Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Hebrew Font Puzzle

Someone in the Apple forums reported that when using Safari to view certain web sites, all accented Latin characters were being replaced by Hebrew. Normally the culprit for such behavior should be a non-Unicode Hebrew font with the same name as that required by the web page code, which was Arial in this case. But it seemed that no such font could be found anywhere on the machine.

It turns out that the old Windows font Web Hebrew AD, with the filename wehad.ttf, is in fact just such an animal, replacing accented Latin by Hebrew according to the Win-1255 encoding. When examined with a font editor, you can see that its internal name is actually Arial, so that Safari can't tell the difference. Mystery solved.

2 comments: said...

hey there . sorry for that yet i'm not that good in what concerns mac as im a pure windows user and linux newbie
yet i love safari and i've got some problem viewing some pages in arabic and other herbew langs

my job as a translator reqiures from me to read that fonts each single day
but i can't do that with safar and that really makes me sad

so if you can help me that would be great
here is the pic that from one arabic newspapper and the letters are totally unreadable

can you help me telling what to do ?

i use safari windows version
windows platform

Tom Gewecke said...

I didn't get the picture, but my advice is do not use Windows Safari. It is beta software and just does not yet work with some scripts. Presumably it will be fixed when finally released, but in the meantime you should use other browsers, like IE or FireFox.