About Unicode Aramaic (i.e. "Hebrew/Syriac/Mandaic")


When displaying Hebrew square characters for Jewish Aramaic texts, most CAL pages depend on the UNICODE modules built into current browsers. Thus, you do not have to have any Hebrew font loaded into your system to view text in Hebrew. As always, please be sure your browsers are up to date.

Some browsers still have problems with the order of characters in Hebrew Unicode when numerals or brackets are involved, as in our variant indicators, which appear at the logical end of a physical line. Please experiment and use which ever browser works best for your and you particular usage habits. If the text you are working with is particularly rich in variants and/or broken material, Roman code is recommended to resolve uncertainties.

FOR MAC OS X users: NB: Older Firefox browsers for Mac do not display Hebrew yodh with hiriq properly! If that is the case for you, Use Safari for Hebrew. (For info on how to install a font in OSX click here.)

UNDER WINDOWS the sequence consonant holem (no waw) often displays too spacey with the unicode fonts that ship with windows. (So, too, vowels with the dageshed consonants.) I suggest you try the superior public domain CARDO or SBL HEBREW unicode fonts. When you do that, be sure to set your browsers to "allow document to use other fonts", under tools/preferences. Once either or both of these fonts is installed, they will be automatically selected by our html pages.


SYRIAC UNICODE: Everyone should avail themselves of the wonderful Syriac Unicode fonts of the "Meltho" system and choose the appropriate radio button on the text select screen. For access to Meltho visit: BethMardutho.org. Please pay attention to the user manual that comes with the fonts if you have problems. Older Mac applications and/or operating systems DO NOT DISPLAY THE CORRECT SHAPE adjustments of Syriac since it was not built-in in the operating system as it is has been in PC's for many years. However, both the latest Firefox browser and Mellel word processors have proper algorithms built in to do so for older OS X versions. As of OSX 7 (Lion) Syriac is finally displayed correctly in most modern browsers (Safari, Firefox, and Opera have been tested) but not yet in all native applications. (Although the OS now displays the proper contextual forms, some of the diacritics still produce weird results in Safari. Firefox continues to be the browser of choice for Syriac.)

For Mandaic and transliteration purposes, we strongly recommend the shareware font Code2000.

Thus, ideal CAL browsing systems for older computers should have Meltho, Code2000, SBLHebrew, and Cardo installed. The various web pages will choose the best font for displaying the kind of information you are looking at, but those with recently built computers and up-to-date operating systems (as of 2017) should be able to see all CAL pages without having any special fonts installed..

SMART PHONE/TABLET USERS: Users with older Ipad (and other tablet) users should choose Roman text display for Syriac, CPA, and Mandaic. But up-to-date (2017) IOS and Android devices display both Hebrew and Syriac without difficulty..