Fonts can be a tricky. Should I use the Accordance, Bible Works, Logos, Teknia, or SBL font? What is the difference between a unicode font and a "regular" font? Should I use the SIL Unicode font? Doesn't my computer come loaded with fonts? Below, you will find a step by step guide that will begin with selection and end in implementation.
[[What you will find below is rudimentary in nature. It is designed to "get you up and running." If you would like a more comprehensive treatment on Fonts, please see Dr. Decker's Essay on fonts at the bottom of this page.]]
UnicodeUnicode is a standard way of encoding or entering the various characters of most writing systems. This means that all computers (Mac and PC) and all programs should be capable of reading characters entered in unicode.
Advantages: This option has the advantage of seamlessly transferring from Microsoft Word to email, blogs, and any other program you use. Since unicode fonts are not fonts in the traditional sense (Times New Roman vs. Helvetica), they do not need to be installed on other computers. This means that if you need to print off a paper with Greek in the library, you don't need to worry about incompatibility issues.
Enabling and Using on a Mac
1) Click your spotlight icon and type "keyboard."
2) Open keyboard preferences by clicking on the selected hit. This screen should appear.
4) Next, click on the "Input Sources" option. This screen should appear.
5) Scroll down and check the box for "Greek Polytonic" and "Hebrew." Notice that you can also enable German, French, Spanish, and any other language you might need to work with.
6) Your biblical languages have now been enabled. Close out of the preferences screen.
7) You are now set to use these Unicode fonts. Whenever you are ready to use the Greek font, look up at the top right of your screen. Look for a flag and click on it.
8) Select Greek. Start typing.
9) More likely than not, you will need help with the keyboard map (which Greek letters and accents correspond to your English keyboard). Lucky for you, there is a map. Click on the flag, and then click on the "Show Keyboard Viewer"
Notice that when you hit the "Shift" or "Option" keys, different keys will become available.
10) Repeat 7-10 for Hebrew or your language of choice.
Enabling and Using on a PC
(This Tutorial is for Windows 7, but the steps should be more or less the same for previous/future Operating Systems)
1) Click on your start menu and click on the control panel. This window should appear.
2) Click on the "Region and Language" option.
3) Click on "Keyboards and Languages." This screen should now appear:
4) Now click on the "Change keyboards" button. Your screen now looks like this:
5) Click the "Add" button.
6) Expand your selection by clicking on the + box. Select "Greek Polytonic," "Hebrew," and any other input language you desire.
6) Click "Ok." Now the screen should look like this.
7) Click "Apply." This is very important. If you do not apply the settings, then everything you have just done will be lost.
8) After you apply your new settings, close the window above.
9) To change the keyboard from English to another language, simply click on the "EN" text on the Start Menu at the bottom right. See below.
10) Sadly, there is no readily accessible keyboard map for the PC.
Can I Manipulate Unicode Like Regular English Fonts:
Yes. The SIL and SBL fonts alter the appearance of your Unicode font. Keep in mind that the use of font that alters the appearance of the characters you type will not transfer to other computers unless those fonts are already installed. This should be no cause for concern though, your text will simply default to the standard unicode font for that language. That is to say, your Greek or Hebrew will not become gibberish.
Non-Unicode FontsWhat, then, is the benefit of using non-unicode fonts? If you use Bible Software like Accordance, Bible Works, or Logos, then using these fonts enables you to simply copy and paste the text into your Word document. This is a huge time saver. It also retains the accuracy of the text you are copying. Imagine trying to type a paragraph of Greek with accents and no spell check. If you opt for this approach, though, remember what you are losing. Your text becomes gibberish the moment you change computers, paste into any internet application or website, or show up for class and realize you have a glaring typo and have to run to the library to print off a corrected copy of your paper.
Copying Text in Bible Software ProgramsAccordance
When copying text from Accordance, it is important to note that the program defaults to copy text in its "legacy" font. Unless you change this setting, you will only be able to read the text in programs and on computers that have that font pre-installed. For instance, if I copy Matthew 1:1 using the default settings in Accordance and paste into a word document that has the Accordance Legacy font installed, this will be the result:
But if I paste the same text into my Facebook "Update Status", a web application, or any computer that does not have the font installed, this will be the result:
Changing this setting in Accordance is a painless procedure. Just follow these simple steps.
1) Click on "Accordance" in the upper left portion of the screen.
2) Scroll down and select preferences:
4) Notice that the "Export"option has been selected. Make sure the same is true for you.
5) Finally, check the box that says "Unicode export" "Export all characters with Unicode format." Your screen should now look like this:
6) Hit "Ok" at the bottom right of the menu in order to confirm your changes.
7) Now when you copy Matthew 1:1 into your Facebook "Update Status" et. al, the text will look like this:
Logos uses Unicode natively. You do not need to do anything to copy in Unicode.
Tutorial coming soon.
Other Tutorials and Webpages
John Schwandt's Tutorial
Here are instructions for typing in Unicode Polytonic Greek. This will enable you to create Greek documents, web sites, and emails which most current browsers will display properly. It also will allow you to change Unicode fonts without any confusion of characters.Russell Cottrell's Unicode Page
On this page, viewers can find out more about Unicode, including some helpful links.SIL Unicode Page
A page of the Summer Institute of Linguistics devoted to all things Unicode.Tyndale House Font Page
This website has information about Unicode fonts, links to downloads, and information on how to use Greek fonts on older software.____________________________________________________________________________
Unicode Software Tools
This is the Logos tool for typing Unicode text in ancient scripts. It was designed to help people unfamiliar with a script easily enter the correct characters, and then copy text to the clipboard in Unicode or another format.TypeGreek
Randy Hoyt provides software tool that converts text from a standard keyboard into Greek characters as you type in real-time. Read the notes in the "Alphabet Key" on how to make necessary diacritical marks.Unicode Classical Greek Inputter
A software tool provided by the University of Oxford that allows users to type in Greek. There is a very easy-to-use keyboard selection also for highlighting letters with diacritical marks, etc.____________________________________________________________________________
This font is available at the BibleWorks website. Users you can download a complete keyboard map for both the Greek and Hebrew for both Mac and PC.BST Greek Font
BibleStudyTools.com offers this Greek font.SBL Greek
This font is available at SBL's website and is featured in the SBL Greek New Testament.SIL Fonts
This is the page that contains all the SIL fonts and all discussions pertaining their fonts and Unicode in general.TekniaGreek
This is the Mounce Greek font, which follows the same keyboard layout for Mac and Windows users.Unicode Greek Fonts
Russell Cottrell has one-stop shop for a number of different Unicode fonts, including his own design (Aristarcoj).University College-London Fonts
This site provides a number of different fonts, Windows-compatible, Unicode, and Polytonic.WordPerfect Language Assistants
This software allows Word Perfect users to type in Greek.____________________________________________________________________________
This is a software tool provided by Logos that converts Unicode Greek to its appropriate transliterated form.____________________________________________________________________________
Decker, Rodney. "What a Biblical Scholar Should Know about Unicode." NTResources.com.