Hebrew Vowels without consonants, or with roman letters

For teaching purposes (e.g. talking about the language rather than composing in the language, say for a first year textbook and study aids) I prefer to show the Hebrew vowel patterns without particular consonants. My old broken ASCII font gave me a box the size of a Hebrew consonant that would hold any vowel, dagesh, or accent mark, just like a consonant. Is there a good way to do this with Ezra SIL, with or without the Hebrew SIL keyman? I’ve tried a couple of painful ways to get the dotted circle with a vowel, but the system really doesn’t like this, and doesn’t seem to keep things in sequence. Also the dotted circle is visually unappealing, as Hebrew has enough dots already.

Related, my broken ASCII font also let me combine English characters and Hebrew vowels, so that, e.g., I could type a “G” to represent guttural letters, and then place the Hebrew vowels below the G, or a P to represent any prefix and apply the desired vowel, or for Chinese we used Q (the Roman letter from the pinyin) to do the same thing in the Chinese edition of the Hebrew Grammar. Is there any way to combine Ezra vowels with Roman characters?

Hi Brian, and welcome to the Community!

Please let us know what app(s) and their version(s) you are using, and on what operating system(s) (Windows? Linux? Android? Mac?).

I’m not an expert with EzraSIL but as far as I can tell, it does contain font logic to correctly position Hebrew vowels on U+25CC Dotted Circle. Maybe include some screenshots as well as information about the character sequences for problems you are seeing with dotted circle rendering?

In many cases Unicode doesn’t prohibit combining marks from one script being used with base characters from another, though I don’t know whether Unicode says anything about Hebrew marks on Latin bases. But even if it is technically permitted, it is unlikely that any font will contain the internal logic to support this particular use case – Ezra SIL certainly was not designed to support this.

I just installed the Hebrew (SIL) keyman on my Mac (OS 12.5.1) and am working in MSWord (16.82) using the Ezra SIL font.
I’m trying to upload a couple screen shots.

I would suggest typing the dotted circle character followed by the desired marks. The dotted circle codepoint is U+25CC, and it is on the Keyman keyboard by pressing rightalt-shift then the “=” key.

That does not appear to work on my Mac.
Often when I hit a key like “=” Word automatically changes the font to Cambria Math and gives me a math symbol, even though I have all the AutoCorrect settings turned off in my MSWord preferences.
So possibly something in MSWord is messing with it. I’ve tried to Google the problem, but suggestions there are generally irrelevant. (The searches assume I’m trying to change font that an equation appears in, but I want to stop MSWord from thinking that I’m attempting to write an equation.)
When I use Unicode Hex Input to get the circle, and then switch to Keyman, a vowel will not be positioned correctly. I wonder if there is both a LTR and RTL circle in Unicode??
Generally typing Hebrew hits glitches if switching from one keyboard to another, even though staying with the same font. The different keyboards handle spaces between words and parentheses differently. So it is not practical to change input methods when one keybaord does one thing well and another does another.

Thanks, but that circle doesn’t type for me on my Mac. It might be a problem with MSWord.

And when I use Unicode Hex Input to type the circle with U+25CC, and then switch to the Keyman Hebrew (SIL) it doesn’t know how to composite that circle with a Hebrew vowel.