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How to enter hebrew with diacritics ("nikkud") in windows

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Make sure you are set to write in Hebrew, have caps-lock on, press shift and the numbers and signs keys (~ 1 ....9, 0 , - , =).

You write the diacritic sign after writing the letter itself.

There's also another way using Alt-GR and the numpad, but it is usually less comfortable and harder to remember what key combination gives you which sign.

See here for farther explanation and a map for which keys gives what signs.

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This is for Windows XP. For Vista, the MSI won't install without admin rights. Either disable UAC temporarily or create a batch file to execute the MSI and run the batch as admin.

  • Download the Ezra SIL Unicode Fonts 2.0 package. The most recent package, v2.5 requires the Keyman program which is no longer free. Extract the files.
  • Execute \Ezra SIL Release 2.0\Keyboards\Tiro Keyboards\BHebSIL.exe to extract the keyboard files.
  • Execute \Ezra SIL Release 2.0\Keyboards\Tiro Keyboards\BHebSIL.msi to install the keyboard file.
  • Start -> Run -> intl.cpl -> Languages tab -> Details -> Add
  • For Input language: select Hebrew. For Keyboard layout/IME: select Biblical Hebrew (SIL). Click OK.
  • Start -> Run -> control fonts. Drag the files in \Ezra SIL Release 2.0\Fonts\ into the font window to install them.

Now when you select the font Ezra SIL in your word processor and switch to Hebrew language (ALT־SHIFT), you will be able to enter the accents as you type. Refer to \Ezra SIL Release 2.0\Keyboards\Tiro Keyboards\BiblicalHebrew(SIL)Manual.pdf pages 7-10 for the keyboard maps.

I've found this to be the fastest and easiest way to write Hebrew for any serious length with cantillation marks. I opted for the BHebSIL keyboard over BHebTiro b/c I find BHebSIL to be more intuitive; the vowel pointings match their rough english equivalent key without needing to hit shift: patah to A, segol to E, etc.

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To avoid having to keep CapsLock on, you can create a custom keyboard. Using Microsoft keyboard layout creator, you can create a custom keyboard that allows you to type quickly and efficiently in Hebrew with nikkud.

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