Step 1: Downloading the Java Applet

Hebrew Keyboard Tutor Plus! is a Java applet that loads directly onto the web page at All you need to do is open this page in your browser and the applet will download automatically.

You will need to have Java 1.4 or later installed on your computer, and your web browser must have Java enabled. If you need to update or install Java on your computer, go to and follow the instructions for the free Java software download.

If you are unable to use Java 1.4 or later on your computer, you may be able to use the original Hebrew Keyboard Tutor (at, which requires only Java 1.1.

Step 2: Security Notice

Hebrew Keyboard Tutor Plus! is a "signed applet". Signing provides assurance that the software code that you download comes directly from ZigZag, Inc. Once you download Hebrew Keyboard Tutor Plus!, a security window may pop up and ask you for permission to run the applet. To run Hebrew Keyboard Tutor Plus! on your computer and use all of its capabilities, you must click "Yes" in the security window. If you click "No" in the security window, you will still be able to use the animated activity for learning the Hebrew keyboard, and to practice typing text, but you will not be able to save PDF versions of what you type.

Step 3: Set-up Screen

Hebrew Keyboard Tutor Plus! works by interpreting key strokes on your physical keyboard as if they were keystrokes on a Hebrew (or other language) keyboard. To do this, Hebrew Keyboard Tutor Plus! needs to be told what your physical keyboard looks like. The upper part of the Set-up Screen provides a drop-down menu listing a variety of different physical keyboards. When you make a selection from the drop-down menu, the adjacent keyboard image shows the corresponding keyboard layout. Choose the layout that best matches your physical keyboard.

If you do not see your keyboard on the list, please email us a description of your keyboard and we will try to add it.

Then, choose the activity you want — either "Learn Hebrew Keyboard" or "Edit Text/Create PDF" — by clicking on one of the buttons at the bottom of the Set-up Screen.

Step 4: Using the Activities

Hebrew Keyboard Tutor Plus! offers two different activities:

Basic instructions for using each of these activities are given below.

Instructions for Using the Hebrew Keyboard Tutor

The Hebrew Keyboard Tutor activity is accessed by clicking on the button for "Learn Hebrew Keyboard" from the set-up screen or the text editor. Once the activity loads, you will see a light green area on the lower right of the screen with a selection panel indicating five levels of exercises. The five levels correspond to increasing keyboarding skills, with level 1 being the easiest. With the mouse, click on the level number (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) you want to use. An asterisk below the number indicates your selection.

Note the two gray keys shown in the keyboard image. They indicate the home keys for touch-typing, where your index fingers should rest.

To begin the exercise, click on the "GO" button in the light green panel. An animation sequence displaying Hebrew letters will begin, and the light green panel will be replaced by a score tracking panel. Using the on-screen keyboard image as a guide, type each letter as it appears in the animation. The letter which must be typed is highlighted in yellow in the animation. If you do not know which key corresponds to that letter, wait until the letter stops moving; the on-screen keyboard image will then highlight the correct key in yellow.

Your score is displayed in the score panel. Three different measures are constantly updated:

Practice the exercise for as long as you wish. It will not stop until you choose to stop it.

To stop an exercise, use the mouse to click on the "stop sign" (red octagon) at the top right of the score panel. The screen will return to the level selection display and to the navigation buttons for returning to the set-up screen and for switching to the text editor. Your final score for the level will also be displayed. You may now select a new level, restart the level you were on, return to the set-up screen or switch to using the text editor.

To pause an exercise, press the ENTER or RETURN key on your keyboard. The animation will stop, and a "sleeping clock" icon will be displayed. You may continue the activity by pressing the ENTER or RETURN key again.

Instructions for Using the Text Editor and PDF Creator

The text editor is accessed by clicking on the button for "Edit Text/Create PDF" from either the set-up screen or the Hebrew Keyboard Tutor. Once the text editor loads, you will see a white text entry area with a blinking cursor on the left, and a keyboard image, drop-down menu and buttons on the right. The keyboard image will display a Hebrew keyboard, with vowels in the top row of keys, and the "Virtual keyboard" drop-down menu will show "Hebrew Nikud" as its selection. Just below that you will see the words "Map <name of keyboard selected on set-up screen> to virtual keyboard [shortcut: F2]" with a checkbox to the left. The checkbox will be checked.

If you now begin typing on your keyboard, you will be typing in Hebrew. Press the shift key to type special forms, such as bet, peh, kaf, shin with shin dot, sof pasuk, etc. The virtual keyboard image will show the corresponding key positions. You can also use your mouse to click on the virtual keyboard image to insert text.

To return to typing in accordance with your physical keyboard, click on the checkbox (or press the F2 key on your keyboard) to uncheck it. Now you will be typing as usual.

To publish your text as a PDF document, click on the "Create PDF" button. A small progress window will pop up to let you know what is happening. There are three stages in the process:

  1. Sending data to server
  2. Waiting for response
  3. Saving document

Each stage is indicated in the progress window by flashing text. The "waiting for response" stage may take a variable amount of time (up to several minutes), depending on how busy the server is at that time. When the document is ready, a new window will pop up to ask you where on your computer disk you want to save it, and under what name. The document will be saved as a PDF document, with document extension ".pdf".

Note that when you open the saved document, the text will not appear exactly as it did on your screen. This is because the fonts and margins used for printing are different than those used for the screen.