I am using babel to typeset a book with English as the main language and Arabic as the second language. I want to have the title ant the author written in both English and Arabic. However, the author looks really weird.

The English is supposed to be on the left and the Arabic is supposed to be on the right. Furthermore, why are the letters in the opposite order? Here is a minimal working example:


\babelprovide[main, import]{english}
\babelprovide[onchar = ids fonts]{arabic}
\babelfont{rm}[Ligatures = TeX]{STIX Two Text}
\babelfont[arabic]{rm}[Renderer = HarfBuzz, Scale = MatchLowercase]{Kitab}

\title{Title لقب}
\author{Author مؤلف}

  • Changing bidi=basic to bidi=bidi-l almost works, but it breaks sectioning. (As of January 2023.)
    – Davislor
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 15:24
  • @JavierBezos, do you know what’s going on with \author in bidireectional documents?
    – Davislor
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 15:26
  • 2
    @Davislor Yes, there is a tabular, which enters in math mode. This MWE works fine in TeXLive 2021, so it’s a recent bug, which can be reproduced with \begin{tabular}[t]{c} Author مؤلف \end{tabular}. As a workaround, use a couple of boxes: \mbox{Author} \mbox{مؤلف} . Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 16:34
  • @JavierBezos Also with \begin{tabular}[t]{c|} Author مؤلف \end{tabular} the vrule appear on the left of the text.
    – Salim Bou
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 16:45
  • Yeah, I forgot to mention that I only noticed this bug after updating from TeXLive 2021 to TeXLive 2022. The \mbox{} workaround works for me.
    – Amarakon
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


With babel version 3.85 Javier Bezos added a solution to this issue, just update your distribution

enter image description here

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