[texhax] Hebrew fonts with XeLaTeX

Joel C. Salomon joelcsalomon at gmail.com
Sun Feb 27 18:18:11 CET 2011

On 02/27/2011 09:30 AM, Moshe Kamensky wrote:
> I am trying write a document in Hebrew, using XeLaTeX. Things mostly
> seem to work, except for some issues which, I think, are related to
> fonts.
>
> I tried using either the Cardo or the Ezra SIL fonts, both of which I
> found recommended in various place on the web. The main problem is that
> I cannot get bold and italic text to work. In fact, it seems that the
> whole text is in bold. Commands like \emph and \textbf seem to have no
> effect. In the log file I see:
<snip>
> Which seems to suggest that these variants don't exist. So my questions
> here are, whether they really don't exist, or should I use some
> different commands? And if they don't exist, is there some other Hebrew
> font where they do exist? Is there a way to "produce" bold and italic
> variants? Also, is there a way to make the normal text less bold? As it
> is, it is very hard to visually spot the theorems, proofs, etc.

Cardo and Ezra (as well as SBL Hebrew) are aimed at the scholarly
market:  They have support for niqqud and te‘amim and other details
needed for printing the Tanach.  But, as you noted, they don’t have bold
or italic variants used for runs of modern-style text.

Automatically producing bold or italic is possible, but produces ugly
results; similarly trying to reduce the weight of a font.

Your best bet is in finding a different font to use.

—Joel