Alter Windows setting for reading in Hebrew

THE BALTIMORE SUN

I followed your instructions on how to use the Character Map in Windows - clicking on Start, then Programs, to Accessories to System Tools - just to see where that leads. Once there I found a program for all kind of fonts, including Hebrew.

When I get messages in Hebrew, the screen shows only the computer squiggles. Is there anything to be done to receive something legible? I have Windows XP.

That Character Map is where you find exotic symbols like the copyright mark, umlauts, degree symbols and such, but it's not what you need to read those Hebrew language Web pages.

The good news is that it is easy to get non-English alphabets to display in e-mail and Web sites as long as you want only to read, not write, Hebrew, Arabic, Cyrillic or other languages' words.

If you're at a Hebrew language Web site and the display includes those "squiggles" denoting that the computer doesn't recognize the characters, you need to change the Encoding settings under the View menu in either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Outlook Express.

You will find under Encoding a listing of many languages. Pick Hebrew and your computer probably will prompt you to insert the Windows XP CD and then load the fonts needed to display Hebrew characters. These include typefaces called Miriam and David.

Specialty fonts become available in all programs that use fonts, including Word, Word Pad and Excel.

I need to add that effectively writing Hebrew text using the supplied fonts requires additional software from third parties that convert the keyboard layout to the new alphabet and accommodate right-to-left input.

You can, however, use the ordinary English language keyboard to figure it all out if you have the patience.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. Contact James Coates at jcoates@tribune.com.

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