Character Styles with Hebrew

Dear All,

I’m having trouble using character styles with non-English characters.

Here’s what I do.

Open a document, create a new character style (‘Hebrew’), set it to the font I want (‘David Libre’), OK that (I now see it in my list of character styles), write a mix of Hebrew and English in my document (for some reason the Hebrew I type gets given the font ‘Arial Unicode MS’), and, finally, select some Hebrew and assign it ‘Hebrew’ as a character style.

The problem is, its font doesn’t change. Its stuck on ‘Arial Unicode MS’ for some reason, even when I ‘clear direct formatting’. All this works fine when I don’t use Hebrew. It’s typing in Hebrew that causes the font to be set to ‘Arial Unicode MS’ for some reason, and then a different character style doesn’t override it.

Any ideas on how to proceed?

Many thanks,


Hebrew and common European languages belong in different scripts which are assigned different default fonts. For this feature to work, you must tell Writer which language the sequence of characters belong to. It is not implied by the character code so that the glyphs can be used as “decoration” in any text.

In your custom character style Font tab, select Hebrew from the Language drop down menu.

If this does not work, give us information about your configuration: OS name, LO version and save format. Attach a 1-page sample file for better diagnostic.

Thank you for the reply. Here is an attached sample. I can’t actually select ‘Hebrew’ in the dropdown list. I tried ‘None’, but to no avail.

PhD.Font-Sample.odt (13.8 KB)

Apparently, you didn’t enable Tools>Options, Language Settings>Languages, Complex Text Layout for Hebrew.

This means that variants for configuration of styles were not shown. Consequently, David Libre was set for “western” languages. If you enable said option, you get a second pane in the Font tab where you can set the default font for Hebrew.

As it is presently, David Libre is set for “European” scripts in your custom character style while Arial Unicode MS is set for Hebrew. This setting is taken from the default Tools>Options, LibreOffice Writer>Basic Fonts (CTL) configuration.

All you have to do is enable the GUI specificities for CTL and modify your custom paragraph style.

PS: I guess you are American and still follow the outdated custom of double-space after full stop. With modern document processors, this is faulty because it causes many “disruptions” in text justification with not optimal results. Note that this usage has been officially deprecated decades ago in the US.

1 Like

That’s great—thank you!!