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SIL Hebrew Font System

The SIL Hebrew Font System is a font package for displaying and printing Biblical Hebrew text.


SIL Hebrew Font System
Additional Files*

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The 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 These fonts are being superceded by Unicode-encoded Hebrew fonts, such as Ezra SIL.

Should You 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. However, 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 3 encoding standard. The Unicode version of the fonts are made to work in Microsoft® products, rather than work around them.

The drawback to moving to Unicode at this time is that the standard is not fully defined nor has Microsoft made the final release of the operating system for handling biblical Hebrew. There are, therefore, still some difficulties to working in Unicode.

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 instuctions 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.

The Text

If you are interested in an electronic version of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) text, see Getting and Converting the BHS Text.

The Fonts

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.