I had a request today about the best way to get Greek and Hebrew into webpages. In doing the research on this request, I came up with some excellent resources I want to share with you.
Theoretically, there are three ways one can do this:
- Use HTML entities for Greek and Hebrew
- Use a css style (here’s one way of doing it)
- Set your webpage encoding to utf-8 and simply type or paste in Unicode encoded text
Number 3 is my preferred way of doing it. And it’s simple. In your webpage, force utf-8 encoding:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8 ">
And you simply type or copy and paste your Unicode text (of whatever language).
Hebrew is more complicated because of the right-to-left issues, especially when embedding Hebrew into English text, or vice versa. A quick example. Suppose you want to write and display:
3 Hebrew letters (אבג) - aleph, beth, gimmel
The code you put into your webpage to get this would be:
<p>3 Hebrew letters (<b lang=“he”>אבג</b>) -<b> aleph, beth, gimmel </b></p>
This is only one way to do it. There are others, some more appropriate to a particular situation. If you don’t get good results, it could be that you don’t have a Unicode font installed for Greek or Hebrew; or else the text itself is not in Unicode. Make sure that the text you are copying is in utf-8 encoding. Or that the keyboard you are using is producing utf-8 encoded characters.
There is a very, very cool website that I just discovered during the research for this question: Tips for Developing Non-English Web Sites, from the PennState Teaching and Learning With Technology website. There are generic tips and specific instructions for a wide range of languages. Highly recommended. It’s going into my list of links. Pages for Greek and Hebrew are very helpful.