Most letters are on phonetic equivalents, with final forms on Shift.
- to get כ type k
- to get מ type m
There are a few non-phonetic letters are, ie:
- to get א type x
- to get ע type y
Vowels are on normal vowels, with strong vowels on Shift vowels, ie:
- to get ַ type a
- to get ָ type A
- to get ֶ type e
Right-to-left is automatic, and vowels are AFTER the letter, just like in English, so to get מֶלֶך type meleK.
Shewa and dagesh can be added after letters by using " ; " and " = ". Or add them to letters by holding AltGr.
(AltGk is the Alt on the right of the space bar. On a Mac, use the Alt Option key.)
So AltGk with a vowel makes a composite shewa.
- to get בּ type b = or type AltGk+ b
Shewa, dagesh and other pointing are correctly positioned automatically, eg:
- to get בְ type b ;
- to get ךְ type K ;
Simple punctuation is on the main keyboard, ie
The Masoretes tried to eliminate ambiguity in the Hebrew Old Testament by indicating which words form phrases together and which words did or did not act on each other. In order to do this they created a complex system of punctuation.
- English has five or six ways to provide internal structure to sentences, while Masoretic Hebrew has fourteen common ways and several more rarer ones.
- English has only one way to make a compound word (using a hyphen) while Masoretic Hebrew has eight major and several rarer ways of conjoining words.
An explanation of this system is installed with the Tyndale Kit. To see the significance of these divisions see the TanakhML structure analysis, eg at http://tanakhml2.alacartejava.net/cocoon/tanakhml/d21.php2xml?sfr=1&prq=1&psq=1&lvl=99
Masoretic punctuation is on the number line when Caps Lock is turned on, eg:
- to get בֽ type b 1
- to get ב֔ type b !
This punctuation is normally omitted when quoting the Hebrew OT.
I can't remember all this!
Don't worry – use it for a little, and you'll soon be touch-typing.
Print the summary page and pin it up in front of you.
How do I copy and paste Bible texts without typing them?
You can do this in various ways, eg:
1) copy and paste from Crosswire.org
2) download the InsertBible tool
3) tell your Bible program (Accordance, Logos or BibleWorks) to export in Unicode
For example, in BibleWorks:
- click on Tools: Options: Fonts and select "Export Fonts"
- for Greek & Hebrew tick "Unicode" a choose a Unicode font such as Cardo
Right-to-left does not work in Windows XP:
Open the Control Panel for "Regional and Language Options"
(click on "Start", "Control Panels")
Click on tab "Languages"
- if there is no tick on "Install files for... right to left languages", tick it and restart the computer (you may be asked for your Windows installation discs).
Hebrew accents are not working correctly.
- Perhaps you have not turned on the Cardo font?
Cardo contains positioning data which is not available in Times New Roman and most other Unicode fonts containing Hebrew. Other good academic fonts include SIL Hebrew, SBL Hebrew, Code 2000 and TITUS.
- Perhaps you are trying to write Hebrew in Word on a Mac?
Unfortunately Word on the Mac is years behind the PC for Unicode.
Fortunately NeoOffice is as just as good (if not better), and is fairly good at Hebrew, and it is free! For flawless Hebrew use Melel.
- Perhaps you are using a non-standard keyboard (Croatian or whatever)?
Keys such as single quote may not be indicated the same - try the key at the bottom left of the Enter key.
Other keys may also need to be found by hunting round!
How do I write macros in Word to change fonts?
In Word 2003 (other versions are similar):
First make a copy of your "normal.dot" file which contains all the Word settings (just in case).
It is usually at C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR ID\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\
- click on menu "Tools", "Macro", "Record New Macro..."
- name the macro "TypeHebrew" and click on "Keyboard"
- press a shortcut keystroke, eg Alt+H and click on "Assign" then "Close"
- change the font in Word to "Cardo"
- change the keyboard by changing "EN" to "HE" (in the bottom-right language bar)
- click on menu "Tools", "Macro", "Stop recording"
Make a similar macro for Greek (Alt+G - select "EL" and Cardo)
and for Normal (ie English) (Alt+N - select "EN" and Times New Roman, or whatever you use).
Now, when you are in Word and press Arl+H you should be writing Hebrew from Right to Left,
and when you press Alt+N you go back to English.
The macros should look something like this:
Selection.Font.Name = "Cardo"
Selection.Font.Name = "Cardo"
Selection.Font.Name = "Times New Roman"
How do I insert the rare accents missing from the keyboard?
The Hebrew keyboard can’t contain all the Masoretic punctuation,
though the common punctuation is available on the top number line
when you turn on Caps Lock – use Shift to put the mark above a letter.
Punctuation which isn’t there has to be inserted manually,
- ie click on menu “Insert”, then “Symbol”, find the character and click “Insert”.
For example, the Hebrew Accent Zarqa' or ‘sinnor’ is code 05AE.
How do I move a furtive patach and other accents left or right?
The furtive patach and a few other accents should not be central, eg:
This is a little fiddly to do. First, highlight just the accent (ie the left half of the character),
then press Ctrl-D (to edit the font), click on “Character Spacing”, and set Scale at 130%.
The only font that does this automatically is SBL Hebrew.
Hebrew and Greek on my Mac insists on being Times New Roman or a Logos font!
I don't know why this happens, but if you reinstall Cardo it seems to cure it.
How do I write a diaresis?
To get a simple diaresis, type shift-hyphen before the letter.
To type a diaresis combined with an accent, type the same as you would for the accent by itself, plus shift
eg type shift with forward slash then u to get a lightly quizzical smiley.
How do I stop sigma changing to final sigma before an accent?
If you try to type type ησὴ you can get ηςὴ. This is due to an auto-correct in Word.
In Options, untick “Ordinals (1st) with superscript”
How do I stop line spacing from growing when I write Hebrew?
Set the Line Spacing to an "Exact" (ie a fixed) amount.
You can do this for individual paragraphs or styles, but if you set the "Normal" style, this should mean that everything else inherits it,
though you may wish to set footnotes to a smaller Line Spacing.
To set fixed line spacing for "Normal":
- Click on menu "Format", "Styles",
- right-click on "Normal", "Modify",
- click on "Format", "Paragraph", and set "Line spacing" to "Exactly"
- 12pt or 14pt should look good - try it and see
This setting will also fix a common problem with footnotes which sometimes don't appear on the same page as the footnote marker without setting "Exact" line spacing. I don't know why this should fix it, but it does.
How to turn Cardo into other fonts?
Cardo is free for non commercial use, but your publisher needs a licence.
If they already have a licence for other academic Greek & Hebrew, they may force you to change it.
The following macro will turn your Cardo into SIL fonts and Times New Roman.
To use this Macro,
- open Word, click on "Tools" (or "Developer"), "Macro", "Macros",
- in "Macro Name" type: Cardo2SIL
- paste the macro above "End Sub"
- in Word, open your document, click on "Tools" (or "Developer"), "Macro", "Macros",
- double-click on "Cardo2SIL"
' Sub Cardo2SIL()
Selection.Find.Replacement.Font.Name = "Times New Roman"
Selection.Find.Replacement.Font.ColorIndex = wdGreen
Selection.Find.Font.Name = "Cardo"
.Text = ""
.Replacement.Text = ""
.MatchWildcards = True
Selection.Find.Replacement.Font.Name = "Galatia SIL"
Selection.Find.Replacement.Font.ColorIndex = wdRed
.Text = "[" & ChrW(885) & "-" & ChrW(8190) & "]"
.Replacement.Text = ""
.Forward = True
.MatchWildcards = True
Selection.Find.Replacement.Font.Name = "Ezra SIL"
Selection.Find.Replacement.Font.ColorIndex = wdBlue
.Text = "[" & ChrW(1157) & "-" & ChrW(1632) & "]"
.Replacement.Text = ""
.Forward = True
.MatchWildcards = True
How do I type common transliteration characters like e or ( ?
A transliteration keyboard is included: turn on Greek and click on Caps Lock
(see the details above)
However, this doesn’t include simple things like superscript "e" and "(".
Partly I didn't include these because I don't use transliteration much, and partly because you already have them.
First, a rant about why I don't like transliteration:
Real Hebrew is written in Hebrew, or in simple transliteration such as or 'ayin (sing. 'eye') or 'eimim (dual 'eye')
- ie no superscripts or accents or curly breathings to indicate which sound you are not pronouncing.
The purpose of transliteration used to be to represent the Hebrew letters when we didn't have a Hebrew font,
or to help those who don't know how to pronounce the Hebrew,
or to quickly write some Hebrew without bothering to change font.
The first reason is no longer needed, and the other two are best done without accents and curlies.
But if you do need transliteration, (ie if your old-fashioned publisher insists),
the Transliteration font in the Tyndale Unicode kit does most things, and here is how to do other simpler things:
To write a superscript "(" without leaving the keyboard:
- press Ctrl+Shift+"="
- press "("
- press Ctrl+Shift+"=" again
If this becomes tedious, or if you want something a little more nuanced, create an auto-correct, eg:
(the following assumes you have a menu bar, which was standard upto Word 2003 and an optional extra there-after)
- make a superscript "(" as above, then highlight it and:
- click on "Format" > "Font" > "Character Spacing" tab
- change the "Scale" to "80%" (to make the curlie smaller)
- increase the "Spacing" to "1 pt" (to increase the gap before the next character)
- and increase the "Position" to "1 pt" (to increase the vertical position)
- click OK and see it if is as you want it. If it isn't, adjust some more.
- highlight your perfect curlie and click on Tools > Auto-correct options
- in "Replace" type ".("
- select "Formatted text" instead of "Plain text" and click OK
From now on, whenever you type ".(" it turns into your perfect curlie.
You can do this for a whole bunch of different characters.
I can’t see the Language Bar (the EL or EN etc) in Win.XP
This happens sometimes, the the following may fix it.
Go to Control panel>Regional and Language Options>Languages>Details
- you should see that the EL and HE fonts are installed. If they aren’t, re-run the installation.
In the Details tab, click on "Language Bar" - make sure "Show the Language bar..." is ticked.
Now untick it.
Now click on "Langauge Bar" again" and tick "Show the Language bar..." AND tick "Show text labels on the Language bar"
If you still can't see it, right-click near the Task Manager (on the bottom-right of the screen by default)
till you get the option for "Toolbar", and tick "Language bar"
Nomina Sacra in Unicode:
Use Unicode char 0305 (recommended by SBL)
- this is typed after a letter, but in some fonts it looks better if you also add a preceding char
̅θ̅ς̅ = θεος
̅ι̅η̅λ̅ = ισραηλ
̅υ̅ς̅ = υιος
̅χ̅ς̅ = χριστος
θ̅ς̅ = Cardo
θ̅ς̅ = Times New Roman
θ̅ς̅ = Arial
θ̅ς̅ = Tahoma
θ̅ς̅ = SBL Greek
To type it, change to TH Greek keyboard, and
1) type the letter (eg "a" for α)
2) press Alt-Gr (to the right of the space bar) with "-" (the hyphen key)
3) press any other key – ie the next letter or space
Special Text Cricial Symbols:
There are a few symbols which are available in the latest copy of Cardo from
If you already have the font you should be able to see an ornate P here: 𝔓
You may not see them in the Symbol Insert tool in Word because their number is
higher than Hex FFFF, so enter them manually, ie:
eg to insert the Majority Text symbol:
hold down Alt and type “120080″ (all on the number pad) then let go of Alt
(remember to use the + on the number pad)
Papyrus symbol = 120083
Septuagint, Greek Old Testament = 120086
Lectionary symbol = 119897
Some symbols for textual criticism aren’t available on any free Unicode font I know of.
(Even the SIL Apparatus font doesn’t have the Gothic M etc for OT TC)
The best commercial fonts are probably those from Linguist Software.
The only free alternative I know of is the non-Unicode font Garys.ttf from CSNTM
but even that isn’t perfect. I think it is time for OT TC to move on and use MT, LXX, and SP.
Why do I get a curly circumflex instead of a rounded one?
Originally the Greek circumflex was a combined acute + grave, ie
nóòs → nóùs → noûs or noũs
The two forms of the accent ( ^ or ~ ) are a matter of style or taste.
Cardo (which is installed with the Tyndale Unicode keyboard) has the style ~
like most Greek fonts. Galaxie Unicode Greek has a rounded ^
So, if you like that style, you could use that font instead of Cardo.
are a few symbols which are available in the latest copy of Cardo from
How can I make nice dots under Greek to indicate uncertain characters?
The dot-under character is on the top left of most keyboards. Try this:
Change to the Tyndale Keyboard, then type "a" and Shift+"¬"
(ie press Shift + the key to the left of "1" in the top row)
You should get α̣
This works fine for characters that don't have a descender but not with eg γ̣
To make it look better, try using New Athena font (from http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/New-Athena-Unicode)
This makes all the characters look good on printout, (though on the screen it still doesn't look perfect).