using apple’s pages app for hebrew

Apple’s Pages word processing/document editing/layout program is appealing in many ways: it is easy to use, powerful, and produces very nice looking documents. One big problem for those of us who want to include Hebrew or other right-to-left language text within our documents, however, is that Pages on Mac OS X simply cannot handle it. Sure, you can type some Hebrew into Pages, but try editing it and you’ll soon discover that it is well-nigh impossible.

Well, that’s almost true. As it turns out, the iOS version of Pages (for iPods, iPhones, and iPads) can handle Hebrew editing reasonably well (see the image which shows the cursor sitting in the midst of some Hebrew, something you simply cannot do on Mac OS X).

This is good news, because while there are a number of solutions to writing mixed language documents on Mac OS X (such as Mellel or Nisus Writer Pro), the options are quite limited on iOS.

Perhaps the only glimmer of hope for Pages on Mac OS X is that it has been quite a long time since an update was released and, given the improvements made in TextEdit on Mac OS X and Pages on iOS in handling RTL languages, maybe any new version of Pages would improve support (although, AFAIK, there’s no indication that a new version of Pages for Mac OS X is to be released any time soon).

3 thoughts on “using apple’s pages app for hebrew

  1. No, I don’t really think it’s much use for writing more than the odd word in Hebrew, unfortunately. If you’re typing a new document the cursor does not appear in the correct place, so for writing in Hebrew I’d recommend looking for an alternative app (I note there’s one called Textilus which claims to support Hebrew and it has a free version that you could try).

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