English punctuation in a RTL context

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A.D. Riddle
Got the styles thing figured out
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:21 pm

English punctuation in a RTL context

Post by A.D. Riddle » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:05 pm

This is not my problem, but I would like to know how to fix it. The goal is to create a lexical list for Hebrew, with a Hebrew term followed by English glosses. With the Hebrew term leading, the document is set up to be Right-to-Left. The problem is when the English gloss is uncertain and I put a question mark after it. The question mark should go at the right end of the English, but instead it is placed at the left end as though it were Hebrew. I tried using tabs and direction-breaking spaces, but could not get the question mark in the right location. The easy solution is to use a table, but it seems like there should be a way to get this to work without tables. I do not know how.

Image

(Seems like the image is broken, but not sure why. Can be viewed here https://flic.kr/p/SZMprY.)

Thanks,
A.D.

jannuss
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Location: Israel

Re: English punctuation in a RTL context

Post by jannuss » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:54 pm

A.D. Riddle wrote:This is not my problem, but I would like to know how to fix it. The goal is to create a lexical list for Hebrew, with a Hebrew term followed by English glosses. With the Hebrew term leading, the document is set up to be Right-to-Left. The problem is when the English gloss is uncertain and I put a question mark after it. The question mark should go at the right end of the English, but instead it is placed at the left end as though it were Hebrew. I tried using tabs and direction-breaking spaces, but could not get the question mark in the right location. The easy solution is to use a table, but it seems like there should be a way to get this to work without tables. I do not know how.
A.D.
We've all had problems mixing LtR text in RtL streams, but I'm not sure I understand this one.
-- By my thinking, since this is a RtL document, the question mark does logically belong to the left of the English text. Mellel associates the question mark with the entire RtL stream and not with the individual LtR word.

Of course, as a workaround, you can type the question mark first, before you type the English text

It would be interesting to see how other muli-language word processors handle this problem.
[LibreOffice places the question mark to the left.]

Janet

A.D. Riddle
Got the styles thing figured out
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:21 pm

Re: English punctuation in a RTL context

Post by A.D. Riddle » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:24 pm

Thank you for your reply. The reason for placing the question mark at the right end of the English is to show uncertainty about the English gloss. The entire line is not a question, only that particular English gloss. Does that make better sense?

If I type the whole thing Left-to-Right, it would appear like this, where the English translations are both uncertain:
שׁבץ seizure of weakness? cramp?

Getting it to look like this Right-to-Left is harder to pull off. I could put the last question mark at the front, and then it appears correct, but that is just a workaround to get the right appearance. And I could just use tables which work fine. I was just wondering if anyone knew of a way to do this without tables or without placing questions marks in strange places.

A.D.

jannuss
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Location: Israel

Re: English punctuation in a RTL context

Post by jannuss » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:07 pm

I understand what you are saying, A.D., but I still think placing the question mark on the right is "wrong"

I find שׁבץ seizure of weakness? cramp? very readable
but seizure of weakness? cramp? שׁבץ looks strange to me.

Janet

A.D. Riddle
Got the styles thing figured out
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:21 pm

Re: English punctuation in a RTL context

Post by A.D. Riddle » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:06 am

I thank you, but my question is not "Does it looks strange?" or "What is the right way to do it?" but rather, is it possible to format it in the way I am asking without using tables or placing question marks before (instead of after) the English?
If anyone can assist with the latter question, I would be very appreciative.

A.D.

Eyal Redler
Co-founder
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Re: English punctuation in a RTL context

Post by Eyal Redler » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:33 pm

Ignoring the question of this being a good layout or not you can quite easily do this with Mellel using the often-misunderstood-and-therefore-slightly-hidden feature of character direction.
For example:
1. Type משהו בעברית
2. Type a space and then type something in english?
3. Now select the english part of the sentence (tip, double click the first english word and then drag to the question mark)
4. In the character palette/attributes, click the "more" tab and choose "Left to right" in the direction popup
This should make the question mark jump to the right of the text.
Be warned, though, that if you later edit the text, you might end up with this attribute sticking to characters that you didn't intend it to stick to since there's no clear visual indication where it is applied. If things get messy you can always just select the whole paragraph and apply "default" and then re-apply the left to right override as needed.
Eyal Redler
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A.D. Riddle
Got the styles thing figured out
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:21 pm

Re: English punctuation in a RTL context

Post by A.D. Riddle » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:20 am

Thank you. This worked perfectly.

A.D.

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