This blog is intended to help people using LaTeX in the humanities, specifically for those working in Middle Eastern Studies.

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  1. I’m on a similar venture, in a similar field, at a similar institution. Bi’l-tawfiq, and thanks for the resources. Quick question: why not using XeLaTeX, on a Mac or otherwise? And have you looked at ledmac and company for critical editions/critical translations?

    1. Dear Talal,

      Thanks for your comments. I’d really appreciate any feedback you have on XeTeX and ledarab. I have read a lot of documentation about both, but have yet to try them.

      So far, I’ve been using ArabTeX for my work, but I will soon be doing a critical edition of an Arabic text and I’d rather not use ArabTeX for that.

      Nice website by the way!

  2. *************************************************************************
    We apologise if you receive this Call for Papers more than once

    Call for Papers/Abstracts
    PracTeX Journal: Issue 2010-1
    Issue theme: “LaTeX Academic Work Bench”

    Submissions due December 31, 2009 (extended)

    Dear LaTeX and TeX Users,

    Since its first edition in 2005, the PracTeX Journal has presented
    a wide range of articles on the practical use of LaTeX and TeX.
    Among these articles are ones that describe tools and techniques
    that can be used in teaching.

    The PracTeX Journal 2010-1 issue has the theme “LaTeX Academic Work Bench”.

    The goal of this issue is to present ideas on the use of LaTeX tools
    for education, teaching, and classroom purposes. We are looking for
    articles that can discuss the development of the tools, and their use and effectiveness. Actual examples and LaTeX sources are encouraged.

    ** Scope
    The scope of the issue includes, but is not limited to :
    – tools that assist the students/authors in preparing
    graphics, indexes, bibliographies, and other parts of documents;
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    We encourage you to submit original papers describing your experiences
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    ** Submission Guidelines:
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    We will work with you to prepare the article. Also see http://tug.org/pracjourn/submit.html
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  3. Hello,

    My name is Vivek and I work for Packt, a UK based publishing company specializing in publishing books based on Information Technology (I.T).

    We have recently published a new book titled “LaTeX Beginner’s Guide”, written by Stefan Kotwittz. This book is for readers who wish to create high-quality and professional-looking texts, articles, and books for Business and Science using LaTeX. You can read more about this book here:


    I came across your blog through a Google search and considering your expertise in LaTeX, I feel you’d be one of the best persons to review this book for us. Therefore your thoughts about this book would prove extremely valuable to us and will be very much appreciated.

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    1. Hi Khalid. I’ve checked the Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List (PDF available here), but couldn’t find the symbol there, so that leaves you with two options.

      #1 is to use the ArabTeX package in your LaTeX document and simply input \RL{.sl`m}. However that will simply display صلعم, which is not quite the symbol you wanted.

      #2 is to use the ArabXeTeX package, which does support exactly the symbol you mean. You’ll find it on page 24 of the ArabXeTeX manual (PDF available here).

      Good luck!

      1. Hi Phoebe and Khalid,

        There may be a simpler option: if you are using XeTeX, and once you have a font that contains the character you need, just declare the font at the beginning with fontspec, and then you should be able to insert any character from that font using \char”XXXX, where XXXX is the Unicode identifier. You could even use a non-Unicode font and insert the character using its font table code, or something like that; you can find information about this on the XeTeX archives. In any case, this option might save you loading ArabXeTeX (hence bidi) which could complicate things.

        If you are using LaTeX and ArabTeX, the only way to get a nice looking salutation character is to insert it as a graphic, which can work pretty well.

        Just in case, here http://fonts.qurancomplex.gov.sa/download/ is a free font, Symbols1_Ver02.otf, with plenty of beautiful calligraphic characters.


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For LaTeX users in the humanities

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