Several years have passed since 2 Israelis (a Jew and an Arab) launched an online petition (“Flash, The Right To”) to make software developers aware of the lack of support for Semitic languages and of the difficulties it raises, when it comes to the usage of Hebrew or Arabic with software such as Flash Macromedia and Notebook SmartBoard.
Although the petition got some attention, the message was not fully assimilated. We continue to face the same technical hitches, including seeing gibberish when transferring Hebrew texts from one application to another.
Like most Hebraic users of Notebook SmartBoard and Flash Macromedia with the SmartBoard, I have tried different techniques. For instance, I attempted to type Hebrew words backwards or to copy and paste texts as pictures, to figure out with which method I feel most at ease. Nevertheless, these techniques remain artisanal in nature and most appropriate for light assignments.
For the heavier work of transferring Hebrew texts, such as Biblical verses or even chapters, working with Rich Text Format is most effective. There is no need to remove the nekudot (vowels), which will be transferred correctly. For best results, it is advisable to adjust the font points and the line width prior to the transfer. A complete RTF Bible can be downloaded from our Pedagogical Center (see link below), in addition to other tools.
http://www.utt-pedagogical-center.com/Tools.htm + (Click on “Limudei Kodesh & Hebrew”. Download: Torah.zip, Neviim.zip or Ketubim.zip)
As a user of a variety of Hebrew sources for SmartBoard and Macromedia, several converters that reconfigure the pasted gibberish Hebrew into proper Hebrew text, are available too. They are worth trying to see which one works best for each user and purpose.
Hafuch Al Hafuch (To download the converter, click: http://www.utt-pedagogical-center.com/Applications_Utilities/hebrew_Hafouch_Al_Hafouch.zip )
The Bilbulon (by EcoSoft Team is appropriate for paragraphs containing both Hebrew and English) (to download, click: http://www.utt-pedagogical-center.com/Applications_Utilities/bilbulon.zip
R4F - "Right" for Flash (A shareware converter. To download, click: http://www.utt-pedagogical-center.com/Applications_Utilities/r4f_Prog_4_Flash_Turns_Hebrew_Right.zip )
For an application that flips gibberish Hebrew texts, copied from the Internet, check out HebFlip at: http://www.corky.net/hebflip.html (or download at:
To deal with gibberish Hebrew online, check out HEBTML converter at: http://billy.co.il/
To fix gibberish Hebrew in emails, go to Hebrew Encoding Translator at: http://www.planet-source-code.com/vb/scripts/ShowCode.asp?txtCodeId=9057&lngWId=4
In case one wishes to transfer Hebrew texts from PowerPoint, Notebook SmartBoard directly imports PowerPoint presentations and displays the Hebrew fonts correctly, without requiring a converter.
(After opening Notebook, click on “Open”, find the appropriate PowerPoint file and click OK.)
The market potential of Semitic Languages users is growing. The day software developers put forward full support for their products seems not faraway.