NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems
SIL Hebrew Font System (Obsolete)
Ezra and Unicode
This SIL Hebrew Font System is a pre-Unicode or “legacy” font system. It provides a means of working with biblical Hebrew texts in an encoding created by SIL in 1995. These fonts are superceded by Unicode-encoded Hebrew fonts, such as Ezra SIL.
The transliteration fonts in this package were made obsolete with the advent of Latin Unicode fonts, available with any newer OS. Only a keyboard is helpful (not required) for typing Hebrew transliteration. See last item in Ezra SIL package or Hebrew-Greek Transliteration Unicode Keyboard for Macintosh for two examples.
SIL Hebrew Font System Pages (Obsolete)
The SIL Hebrew Font System is a font package for displaying and printing Biblical Hebrew text. It is made obsolete with the advent of Unicode fonts for Hebrew, such as Ezra SIL.
Should You Still Use This Product?
The SIL Hebrew Font System, first released in 1997, takes a linguistic or phonemic approach to the Hebrew language, whereas Unicode takes a visual approach. There are significant differences between the two encodings and texts are not interchangeable. Again, we strongly encourage users to move to the Unicode version of the fonts. The Ezra SIL OpenType® fonts are now available and have the identical typeface to SIL Ezra. They follow the Unicode 5.0 encoding standard. The Unicode version of the fonts are made to work in Microsoft® products, rather than work around them.
If you find moving to Unicode impossible at the present time, or if you wish to use the fonts in parallel for a time, we offer the old fonts with updated installation instructions for Windows 2000 and XP. Keep in mind this older version of the fonts cannot use the built-in-language capabilities of Windows 2000/XP such as right-to-left data entry and spell-checking.
Three families of fonts are included in the package:
SIL Ezra — containing the basic set of characters needed for Biblical Hebrew texts (Regular face)
SIL Heb Trans — containing characters used to transliterate Hebrew into Roman text (Regular, Bold, Italic & Bold Italic faces)
SIL Heb Trans Caps — containing upper case versions of the transliteration characters (Regular, Bold, Italic & Bold Italic faces)
SIL International (SIL) is an organization of linguists dedicated to the study and promotion of the thousands of languages around the world. SIL's International Publishing Services serves SIL by developing products to assist in the publication of linguistic texts.
As a service to the general academic community, we are happy to make this package available at no charge. You may (and are encouraged to) share this package with your friends and co-workers, as long as you abide by certain distribution restrictions.