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NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems

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You are here: Rendering > Resources > Font FAQ
Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/EzraSIL_ProblemsDoc

Ezra SIL Fonts v.1 and 2 (Obsolete) Known Issues

NRSI, 2007-06-15

Ezra SIL Fonts v.2 Known Issues

This document contains a list of known technical issues, such as OpenType or type design problems. It also lists changes in type design and OpenType handling for the fonts with version 2.0. If you are a user having trouble with the Ezra SIL fonts, also check the Ezra SIL Frequently Asked Questions for Office 2000/XP — FAQ and Ezra SIL Frequently Asked Questions for Office 2003 — FAQ pages. Keep in mind that in all rendering — displaying of the text — the printed version takes priority. Screen resolution is secondary.

Ezra SIL SR — a Different Style of Marking

The two Ezra SIL fonts are available to provide two different styles of cantillation marks. They were developed together, but there are some differences in how they display markings. This was done intentionally. The Ezra SIL font is supposed to render text identically to the printed BHS. The Ezra SIL SR font has different style cantillation marks which may be more familiar to users working with other versions.

1. Beginning with v2.0, Ezra SIL SR no longer combines SHIN DOT with a preceding HOLAM.

2. With v2.0, Ezra SIL SR no longer centers 0592-HEBREW ACCENT SEGOL above a consonant. SEGOL is placed to the left except in the rare medial instance, when it centers.

3. Ezra SIL characters and markings follow the printed BHS as much as possible. Ezra SIL SR follows a different style of text.

4. Ezra SIL differentiates holam from holam-waw by displaying the holam slightly to the right on holam-waw. This is determined by the order holam occurs in the data. A holam preceding a waw will display to the right. If the holam is moved after waw, it will not display to the right. Ezra SIL SR does not do this.

5. With v2.0, Ezra SIL SR uses a diamond-shaped mark for the puncta, rather than a round dot.

OpenType Issues

Diacritics do not position properly

Cause 1: The application you are using is not OpenType-aware. In order to work, the application must be able to use the OpenType tables in the font.

Solution: Choose an application that supports OpenType.

Cause 2: Another problem can be that Hebrew is not implemented completely. Microsoft Office 2000 and XP may not correctly and consistently display biblical Hebrew text.

Solution: Upgrade to Office 2003 which has all the necessary code.

Cause 3: Another common cause is formatting issues within the application. In order for diacritic positioning to work correctly, the application must render the complete character sequence in one operation. The most common reason for this condition to fail is if some characters in the sequence have different formatting than the others. If there is any difference at all in the formatting (e.g., in character spacing or color, font names or sizes, etc.) the application may have to break the sequence into separate "runs."

Solution: In order to rule out formatting problems, make absolutely sure that the characters in the sequence are formatted identically. Some applications let you copy the affected text to the clipboard and then use Edit / Paste Special to paste unformatted text back into the document. Another approach, available in Microsoft Word, is to select the text and press  Ctrl - space  to reset all character formatting to the paragraph default. (This assumes your default paragraph style is formated with Ezra SIL). Note: In Word, even formatting such as Complex Scripts font and Asian Text font settings must match exactly for the entire sequence.

Cause 4: Additionally, the entire run of text must be interpreted as Right-to-Left. If Word does not guess the correct direction, it may mark certain characters as Left-to-Right which shouldn't be. This can sometimes be seen if you are having trouble selecting text with the mouse. The highlighting will jump back and forth.

Solution: Directionality can be re-set for any amount of text, including the entire document, by selecting it and running the "Set Run rtl" macro, available in  ABS Macros.

Type Design Issues

There are no current Type Design issues.

Closed Issues

1. There is no justification with wide letters in the font.

If wide letters from the FB section were included in the font as substitutes, this option could not be turned off. It would be better to allow a good typesetting program to handle justification, rather than forcing it to always happen.

2. There are no alternate shapes, such as a long ayin.

U+FB20 is not included in the Unicode canon of Hebrew letters, and Windows doesn't recognise it as right-to-left or allow OpenType instructions to apply to it. In general, the Hebrew characters in the U+FB00 block of Unicode should not be used at all.

Currently, only the  Adobe InDesign program allows users to select which features to turn on or off, similar to Apple's GX or  AAT fonts. We have not implemented alternate forms of glyphs or other features in the Ezra SIL OpenType fonts. They are not AAT-enabled fonts.

3. Various typeface corrections and diacritic placement corrections were made in v2.0. These include spellings of Jerusalem with sheva, various meteg problems, and many other diacritic placement corrections.

4. Some punctuation has been moved to a lower position (question mark, exclam, etc.).

5. HEBREW ACCENT REVIA - U+0597 has been made larger.

6. The HEBREW LIGATURE ALEF LAMED - U+FB4F is now correctly drawn. To access this shape, type Alef-ZWJ-Lamed.

7. To access the shape HEBREW LIGATURE YIDDISH YOD YOD PATAH, type Yod-ZWJ-Yod-Patah.

8. Do not use any characters defined in the U+FBD0..U+FB4F range of Unicode (Hebrew presentation forms).

Ezra SIL Fonts v.1 Known Issues

This document is intended as a brief guide to using version 1 of the Ezra SIL fonts and a list of known issues. Version 2.5 of the Ezra SIL fonts is now available and recommended for all users of Ezra SIL. See version 2.5 of the Ezra SIL fonts at the Ezra SIL Home page.

If you are having trouble with the Ezra SIL fonts v.1, first check the Requirements section. Then see if your problem is already listed as a known issue. Keep in mind that in all rendering — displaying of the text — the printed version takes priority. Screen resolution is secondary. See the section on Ezra SIL SR to see what is different about the Ezra SIL SR font.

Requirements

There are certain requirements to get optimum performance with Microsoft software and the Ezra SIL fonts. The biblical Hebrew script is a recent addition to Microsoft operating systems and the Ezra SIL fonts are a first attempt at implementing that script in Unicode. In order to get the fonts to work as designed, the following requirements should be followed.

1. Marks will not display properly unless Office 11 Uniscribe (usp10.dll) or later version is installed.

2. The font requires data to be in the order of:

  • Consonant
  • Sin/Shin dot
  • Dagesh/Rafe
  • Vowel
  • Cantillation

Additional requirements for input order will likely be made in any future version of the font.

3. Where there are multiple vowels or multiple cantillation marks, all high marks must be contiguous and all low marks contiguous. These should also be listed in the order they appear, from right to left. Exceptions to this are prepositive accents and rafe.

4. Cantillation marks which normally occur at the beginning of a word must be moved to follow the first consonant and vowel, according to Unicode 3 requirements. The font will then recognize and place them word-initial.

5. These fonts will not correctly display text which is in Unicode v.3 or 4 canonical order.

Ezra SIL SR — a Different Style of Marking

The Ezra SIL fonts were developed together, but there are certain differences in how they display markings. This was done intentionally. The Ezra SIL font is supposed to render text identically to the printed BHS. The Ezra SIL SR font has different style cantillation marks which may be more familiar to users working with other versions.

1. Ezra SIL SR combines SHIN DOT with a preceding HOLAM. Ezra SIL displays both.

2. Ezra SIL SR centers 0592-HEBREW ACCENT SEGOL above a consonant. Ezra SIL places it to the left.

3. Ezra SIL characters and markings follow the printed BHS as much as possible. Ezra SIL SR follows a different style of text.

4. Ezra SIL differentiates holam from holam-waw by displaying the holam slightly to the right on holam-waw. This is determined by the order holam occurs in the data.
A holam preceding a waw will display to the right. If the holam is moved after waw, it will not display to the right. Ezra SIL SR does not do this.

5. Ezra SIL SR uses a round dot for the puncta. Ezra SIL uses a diamond-shaped mark.

Issues and Known Problems

Below are three categories of issues. There is nothing users can do about these problems, but they are included here so that users can be aware of them.

OpenType Issues

This is a list of OpenType issues which we may address at some time in the future.

1. Derivative spellings of Jerusalem with sheva do not render correctly. See 1Ki 10.2.2, 2Ki 9.28.4, Isa 36.2.5 and Ezk 8.3.15.

2. Various problems with meteg, including Psalm 2:3:1.

Psalm 2:3:1 dehi

This has a prepositive dehi with a vowel followed by meteg which does not display correctly. Other occurrences of 05AD-HEBREW ACCENT DEHI also can collide. See Job 7:11:5, 22:4:1, 31:15:1, 39:26:1, 41:10:1, Psa 115:4:1.

3. Check the position of 05B4-HEBREW POINT HIRIQ under consonants which have flat bottoms. Is it too close?

4. Isa 36:2 has a sequence of lamed-patah-tevir-sheva which does not render properly.

5. Check placement of rafe over alef in word "WAY.OMER". Need second rafe for when it falls on same letter with holam.

6. Improve placement of all points on Psa 27:13:1

7. 05A0-HEBREW ACCENT TELISHA GEDOLA falls to the left of the dot on a SHIN with SHIN DOT, instead of to the right. It is a prepositive (word-initial) accent and should render on the right of the dot. It should fall to the right of any mark above a consonant. It should also be slightly more right than it currently falls, even when there is no other upper mark.

8. 059D-HEBREW ACCENT GERESH MUQDAM should also appear slightly more right than it currently falls, in order to appear more clearly prepositive. It would be good to check all prepositive accents: 05A0, 05AD, 059A, 059D. Some of these may also occur word-medial.

Type Design Issues

This is a list of type design issues which we may address at some time in the future.

1. Disable font smoothing for all size ranges.
For the next release, use FontLab to disable font smoothing for all size ranges. It's in the Font Info and there are three ranges, and two of them are smoothed by default. This will vastly increase the clarity of the font in Windows XP, whether or not font smoothing is enabled. This is particularly important for getting a good image on an LCD screen, but it also helps a lot on an ordinary screen.

2. Check whether punctuation such as comma and period should appear on or above the baseline. Need samples of these from extra-biblical texts.

3. Add more whitespace preceding 05C0-HEBREW PUNCTUATION PASEQ. Is it likely to be used for anything else?

4. Add any changes in Hebrew encoding or handling from Unicode.

5. 0597-HEBREW ACCENT REVIA is too small.

6. The HEBREW LIGATURE ALEF LAMED - 0xFB4F was drawn from the original Unicode sample, and should not have a leg on the left side.

Closed Issues

1. There is no justification with wide letters in the font.

If wide letters from the FB section were included in the font as substitutes, this option could not be turned off. It would be better to allow a good typesetting program to handle justification, rather than forcing it to always happen.

2. There are no alternate shapes, such as a long ayin.

U+FB20 is not included in the Unicode canon of Hebrew letters, and Windows doesn't recognise it as right-to-left or allow OpenType instructions to apply to it. In general, the Hebrew characters in the U+FB00 block of Unicode should not be used at all. There is currently no way to optionally substitute other style consonants using OpenType.

Currently, only the InDesign program allows users to select which features to turn on or off, similar to Apple's GX or AAT fonts. Therefore, there are currently no alternate forms of glyphs or other features in the Ezra SIL OpenType fonts.

Contact Us

As our fonts and utilities are distributed at no cost, we are unable to provide a commercial level of personal technical support. We will, however, try to resolve problems that are reported to us.

We do hope that you will report problems so they can be addressed in future releases. Even if you are not having any specific problems, but have an idea on how this system could be improved, we want to hear your ideas and suggestions.

Please note that our software products are intended for use by experienced computer users. Installing and using them is not a trivial matter. The most effective technical support is usually provided by an experienced computer user who can personally sit down with you at your computer to troubleshoot the problem.

General troubleshooting information, including frequently asked questions, can be found in the documentation. Additional information is also available on the FAQ pages. If that fails to answer your question, please feel free to contact us!

Page History

2007-06-15 Added Known Issues for version 2

2003-06-25 Known Issues for version 1


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