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Greek fonts and typing Greek

 To write in Greek on a computer or other device you need

  • A (unicode) Greek font
  • A Greek keyboard that enables you to type conveniently

1. Greek Fonts

It is essential that you use a unicode font (the Greek characters in older non-unicode fonts are essentially little pictures, and cannot be read by other computers).
A modern Greek font is not sufficient, as it does not contain all accents and breathings needed for ancient Greek (or archaic letters such as digamma).

Polytonic fonts for ancient Greek

Good, free fonts are readily available. Two of the best are

  • Gentium -- an elegant all-purpose unicode font for ancient Greek
  • New Athena Unicode -- less elegant, but contains more exotic specialist diacritics

For most purposes Gentium (basic) is recommended. New Athena Unicode is very useful if you need specialist symbols (e.g. for epigraphy, linguistics or papyrology).

To download a font to a Windows PC:

  • Download the windows installer for the font, saving the file to your desktop when prompted. Once the download is complete, double click the file. (This automatically install the fonts to the appropriate folder on your windows PC, and they should be immediately visible in Word. The procedure for Mac is similar.)

2. Greek Keyboards

A keyboard utility enables you to switch between default (Roman) and Greek keyboards at the press of a button, and includes a handy way of typing accents.

  • UCL has a licence to Antioch and you can use that on UCL computers. To install it on your own machine there is a fee of $50.
  • GreekKeys -- developed by the American Society for Classical Studies, and comes with a polytonic font with specialist symbols. Free to members of the Society, otherwise $20.
  • A Windows utility called RoboGreek can be downloaded free of charge: it allows you to type Unicode Greek in any Unicode-supporting Windows programme
  • In MS Windows (from 2000) there is a polytonic keyboard, which is fine for most purposes (but not perfect). For instructions on setting it up see websites such as Elpenor.
  • Another option is the Keyman keyboard, developed by the creators of the Gentium font.
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