Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hebrew Keyboard Bookmarklets


Dan Sieradski's "31 days, 31 ideas" posts included his Hebrew Input Widget post. In it, Dan complains about the hassles he has when he has to setup a computer for Hebrew input or when he wants to enter Hebrew text in a browser when he's on a public computer (e.g. - when traveling or when using someone else's machine). This post attempts to provide a solution for that problem by providing a set of browser bookmarklets that can be easily used to enable/disable Hebrew input. Simply bookmark this post in Delicious (or some other online bookmark service), and you're set - just follow the instructions below whenever you're in a browser and you need to enter Hebrew or Yiddish text in a text area!

Text Areas (for testing purposes)

Text area#1:

Text area#2:


  1. Hebrew Bookmarklets: Drag one of the following 4 bookmarklets to your Bookmark Bar (depending on which Hebrew keyboard layout you're most comfortable with):
    Hebrew-SIL (using the SIL Hebrew keyboard layout - this is probably the better format to use if you're more accustomed to typing in English than Biblical Hebrew)
    Hebrew-Tiro (using the Tiro Hebrew keyboard layout - this is the better format to use if you are accustomed to using an Israeli Hebrew keyboard)
    Hebrew-QWERTY (using the Mac Hebrew QWERTY keyboard layout - this is the better format to use if you are used to this keyboard layout on the Mac and don't need all of the Biblical Hebrew characters)
    Hebrew-ZC (using my own Hebrew-ZC custom keyboard layout - this format combines (IMHO) the best qualities of the Hebrew-QWERTY and Tiro keyboard layouts, supports Biblical Hebrew characters, and is a very efficient layout for someone who is a fast touch typist on US English keyboards)
  2. Assistive Bookmarklets: Drag the following 2 bookmarklets to your Bookmark Bar:
    No Hebrew
  3. Click the "Hebrew" bookmarklet (whichever one you selected above) to enable Hebrew input in any textarea on the current HTML page that you are on (this works on any HTML page, not just this one but I've added two textarea's to this post so that you can experiment here). Type in Hebrew (the Hebrew that appears will correspond to the keyboard layout that you selected in step #1 above. If you're not familiar with the keyboard layout you selected, you will need to print out the keyboard layout from the documentation page specified next to the keyboard in step #1).
  4. Click the "No Hebrew" bookmarklet to revert back to standard keyboard input in all textareas (e.g. - when you want to resume typing in English or whatever language was the default before you clicked the Hebrew bookmarklet).
  5. Click the "RTL/LTR" bookmarklet to toggle the text direction in all textareas (if you're mixing Hebrew and English, you may prefer right-to-left or left-to-right rather than the default for the textarea).