When I try to copy text from Mi Yodeya (the Judaism SE site, which I usually render in Chrome) into a MS Word document (using Word 2007 on Windows 7), e.g. this one, I find that Hebrew text comes through with the words in reverse order. Is there a convenient way to make the text end up in the right order? I'm open to techniques in MS Word, techniques in editing the posts in SE, or anything in between.

Per a suggestion from and31415, I followed the procedures in this link to add a Hebrew keyboard, turn it on, and add the RTL and LTR buttons to Word. The text still pastes in with the words in reverse order, and if I select it and hit the RTL button, the still-reversed sentence just moves over to the right of the page.

  • You should specify the operating system you have installed, the browser you're using, and the Microsoft Word version. – and31415 Feb 24 '14 at 15:59
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    @and31415 Thanks. I added the browser. The other two were already in there. – Isaac Moses Feb 24 '14 at 16:02
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    @and31415 Thanks. I just followed the procedures in your link to add a Hebrew keyboard, turn it on, and add the RTL and LTR buttons to Word. The text still pastes in with the words in reverse order, and if I select it and hit the RTL button, the still-reversed sentence just moves over to the right of the page. I'm adding this information to the quesiton. – Isaac Moses Feb 24 '14 at 17:06
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    @Isaac Moses: Still unable to reproduce here. I have sometimes seen partial reversal when copying from IE (probably to do with the way "()" is encoded). Looking at the clipboard here reveals that at least one of the formats that Chrome puts on the clipboard ("OEM Text") is probably reversed, but nothing I do here seems to insert that version. There are some suggestions at stackoverflow.com/questions/9613613/… which you could try but I suspect there is another factor. – user181946 Feb 25 '14 at 11:24
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    If you can save a sample as a .docx immediately post-edit and put it somewhere downloadable, I'll have a look at what's actually in the file and see if I can find a way to reverse the sequence. – user181946 Feb 25 '14 at 14:56

Is there a convenient way to make the text end up in the right order?

Yes, change the paragraph direction from Left-to-Right to Right-to-Left, and the word order will be corrected. This works for me with MS Word 2010.

I'm not sure exactly why we see the words in reverse order. I suspected the reason for this weird behavior was embedded Unicode control characters in that text, but that's not the case (To make sure of this claim, copy the text into a text file, take a hex dump of it, and put it in here as 'Hexadecimal' to get a UTF-8 analysis.)

  • Don't you find that changing the paragraph direction is not enough if, for example, the text contains () as in the sample file? The trouble is that I do not think Word applies the Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm in that case and the text is only partially rearranged. At least, that's what happens here. – user181946 Feb 26 '14 at 11:55
  • Well, no. (Except that the closing parenthesis is mis-directed even after I change the paragraph direction.) – einpoklum Feb 26 '14 at 13:26
  • Yes, it is just the braces, isn't it. – user181946 Feb 26 '14 at 16:05
  • Is this different than using the RTL button, as described in the question? I tried that, and it didn't work. – Isaac Moses Feb 26 '14 at 16:31
  • @IsaacMoses: I'm not exactly sure which buttons the question refers to... if they're the paragraph direction buttons, then yes, and then my answer is "Works for Me (TM)". – einpoklum Feb 26 '14 at 16:41

Just solved this for myself while reading through the comments.

It must be in the coding.

When I am copying Hebrew text from my browser, if I first paste it into "WordPad" NOT Word Docx, and then copy FROM "WordPad" into Word Docx, it doesn't reverse the letters. Almost like the extra coding is "lost" after posting it to WordPad, probably because its a 'simple' program.

Hope this helps ;-)

  • Interesting. Did you try Notepad? – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 4:19

it could be that you didn't download the Hebrew proof reading package from Microsoft. I had the same problem and when I downloaded it the problem cleared up.

  • an answer can not be based on assumptions, and it would be answered based in facts and references – h0ch5tr4355 Oct 29 '15 at 13:52

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