Typing in Unicode Greek
After adding Greek to your operating system and installing the keyboard you are ready to start typing in Greek Polytonic Unicode. Note: Always make sure that your font is a font that supports polytonic Greek Unicode characters. If you are sending an email or publishing on the web, the most widely available polytonic Greek Unicode font is Palatino Linotype. Remember if you send an email or write a web page with a font that their viewer doesn’t have, it won’t display properly. Hear a couple ways of typing in Greek polytonic Unicode.
Windows EZAccent Polytonic Greek Keyboard –
If you have any Windows operating system I hope you have chosen to use my (John Schwandt’s) EZAccent Windows keyboard. I have found that is the easiest system for typing all of the diacritical marks while typing Greek. It runs within your operating system so you can use in anywhere in your system (in any program). If you want a letter to have a breathing mark simply type ‘q’ first for your smooth breather and ‘Q’ for your rough breather. If you want to accent a letter (evening after selecting a breathing mark) simply remember that shift + your vowel is the acute, alt+ctrl (or right alt) + your vowel is the grave, and all three shift+alt+ctrl (or shift+right alt) + your vowel makes the circumflex. I explain the iota subscript combinations in the instruction document. I also have pictures of the keyboard layout there.
I think this is the most effortless system for typing in Greek since you select the accenting at the same time as the vowel rather than before it. It also uses the Greek national keyboard layout for the location for all of the letters. The only downside that in Microsoft Word there are a few shift states that Microsoft decided to use as hot-keys (which should have been reserved for foreign language keyboards). You can disable these in Word if the program attempts to do something other than type a character. (That is what I did and now can’t remember what they were.) If you find any of these to disable (you can accent correctly in other applications like Facebook but not Word), please let me know so I can add this list and instructions for Word to the instruction document.
Remember take a look at the instruction document for all of the details and pictures of how the keyboard works.
Mac Polytonic Greek Keyboard –
There are a number of ways to type accents and breathers with the Mac keyboard. Some involve memorizing a long list of keys with all of the various accenting combinations like Windows symbols. I prefer simply learning one key for each accent type and then typing any number of them before the letter that you wish to accent. Why not use the advantages of your Mac?
This is what I do.
- Type the quote mark for a smooth breather and the shift plus this key with yield a rough breather.
- Type the colon for an acute accent (FYI the shift plus this key will yield a dieresis but this isn’t used frequently.)
- Type the right bracket ] for a grave (FYI the shift plus this key yields the same thing.)
- Type the left bracket [ for a circumflex and the shift plus this key with yield a iota subscript .
Those four keys can be used in any combination to produce any combination of additional symbols on over your Greek characters. Remember to select your accents before your vowel.