About GreekKeys Unicode 2008
November 11, 2015: sales of GreekKeys 2008 ceased on October 28. The updated product GreekKeys 2015 is now available at the web site of the Society for Classical Studies (free to SCS members, $20 for non-members, free or discounted for those who purchased GreekKeys 2008 on or after August 1, 2014). Click here for the new sales and support site.
GreekKeys 2008 is a keyboard and font package for polytonic Greek designed for the needs of scholars, teachers, and students. It is designed to work both for users of Mac OS X versions 10.3 and higher (both PowerPC and Intel systems) and for users of Windows XP and higher (including Windows 7 and 8). For both platforms, it is a system-level resource that can be used in any application that is written with modern multilingual capabilities: word processors, speadsheets, browsers, text editors, graphics programs, and page layout programs. In fact, if you find an application that can't use the GreekKeys keyboards, it is most likely an outdated or deliberately crippled product.
The keyboards input Greek that is encoded in accordance with the Unicode standard, and the fonts contain the accepted Unicode characters for polytonic Greek as well as many other characters needed by scholars, teachers, and students of the ancient Greek world. Users of the traditional GreekKeys Universal keyboard will find the arrangement to be the same in GreekKeys Unicode. New users will be able to learn the positions of characters and diacritics without difficulty.
The package contains version 3.2 of New Athena Unicode font, the most extensive APA font and the one that is also available for free to anyone; and version 1.2 of three other fonts that are now available only as part of GreekKeys 2008: AttikaU, KadmosU, and BosporosU. For more on the fonts, see the Fonts page.
System Requirements of GreekKeys 2008
The Windows keyboards work with Windows XP and higher (they may work partially or completely in some earlier versions, but this has not been tested and cannot be guaranteed). The Mac inputs work with OS X versions 10.3 and higher (10.4 and higher recommended).
What does GreekKeys 2008 include?
Details about Revision B (Dec. 2009)
In Revision B of GreekKeys Unicode 2008, the documentation in the download has been updated and the current version of New Athena Unicode has replaced the version in Revision A.
Details about Revision A (May 2008)
In Revision A of GreekKeys Unicode 2008, the download has been updated in several respects:
Purchasers of GreekKeys 2008 who wish to take advantage of these changes should use the URL in their original confirmation email to download again. If any problem arises, contact Donald Mastronarde for assistance.
For Mac users, how does GreekKeys 2008 differ from GreekKeys 2005?
If you use GreekKeys Unicode inputs from the GreekKeys 2005 version, there are only very minor changes in the standard inputs. (1) The input for iota with macron and circumflex produced the wrong character (iota with macron and acute) because of a typographic error; this is corrected in the 2008 version. (2) The 2005 version contained no terminator declarations in the keylayout file, which made no difference to basic operation but which prevented the Keyboard Viewer from showing the deadkeys. In the 2008 version, Keyboard Viewer correctly shows the deadkeys with orange background and the relevant diacritics.
GreekKeys 2008 includes some new items: the three fonts AttikaU, KadmosU, and BosporosU (and deprecated traditional GreekKeys-encoded Kadmos and Bosporos); and the two versions of experimental decomposed inputs for advanced users.
Therefore, if you have no use for the more advanced features, do not need the additional fonts, and do not have any Windows systems to install on, upgrading may not be compelling.
Typing with GreekKeys Unicode keyboards/inputs
For most ordinary polytonic Greek input, the Mac and Windows versions work very similarly. In both cases you need to change the chosen keyboard or input every time you make a transition from words in another language (English, French, German, etc.) to words in polytonic Greek or in the opposite direction. If you are typing in a modern Unicode font that has characters for several scripts, including polytonic Greek (note that many fonts have characters for monotonic Greek only and can't be used for the additional diacritic-enhanced characters of polytonic Greek), you do not have to change fonts with each change of language/keyboard. But it is often prudent to do so. Ensuring that your Greek and your non-Greek words are in two distinct fonts can be very important when preparing files for publication or sharing with other users.
On GreekKeys keyboards, the plain Greek letters are arranged as on a modern Greek keyboard, except that upsilon is "u" and theta is "y". Most other equivalences are obvious, such as alpha at "a" and beta at "b." The less obvious items are final sigma at "w," psi at "c," xi at "j," and omega at "v."
Diacritics are entered as "deadkeys" (a term surviving from typewriters on which accent keys did not advance the patten): that is, they are typed before the vowel to which they belong. The deadkeys are invoked slightly differently in Windows and in Mac OS X (as explained in the documentation that comes with the package), but the arrangement is the same in both cases. The diacritics are arranged across the top row of the keyboard, starting from the key on which the numeral 1 is located. The sequence is acute, grave, circumflex, smooth, rough, smooth acute, rough acute, smoth grave, rough grave, smooth circumflex, tough circumflex. On some non-US keyboards on which deadkeys are commonly used, there are additional locations for some diacritics to match what is familiar to users of those keyboards.
A separate page on compatibility collects information about which applications can be used with what features of GreekKeys 2008.
Installation and activation
Instructions about installation and activation are given in the QuickStart documents and in the User's Guide that come with the download, and similar information is provided on the installation page.