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Posted: 2/17/14
The 2014 Online Beginning Greek Class (evenings) has just started. This Thursday we begin with the first chapter of the textbook. There still are some spots open and you can still sign up. Click here for more information and to sign up.

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Greek Fonts Overview

Computer advancements have made Greek typography a very complex issue. Since Greek has different characters than English, people produced different fonts that used different key strokes for the Greek alphabet. These fonts (now called non-Unicode or legacy fonts) competed with each other since the Greek written with was not easily transferable to any other font style. Further people just grew accustomed to a particular keyboard layout for typing in Greek. Both of these reasons pushed Greek users to pick one font and stick with it.

The emergence of the Internet revealed the core problem with this legacy system. Not everyone used the same font so web pages would not display legible Greek text for everyone.

In an effort to standardize all languages for a world computing audience Unicode has been developed. Unfortunately, most Unicode fonts did not include Greek characters with accents. Now new Unicode fonts are finally emerging to assist those who wish to compute in ancient or biblical Greek. Below are various topics and links which address various aspects of this Greek font saga.

1. Polytonic Unicode Greek Fonts

2. Typing in Unicode Greek (Unicode Keyboards)

3. Writing Greek in E-mail

4. Non-Unicode Greek Fonts (not recommended)

5. Modern Greek Web Helps



1. Polytonic Unicode Greek Fonts

All of these links have free Greek fonts which include accented characters for ancient or biblical Greek. Please contact the site manager if any links are broken or the font is no longer offered. They are listed in order of aesthetics and universality.

Free Font Download Sites

Free Unicode Fonts - This page has numerous free Unicode fonts with examples of each so you can see if you like the font before you download it. It is a fantastic page!

Links for Unicode Fonts - This page has numerous free Unicode fonts with examples of each so you can see if you like the font before you download it. It is very helpful.

Gentium - This font has both PC and MAC versions available.

Minion Pro - This font is a wonderful professional font that used to cost $100 but is now available free with Acrobat Reader version 7. To get the font, install Acrobat Reader version 7 then look in the resource folder where acrobat reader was installed. I will probably be at this address on your computer: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Resource\Font. You will see the Minon files. You still must install the fonts so your system will recognize them. For windows users, open control panel, switch to classic view, scroll down to fonts, and then copy the minion fonts into your fonts folder.

Galilee Unicode Gk - Rodney Decker created this font. It is very similar to MS Arial Unicode. All of the letters, accents and breathings are very legible.

Code 2000 - It doesn't look quite as refined as Gentium but it is polytonic Unicode nevertheless.

Athena - I believe this is the Unicode version of this font.

Unicode Font Gateways

Open Directory Greek Fonts - A nice list of Unicode fonts (as well as others) and tools.

Unicode Test - Contains very many Greek Unicode fonts with extended characters.

Allen Wood's list of Greek Unicode Fonts - Contains nice list with full information about each included where to download them.

Classical Greek Fonts - This site has a nice list of polytonic Unicode fonts with examples of how each one appears.

Polytonic Unicode Greek Fonts - A good list of polytonic Unicode font links.

Greek Fonts - Luc Devroye has a great page with a massive list of Greek fonts. Many of these are not Unicode.

About Greek Unicode Fonts

Unicode Polytonic Greek - A great explanation of how Unicode woks and way it is necessary.

Recent Unicode History - A brief overview of the development of Unicode and its Greek applications.

Extended Character Helps - A number of helpful links for many areas regarding Greek extended characters.

Extended Character List - Allen Wood has a very nice list of the codes for the extended characters and a list of Unicode fronts for PCs, MACs, and Unix systems.

Unicode Consortium - This site explains the rudiments of Unicode.

MAC Browser Instructions - This page gives instructions for setting browsers on MACs to view polytonic Unicode fonts.

HRI Project - Read, Write, Print and Email in Greek Unicode - This page has a list of several links that provide installation and usage instructions on reading, writing and printing in Greek, as well as some tips on how to email in Greek, and spell check your Greek text. (Windows, Unix, MAC)

2. Typing in Unicode Greek (Unicode Keyboards)

More and more it is getting easier to create documents, emails and web pages in Unicode with Greek extended characters. These links either provide instructions or software for various methods of creating text in polytonic Unicode Greek.

Unicode Keyboards - Here are instructions for installing Greek keyboards including the Microsoft Greek keyboard and keyboard maps. This is the easiest way to get started typing in Unicode.

Keyman - This is my personal favorite tool for typing in Unicode.

Greek Unicode HTM page - This is a web page that allows one to type in Greek Unicode. If you want a local version on your own computer, you can right click on the page and click "view source". Then copy all and save it as an HTM page that you can run from your desktop rather than using it online. There is also an instructional page.

Unicode Polytonic Greek for the Web - Very thorough instructions on how to use Word to type in Unicode.

Institute for Language and Speech Proessing - Instructions for typing Polytonic Greek in Windows 2000.

Early Christian Writings - Instructions for typing Polytonic Greek in Windows and a software keyboard download..

Antioch - Downloadable program to type in Unicode

Multi-Key - Freeware program to type in Unicode

Type of Scholars - Another downloadable program to type in Unicode.

Greek Unicode Converter - If you have written some text in a non Unicode font, this site will convert some non Unicode fonts into Unicode for free.

Symbol Font to Unicode Converter - If you have written some text in symbol font, this site will convert it into Unicode for free.

Allen Wood's Unicode Resources - A very helpful page with plenty of explanations

Tyndale House Unicode - This page explains what Unicode is and has number of links to other Unicode resources.

Type Greek (English to Greek Converter) - This javascript program will convert your English characters into Unicode Greek characters. The system for typing Greek with English characters is similar to the B-Greek model. After converting you have to cut and paste your text out of the converter. This is might be a good option for those unwilling or unable to switch keyboards on their computer.

MAC Instructions - This page gives instructions for creating a web page with polytonic Unicode in a Macintosh environment. It also has some Macintosh font downloads.

HRI converter scripts - This page has a number of links to converter scripts to convert font to various unicode formats.

Elot928 gibberish converter - This is a converter to turn illegible elot 928 Greek fonts into ASCII format. There is also a reverse converter here.

Microsoft (all versions) Greek Polytonic Keyboard Maps - Are you using the Windows Polytonic Keyboard and wondering how to produce a special character (vowel with some sort of accent, breathing and/or subscript)? This site has plenty of graphical maps to show you how.

3. Writing Greek in E-mail

Unicode Keyboards - Here are instructions for installing Greek keyboards including the Microsoft Greek keyboard and keyboard maps. This is the easiest way to get started typing in Unicode.

How to read, write, and print Greek in email - This is a Modern Greek site with some helpful tips. Accents are not available with these methods.

How to send (& read) Unicode E-mail in Outlook Express -

4. Non-Unicode Fonts

Although these fonts have been used widely in the past and show up on many web sites, we do not recommend that new web sites be built with them since they restrict accessibility. It is also not recommended that papers be written in them since it will limit choices in type-setting style.

Free Font Download Sites

Free Greek and Hebrew Shareware fonts - These fonts are not to be used for publications. You must go through the purchase process, but there is $0 charge.

Marc Huys' Font Page - This gateways site has a nice list of non Unicode font links and descriptions.

5. Modern Greek Website Helps

If you surf through Modern Greek web sites and experience font difficulties, these sites may be of some assistance.

Free Font Download Sites

Hellenic.net - Some help with changing character sets to better read some Greek sites.

Font, Keyboard, Modern Greek Spell Checker - Some help with changing character sets to better read some Greek sites.



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