Printing RTL (Hebrew & Arabic Books)



I wish to print a book that is written in Hebrew, i.e from right to left.


Do I just need to reverse the pages order in the PDF?


  • The printers will print what you send if you upload as a PDF, so you needto think how to design the book because they won't treat it differently.


  • Could someone please tell me why some countries read books backwards?

  • The issue isn't the pdf, it's that a Hebrew book must be bound on the right, not the left. Does Lulu offer that option?

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Whether a book starts at the back or at the front depends on how you format it.

  • Owlbay, Yes you can achieve that but it does to some extent depend upon how you create the source material.

    I'll be happy to explain how if you tell me how you are creating the original and in what page order.

    General Info

    "Read Right-to-Left

     Hebrew is written and read from right to left, rather than left to right as in English. When you read a Hebrew book, you open the rightmost page and flip pages until you get to the leftmost page (just the opposite of an English book)."

  • Even if your pdf runs in reverse order you have a problem with the cover. There you need to make the left side the front and the right side the back. However, lulu always puts a bar code on the left, so you wind up with a bar code on your cover. any way around that?

  • However, lulu always puts a bar code on the left.

    Not so - if you don't need an ISBN use the Advanced One Piece Cover designer.

  • What do you mean ' if you need an isbn"? lulu requires that you have an isbn, doesn't it? 

  • An ISBN is only required for books using Lulu's GlobalReach or ExtendedReach distribution plans.

    Books without ISBNs will not have a barcode unless publisher grade paper is used.

  • I don't see where lulu is giving me a choice about barcodes. And they say in their help file that all books must have a barcode.


    Also is Lulu standard paper the same as publisher? Otherwise i have to use the .75 a page paper.

  •  Also is Lulu standard paper the same as publisher? 

    No, otherwise they would have the same name. Smiley Surprised


  • How do I use the Lulu Cover wizard to create a cover without a barcode? 

  • Read my previous replies.

  • You wrote, "Not so - if you need an ISBN use the Advanced One Piece Cover designer." Did you mean if you  don't  need an  ISBN....

  • For a more technical answer, ask a sociologist or archeologist or something. But the simple answer is that going left-to-right or right-to-left is a matter of convention. There is no "backwards"; only "not what I'm used to".
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Not really a lot of point replying in a thread many years old.


    But it is backwards if starting at the back. It's also bizarre. Who came up with that idea?

  • Hello 'Author', my name is Simcha Goldberg, I am trying to print a hebrew book [in depth explanation of Talmud]; yes, i've managed the cover [though with a bar code!]; i've uploaded to Lulu the manuscript as a pdf backwards, but when I download it to view it comes as page 1 first, does this mean it will print page 1 first? that is no good for a Hebrew book. I need to be sure that they will print last page first! can anybody advise? Thank you!

  • I know this is an old thread, but I want to share how I solved the right-to-left problem.


    Take any English left-to-right book. Look at the cover, and rotate it 180 degrees. Still looking at the cover? Good. Now open the book, and realize that the pages are numbered EXACTLY like a right-to-left book would be, except that each individual page (even the cover) is upside-down. Now take any Hebrew book, flip it, and notice that the pages are upside down!


    The key to your solution is   That website will take your PDF file and rotate each page, and give it back to you. It is very simple, friendly, and free. (I have no connection to it, and I don't remember how I found it either.)


    I am now in the second edition of my Lulu-printed Hebrew book. Here's how I did it:


    I wrote the whole thing in Microsoft Word, formatted as a right-to-left book. That means you need to go to File, then Word Options, click on Advanced, go to the Show Document Content section, and look for Document View. Finally, select "Right-to-left". The result of this is that when you change your magnification to see several pages at a time, they will be displayed on the right.


    You also need to change the Layout, specifically the Page Setup. On the Margin tab, you must set "Multiple Pages" to be "Mirror margins", and on the Layout tab you must set "Section direction" to be "Right-to-left". The result of these changes is that Word will know to put the gutter on the right side of odd-numbered pages, and on the left side of even numbered pages.


    (Note: I have NOT experimented too deeply with these settings. I suspect that it is okay to ignore the Document View part, but that the Page Setup is critical.)


    I created my entire book in one single Word file. If your project is too complicated for that, then I you'll have to adapt these ideas. Anyway, creating PDFs used to be difficult and/or expensive, but it is now a standard part of Word: Simply go to "Save As", and notice that there's an option for "File Type", and select PDF. Then click Options, and make sure you've selected "PDF/A compliant". That will make sure that your foreign-language fonts are stored in the PDF. (Otherwise, Lulu ill not be able to print your Hebrew text.)


    Then go to to upload your PDF, tell it to rotate 180 degrees, and download. This is the file that you will upload to Lulu.


    Make your cover in Word too. Follow Lulu's instructions about the size of the paper, and where the margins and spine are. But they are expecting you to put your stuff on the right half of this wide page, because when it is folded on the spine, that's where the front cover of an ENGLISH book would be. Instead, put your cover on the Left half. Save it as a PDF, and rotate it as above.


    Your beautiful cover was on the left side before, but now it is on the right side, and it is upside-down. Don't worry! The whole rest of your book is like that too! If Lulu was human, he would be very surprised by it. To be honest, when I printed my first edition, I was EXTREMELY worried that one of Lulu's Quality Control people would see it, and try to "fix" it. But I guess they don't, and I'm glad!


    Good luck!

  • Hi there,

    was the code not rotated in the process.


    Thank you,


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