Alan Wood’s Unicode Resources

Workaround for the “aggressive use of Lucida” IE5 Hebrew Support Bug

The following message is taken from the UYIP mailing list:

Date: Wed, 09 Jun 1999 23:15:02 -0400
From: "Mark H. David" <>
Subject: Workaround for the "agressive use of Lucida" IE5 Hebrew Support bug

Many of us have who have used the extremely welcome and important support for Hebrew/Yiddish in Internet Explorer 5.0 have run into the problems that (a) Lucida is at times the only font that gets used for Hebrew, no matter what you set the Hebrew font to, and (b) Lucida has bugs that cause Hebrew text with nikudes to be misrendered (the nikudes are grossly mispositioned).

Although the details are somewhat murky still, through a Microsoft contact I've been advised of an apparently good workaround: set your Latin-based font to Tahoma.

The font setting is reached via Tools -> Internet Options -> Fonts. The top setting, language script, lets you individually set the "Latin" script and the "Hebrew" script.

The idea, I believe, is that you have to select as your "Latin" script font a font family for which there is Hebrew, including Yiddish, character support. And Tahoma is such a font family (assuming you've installed IE5 Hebrew support, at least.)

I've discovered that after I do this, the real font choice for the Hebrew script starts being used, rather than Lucida. You can then change around your Hebrew font choice and see it actually reflected on your web browser display.

By the way, according to Microsoft, there are acknowledged bugs with Lucida regarding Hebrew nikudes placement, but they are never going to be fixed because there is software that depends on the bugs. Whatever.

If anyone else has been plagued by this problem, and finds this a useful workaround, I'd be pleased to know about it.


Mark David
Moderator, UYIP -
For Unicode/Yiddish links:


Created 14th June 1999

Test for Hebrew Unicode support in Web browsers

HTML 4.01