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QText Version 8.0 Help Notes:

I have prepared the following notes from my own usage. I do not represent QText or Dvir software. I am writing up these notes solely to help my fellow users out there, so that others will not have to waste time figuring these things out, as I had to do. I do feel that QText is a good program, but it needs some improvement. Unfortunately, Dvir announced in September, 2000 that its May, 1999 update would be its last. Dvir continues to exist; and it is unclear if you can still buy the program. They will not be making any further updates.  Below, you'll find a list of known problems (not guaranteed to be complete, yet mostly minor).

These notes are geared solely towards Windows-95 users who want to use the program for Yiddish word processing. All of my notes about web page generation are relevant only to the "Bitmap" GIF graphics mode, one of several options supported by QText. I have not explored the other options because, at the present time, only Yiddish web pages created in the "Bitmap" mode are viewable with complete accuracy by anyone with a normal American browser, absent any special add-ons.



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Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks

Dvir recommends that we read Help/Keyboard Short Cuts for additional tips. Please send me any practical tips that you discover and I will gladly include them here on this page in order to help others. My email link is below.


Email in Yiddish   - Standard email uses only English characters as represented by ASCII codes. (See Unicode discussion  - in general, and with QText in particular.) That's why most Yiddish email is done via transliteration. However, with the advent of Dvir products, such as QText, we are beginning to have methods for sending Yiddish email in true Yiddish characters. All this is still new, so nothing is quite perfect yet. Here are some methods which do work:

1. My favorite method of sending Yiddish email is to simply type my message in QText and send the QText file (*.QTW) to the recipient as an Internet email file attachment. The obvious problem is that this only works if  the recipient has a copy of QText.

2. The following method is surprisingly satisfying, although some people have cheerfully accused me of suggesting a route that goes via Hotsnplats un nokh dem tsurik keyn Boyburik. Whatever!  It works! I like it!

a. Type your message in QText, in Yiddish characters.

b. In Qtext, go to Options/Clipboard:

  • Uncheck Swap Hebrew Cut/Copy
  • Check Cut/Copy ASCII

b. Copy all the text (Control-A, Control-C)

c. Paste the text (Control-V) into the body of an email message, preceded by the following instructions:


This is a Yiddish email message. To read the message in Yiddish, please do the following:

1) Copy all the unreadable characters below these instructions.

2) Go to http://www.cs.uky.edu/~raphael/yiddish/makeyiddish.htmDi Yidish Shraybmashinke.

3) Paste the text into the text input box af der Yidish Shraybmashinke.

4)  Using the Radio Buttons just below the text input box, select Input Form: Q-Text.

5) Select Output Form: Image (GIF), or  YIVO transliteration, or whatever output format you want.

6) Push the button to Submit.

d. That's it. Please note that your correspondents who don't have QText can continue to write to you in standard YIVO transliteration and you can use di Yidish Shraybmashinke to read their email in QText in Yiddish characters. You can also use this tool to read email from a Yiddish email list, such as Mendele or UYIP .

3. Another method, if you have some web space of your own, is to use QText to create a simple HTML file (web page) consisting of your email message. Create a secret file folder location on your web site to post your email letter, and send the URL (web address) to your recipient in a regular email message. This is technically not private, but if no one other than the recipient of your letter knows the URL, presumably no one can find it. Some web sites support browsing, but many do not. So, in many cases it would be almost impossible for a stranger to accidentally stumble across this private mail. The recipient needs nothing more than a web browser to view and print the mail. This method may sound cumbersome, but if you're proficient with your FTP program, it is not that much trouble, in my opinion.

4. Dvir, the manufacturer of QText, has created a multi-lingual email program called LingoMail which is intended to support, among other things, Yiddish email in true Yiddish characters.  LingoMail is still in beta test, and does not yet work if you send or receive email with/from a Mac or Unix. You also must know that both you and all of your Yiddish corespondents are using an SMTP/POP email system, which unfortunately cuts out many users. If you want to try the program, go to http://www.lingomail.com/  to download an updated beta copy. It could be a mitsve to give them feedback so the program can be improved.

LingoMail incorporates Yiddish characters into its Hebrew keyboard. It also comes with one version of a phonetic keyboard,  but does not yet support custom keyboards. If you prefer to use a custom keyboard, you can  type Yiddish email in QText and copy/paste into LingoMail to send true Yiddish email in Yiddish characters. Here's how to do it:

1. Within LingoMail, you must do a one-time configuration setting:

From the main menu select Language/Encoding, and check Hebrew.

2. QText must be set at: Options/Clipboard:

Uncheck Swap Hebrew Cut/Copy

Check Swap Cut/Copy ASCII

English - Inserting text inside Hebrew/Yiddish

There are two methods of inserting English into a Yiddish document:

1. To Insert Just a Few English Words (less than one line):

a. Enter some Hebrew/Yiddish text.

b. Press F-10 (or you can instead click the "Push" button on the top left side of the program screen).

c. Enter some English text.

d. Press-F10 (or you can instead click the "Push" button on the top left side of the program screen).

e. Enter more Hebrew/Yiddish text.

2. To switch to English for More than one Line (its own paragraph):

Hit the Hebrew/English toggle button which is also at the upper left of the QText screen.


Page Numbering In Yiddish - You can set QText to automatically number your pages in either Arabic or Yiddish/Hebrew.

a. Go to the Document Menu.

b. Select Page Layout.

c. On the lower left, you'll see a list of Page Number "Type" options.

d. The first two items on the list looked to me, at first glance, like alef letters. Actually they are X's. If you choose one of these options, you'll get Arabic numbers; e.g., 1,2,3.

e. The last two items on the list are indeed alefs. (Now I see how different they look!) If you choose one of these options, you get your pages numbered alef, bes, gimel, etc.

f. Be sure to look at the additional page numbering options in the upper left of the same window - for Position.



                (Per Dvir 9/3/00, they are no longer developing QText, so these minor problems will not be fixed.)

1. Please add Unicode capability to QText.

2. Please add the missing characters which are needed to write Yiddish entirely in modern orthography, namely the quotation marks. What we need are: a) upper quotation marks curling to the right (to use on the left end of a quote) and b) lower quotation marks curling left (to use at the right end of a quote).

Please note that you could, if necessary (in my opinion),  delete the current upper quotes which curl left (designed for the right end of an English quote) because these are not normally used in modern Yiddish orthography. In any case, you should have enough ASCII codes to simply add the two missing ones after you solve the problem described in no.4, below.

3. The pagination for Tables which are longer than one page has a bug. Please fix this as soon as possible so that people don't have manually split and combine tables on a routine basis.

4. Please eliminate redundant usages of ASCII codes for the extended Yiddish character set, especially as only one of each actually works across all QText fonts (e.g., pasakh alef and veys).

5. Please modify the Speller to read the extended Yiddish character set. We would like to create a custom spelling file with Yiddish words, but it seems that this cannot be done in the current version. (Note: Dvir has explained that the spell-checker utility, although included with QText, was actually created by a different company and therefore Dvir cannot modify it. Some UYIP members were planning a letter to that other company to request this modification, but this seems hopeless at this point since Dvir will not develop the product further.)

6. Please fix the page margin GIF file problem, as described above, so that the paragraph markers do not need to be manually adjusted to be smaller than the page markers in order to prevent cutting off text when making "Bitmap" type HTML web pages.

7. Please modify QText so that the "Bitmap" type of HTML function only turns individual table cells into GIF files when necessary, but leaves all pure-English table cells as HTML text. The QText Table should always convert to a standard HTML Table.  Currently, when you create a table in QText which has both Yiddish and English in various cells,  the resulting "Bitmap" HTML file turns the entire table into a GIF file, not merely the cells containing Yiddish text. This creates a functionally unusable HTML file in most cases, for practical purposes, because the resulting files sizes are much too large for most people to download when viewing the web page on the internet.

8. Please automate the "Reformat Document" function.

9. Please re-write the program to follow all standard Windows-95 user interface and features. The biggest problems related to this are:

a. Obsolete DOS limitations (only 8 characters) for file names.

b. Non-standard locations for menu items. For example, Page layout should be under the File menu, only because this is standard. Whenever you deviate from the standard, you are making your program harder for people to learn how to use.

10.  Please add at least one phonetic (for non-Hebrew speakers) Yiddish keyboard as a standard keyboard. (UYIP members have proposed various phonetic versions, although individual users could continue to either design their own, or to use the current default Yiddish keyboard which is based on the standard Israeli keyboard.)

11. Please consider whether or not it is really necessary to turn Yiddish and Nikud off and on. I realize this would require some redesign of the program, but it is difficult for users to try to determine which combination of on/off to use in each circumstance. (It's especially confusing when you have to turn Yiddish "off" in order to use a custom Yiddish keyboard.)

12.  Please improve the English Help files and the printed English manual so that these Help Notes will not be necessary.

Page Created by: Susannah R. Juni
mail to:  shoshke-rayzl yuni

Last updated: February 17, 2002 11:06 PM


The Yiddish Voice Store  sells the QText Yiddish HTML Generator & word processor program, and provides links to Dvir's official support.

Back to UYIP (Understanding Yiddish Information Processing)