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Typing in Biblical Languages

This guide will teach you how to set up your keyboard layout, install new keyboard layouts, choose the right font, and customize your word processors all for use with the biblical languages.

Biblical Hebrew

Biblical Hebrew Keyboard

Keyboard layouts for Biblical Hebrew can be found on the SBL website.

The Tiro Keyboard is modeled after the Modern Israeli Hebrew keyboard.

The SIL Keyboard maps Hebrew characters to their closest English approximate.

Most students find the SIL Keyboard easier to use.

Each keyboard should come with its own installer to make set up easier. If not, follow the instructions in "Installing Custom Keyboards" below.

Installing Keyboards

SBL Hebrew Keyboards

For the Hebrew keyboards SIL and Tiro, there is a setup.exe file which will automatically install the keyboard.

If Hebrew is not an enabled language, follow the instructions on the Configuring Keyboard Layouts page.

  • Once Hebrew is enabled, got to Settings > Time and Language > Language
  • Under Preferred languages click on Hebrew > Options
  • Under Keyboards, select Add a Keyboard and select the installed keyboards if they are not already present.
  • Restart your computer.

Keyboard Layout Creator

For those wanting to customize or install third-party keyboards that don't come with an installer, the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator is a tool that enables you to do that.

See the video below

SBL Hebrew

For the SIL and Tiro Keyboards, there is a package installer which will install the keyboards for you.

Follow the instructions on the Configuring Keyboard Layouts page to enable the keyboard.


Ukelele is an application for the MacOS designed for creating custom keyboard layouts.

It can be found on the SIL website.

A helpful tutorial can be found below: