain TeX and L
   iftex.sty    2010/07/25 v0.2 Provides if(tex) conditional for PDFTeX, XeTeX,
 and LuaTeX
biditools.sty    2012/01/01 v0.1 Programming tools for bidi package
xetex-bidi.def    2012/01/01 v1.0.1 bidi adaptations for XeTeX engine
footnote-xetex-bidi.def    2010/07/25 v0.5 bidi footnote macros for XeTeX engin
amsmath-xetex-bidi.def    2010/07/25 v0.2 bidi adaptations for amsmath package 
for XeTeX engine
amsthm-xetex-bidi.def    2010/07/25 v0.1 bidi adaptations for amsthm package fo
r XeTeX engine
color-xetex-bidi.def    2010/07/25 v0.1 bidi adaptations for color package for 
XeTeX engine
xcolor-xetex-bidi.def    2010/07/25 v0.1 bidi adaptations for xcolor package fo
r XeTeX engine
graphicx-xetex-bidi.def    2012/01/01 v0.4 bidi adaptations for graphicx packag
e for XeTeX engine
hyperref-xetex-bidi.def    2012/01/01 v0.5 bidi adaptations for hyperref packag
e for XeTeX engine
loadingorder-bidi.def    2012/01/01 v0.8a making sure that bidi is the last pac
kage loaded
gloss-hebrew.ldf    polyglossia: module for hebrew
hebrewcal.sty    2008/07/01 v2.4 Hebrew calendar for polyglossia (adapted from 
hebcal.sty in Babel)
babel-hebrewalph.def    2010/03/02 Babel definitions for Hebrew numerals
 Adapted from hebrew.ldf (2005/03/30 v2.3h)
   t3cmr.fd    2001/12/31 TIPA font definitions
 nameref.sty    2010/04/30 v2.40 Cross-referencing by name of section
gettitlestring.sty    2010/12/03 v1.4 Cleanup title references (HO)

Off to bed, be back tomorrow.

  • 1
    You should use \setmainlanguage{hebrew} (with lowercase letters) and specify a main font. However, I don't get any error from the example. If in your document the error persists, try adding \listfiles to your example and show here the result, you'll find the files read in marked in the log file by "File list".
    – egreg
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 22:59
  • You have many packages out of date, especially beamer and most of the ltx3 packages that are used by fontspec. If possible, you need to update all your packages.
    – Alan Munn
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 3:05
  • @AlanMunn: I am using this on Arch linux which doesn't find any updates...
    – Yotam
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 9:32
  • 1
    Actually, this is not the source of your problem, as I've been able to reproduce it with newer packages. The real problem is that bidi (which is called by polyglossia if you set the main language to hebrew) is incompatible with beamer.
    – Alan Munn
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 13:18

4 Answers 4


The simple answer to your question is that you can't use beamer with bidi (which is loaded by polyglossia whenever you set a Right-to-Left language such as Hebrew or Arabic.)

See Beamer XeTeX Right to Left for some discussion.

As an aside, Beamer uses a sans serif font by default, but fontspec's \setmainfont sets the Roman font. Changing

\setmainfont{David CLM}


\setsansfont{David CLM}

will allow beamer to use the Hebrew font, but without RTL support, this isn't really useful.

The bidi package provides a bidipresentation class, but this is extremely simple, and offers none of the functionality that beamer offers.

Unfortunately this seems to be the current state of affairs. But both bidi and beamer are complex packages, so getting them to work together is likely not trivial.


LuaLaTeX+Babel+Beamer+Metropolis work quite well for making Hebrew presentations: post, presentation, source.

I hope this will work out for you :-)


You’re using polyglossia, but you have to declare:


and maybe:


if you’re setting the whole document in Hebrew. You don’t need to call the bidi package.

  • I tried this without any results
    – Yotam
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 10:17
  • Did you try this? It yields exactly the output that Yotam describes.
    – Alan Munn
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 13:20
  • The bidi package is loaded automatically when you specify a RTL language using \setmainlanguage or \setotherlanguage. Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 12:46

Here is something due to Ronen Abarbanel that I found on the net (Take a look here). Ronen's shows also the output PDF file, which seems to be aligned correctly. Unfortunately, trying his input file with recent TeXlive does not produce the same output, the main difference being that the Hebrew itemized text is aligned to the left rather than to the right.

I enclose a somewhat shorter version. Take note that it uses bidi, and fontspec (producing some warnings in the PDF file). But, if you try to add polyglossia, and \semainlanguage{hebrew}, it would fail.

\setmainfont{Times New Roman}
\setsansfont{Times New Roman}



\title{\RL{מצגת דוגמא בעברית שנוצרה באמצעות beamer}}
\author{\RL{רונן אברבנאל}}



\hsubsection{מבט על beamer}

  \hframetitle{תכונות של המחלקה בימר}
  \item<1->  מחלקת LaTeX רגילה.
  \item<2-> מעברים קצת בעייתיים.
  \item<3-> לא דרושה תוכנה חיצונית.      

\begin{hclaim}[עברית ב-Beamer]
העברית ב-\LaTeX-Beamer סבירה למדי.
ואפשר גם לכתוב טקסט מחוץ לבלוק.


Also, take a look at Vafa Khalighi's approach.

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