Typesetting Hebrew with TEX

City University of New York

Abstract: I'd like to discuss a new system for typesetting Hebrew with TEX, in the context not so much of Hebrew but of how you get TEX to cope with the intricicies of a non-Latin alphabet. From a TEXnical point of view, Hebrew is a language in which some letters have special forms for word-endings only, which has certain sounds which don't appear in English, and in which vowels which appear as diacritical marks. The challenge with these vowels is that they must be centered not with respect to the geometric center of the character, but with respect to a visual center which varies from character to character (and from font to font). TEX can be persuaded to deal with all these issues, and the hope is that these methods can be adapted to other non-Latin alphabets.