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Posted by SeminaryLEPC at Jun 30, 2004 11:21:18 AM
BHS module - Hebrew characters are not clearly shown
I am using the BHS module frequently for reference to the original texts of the Old Testament. Normally, in "Sword" all non-Latin scripts for Korean, Chinese and Arabic Bible translations are clearly shown by the MS arialunicodfont - with exception of the BHS Hebrew text in that module. I can see that the massorah (vowel diacritics) are incorporated but some are not clearly visible, other letters and vowel diacrtitics seem to have a "corrupt" display. Is there anything that can be done about this? I have also installed arial32 font for special support of Hebrew and Greek character display.

I would need to consult BHS more frequently from autumn (fall) this year onwards as I will have a Bible translation team to go with me to a special part of China to launch a Bible translation project into one of China's non-Chinese ethnic minority languages. (I cannot give more details due to obvious reasons of security).- This would be real field work in a remote mountain area where these people live, and I would primarily make use of my notebook there.

But there may be other users as well here on the board who would welcome a clearer and nicer display of the Hebrew letters. I still have some MS Word version for the entire BHS Hebrew text and could make it available if needed by anyone (very clear and nice character display including the vowel diacritics!). However, text editing in the BHS mdule of SWORD does not seem to be the major problem; I think it is one of proper font display of the Hebrew characters.
Is there anyone who has some ideas?
Have a great day, and God bless from China!

Posted by Osk at Jul 1, 2004 12:14:21 AM
Re: BHS module - Hebrew characters are not clearly shown
I am using the BHS module frequently for reference to the original texts of the Old Testament. Normally, in "Sword" all non-Latin scripts for Korean, Chinese and Arabic Bible translations are clearly shown by the MS arialunicodfont - with exception of the BHS Hebrew text in that module. I can see that the massorah (vowel diacritics) are incorporated but some are not clearly visible, other letters and vowel diacrtitics seem to have a "corrupt" display. Is there anything that can be done about this? I have also installed arial32 font for special support of Hebrew and Greek character display.

You can change the font from the preferences menu. Most people who work with Biblical Hebrew would not be more comfortable using a sans serif font, like Arial Unicode MS, so I believe we set the font to SIL's new Ezra font by default, which is similar to that used in the print BHS.

In any case, changing the font will affect the display but not correct encoding errors (of which there are many in the BHS currently available). A new Hebrew text is in preparation, so you'll have to wait for that before display can be improved.

Furthermore, most of the display errors you describe will not be improved by other fonts, but are likely to be further distorted because most general purpose fonts are not capable of displaying Biblical Hebrew correctly. And even the corrected Hebrew text we are working on may not correct display in Windows completely because of rendering limitations on that platform.

Posted by SeminaryLEPC at Jul 3, 2004 6:32:39 AM
Re: BHS module - Hebrew characters are not clearly shown
Thanks for the hints. There seem to be technical/technological limitations as to what this BHS module can display on Western Window systems. Arial Unicode font is perfectly fine for Greek, Arabic, Korean and any Chinese character display of the respective sword Bible text modules.

For BHS texts, I probably would better use another GUI where these characters are clearly displayed.

Posted by Darius at Jul 3, 2004 7:13:59 AM
Re: BHS module - Hebrew characters are not clearly shown
Furthermore, most of the display errors you describe will not be improved by other fonts, but are likely to be further distorted because most general purpose fonts are not capable of displaying Biblical Hebrew correctly. And even the corrected Hebrew text we are working on may not correct display in Windows completely because of rendering limitations on that platform.


Concerning hebrew, there should be a way to change the chapter header (the one that displays the "chapter" word), as it's strange to see the english word "chapter" written in hebrew characters...

so, there are some problems with the hebrew fonts? didn't knew this... which font is better for displaying the Biblical hebrew? Ezra? I'm currently using a font I've found online, bwhebl.ttf, and it seems quite good...

Posted by SeminaryLEPC at Jul 4, 2004 12:45:51 AM
Re: BHS module - Hebrew characters are not clearly shown//To Darius
I have an MS Word file with the entire text of BHS in Hebrew where the fonts displays nicely. If ypu need it I can send it to you.
The other option is to convert this file into PDF format. There are usually no font display problems with PDF.

Thus, if I have to send Chinese, Korean, Arabic or other non-Latin texts to someone with a Western Windows system who has not installed the proper language support on his system, I would always send a PDF file. Most of my electronic texts are in this file format because they can contain mixed Latin (English) and opther non-Latin (Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Hebrew) textual portions. If you have a similar proble, consider using PDF file format.

Posted by Osk at Jul 6, 2004 12:05:44 PM
Re: BHS module - Hebrew characters are not clearly shown
Concerning hebrew, there should be a way to change the chapter header (the one that displays the "chapter" word), as it's strange to see the english word "chapter" written in hebrew characters...

so, there are some problems with the hebrew fonts? didn't knew this... which font is better for displaying the Biblical hebrew? Ezra? I'm currently using a font I've found online, bwhebl.ttf, and it seems quite good...


If you are seeing the word "Chapter" written in Hebrew characters, you have the wrong font set. This is not possible with a Unicode font. Sword uses only Unicode encodings and fonts.

You are probably using the old Ezra (SIL Ezra) rather than the new one (Ezra SIL). You can get the new version here.

The BibleWorks fonts (like bwhebl.ttf) will not only most definitely not work, but are also probably not legal to redistribute online.

Posted by Darius at Jul 10, 2004 7:05:36 PM
Re: BHS module - Hebrew characters are not clearly shown
That was the font I was using! Now this problem is gone, thanks a lot